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Roll Away Your Stone Lyrics

Roll away your stone I will roll away mine
Together we can see what we will find
Don't leave me alone at this time
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside

You told me that I would find a home
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal
And all the while my character it steals

And darkness is a harsh term don't you think
And yet it dominates the things I see

It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say 'That's exactly how this grace thing works'
It's not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start

Darkness is a harsh term don't you think
And yet it dominates the things I see
Darkness is a harsh term don't you think
And yet it dominates the things I see

Stars hide your fires
For these here are my desires
And I won't give them up to you this time around
And so I'll be found
With my stake stuck in this ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

Stars hide your fires
For these here are my desires
And I won't give them up to you this time around
And so I'll be found
With my stake stuck in this ground
Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul

And you, you've gone too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine
Song Info
Copyright
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
Submitted by
Submitted on
May 24, 2008
80 Meanings
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I had to create an account just to add a comment on this song. It's so personal for me. For those saying it's an anti-religion song, it's not. It's a song against judgmentalism, emotional abuse and control.

In the beginning he's offering a woman his soul freely in exchange for mutual love and acceptance. "Roll away your stone I'll roll away mine" says he will reveal himself if she will. The references here are biblical, the stone is the entrance to the tomb, the cave, the inner darkness. He knows he's imperfect, but he's willing to make himself vulnerable and show his insecurities and flaws if she will reciprocate and accept him.

The next verse reflects the judgment she has passed on him. Instead of the love and acceptance he needs she's basically rejected him. She's told him he is empty, flawed, that the things he wants and needs are wrong and that he must give them up and change who he is to be acceptable. "Darkness is a harsh term don't you think?" is his reaction, he's switched from biblical references to Macbeth when speaking in his own voice rather than hers. He's aware he's not perfect but he didn't think he was that unlovable either. He's objecting, but seems more puzzled and hurt at this point and is probably giving in to her demands.

"It seems that all my bridges have been burned, but you say that's exactly how this grace thing works" reflects her attempts to control him. Classic controlling behavior would be cutting him off from friends and family, taking away things that are important to him, not allowing him to be himself or do things he loves. She's forced him to "burn bridges" this way. And she's telling him that once he's become what she wants him to be, he'll be acceptable. He'll find "grace" and her acceptance with the "restart" as the person she wants him to be. And again "Darkness is a harsh term don't you think?" is his objection.

Next she's finally pushed him too far in some way. "Stars hide your fires, these are my desires" shows he is no longer reaching for the unattainable goal of her acceptance but is taking a stand, he won't give up who he is or all of his wants and needs to please her anymore. He will stand with his "stake stuck in this ground" and say No More.

In the end, he's remembered who he is and that his soul, the essence of him as an individual, is his own. In the beginning he was offering to give it to her freely in exchange for mutual love and acceptance. But she has no right to reject it as it was offered then try to take it away from him by force.

Many of their songs have an element in them of someone who's been subjected to abuse and control in relationships but this one speaks the most plainly to overcoming it and leaving the situation. I see the rejection in it, but it's not a rejection of religion at all. It's a rejection of control and emotional abuse.

Sorry about the novel! But having been through it the references and emotions are so clear.

i had to create an account just to reply to your comment. i think your interpretation is the best, or at least the closest to mine. this song is also very personal for me, having experienced all the things this song is about.

i agree. this is my favorite interpretation, well done!

i agree. this is my favorite interpretation, well done!

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"Stars hide your fires For these here are my desires"

Makes me think of Macbeth,

'For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see me black and deep desires'

This is immediately what I thought of as well.

Exactly what I thought.

you may also want to note it seems to be written in iambic pentameter, Shakespeare's meter of choice, i mean theres a few substitutions made, but for the most part the song is iambic pentameter

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"You told me that I would find a hole Within the fragile substance of my soul And I have filled this void with things unreal And all the while my character it steals"

Someones tried to give him advice about why he might be feeling rubbish and has suggested he is a bit empty and should consider finding faith. Makes me think he's trying to fill a 'gap' with things like religion? It carries on with the bit about grace, like he's trying to have faith but can't quite manage it or understand it. Finally giving up and saying that he wont give up his soul to anyone. Dunno if Im completely wrong, just my impression :)

I think its about Jesus; 'thats exactly how this grace thing works' and the way he's talking about how his soul is fragile and filling the void with things that aren't real. The thing about stars hiding fires and darkness dominating his life. Its basically about how his life is full of darkness and, well, sin, and he's not going to let it happen.

To me this is more aimed at a person, about a relationship.

"roll away your stone i'll roll away mine" seems like putting the cards on the table. He will give his all if you do.

"it seems that all my bridges have been burned but youll say thats exactly how this grace thing works"

seems more about when hes walking away and the ties are burnt, the reply is thats what it means to be graceful.

I think you believe this is based on Jesus simply because grace is not a word you often hear and its most used in the bible. Using the word grace seems to be the only thing this song and the bible have in common though as I do not think its based around religion. Just try not to make an assumption because the song contains the word grace.

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The part about Grace reminds me of the Prodigal son.

that's the first thing i thought of too.

you're absolutely right. Mumford & Sons are known for being very generous with the literary references in their songs. It's about the prodigal son. Not alcoholism or a relationship.

Yeah, this, I think is also supported by the part that says:

"It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart, But the welcome I receive with the restart"

It reminds of the part of the story where the son has walks home in shame, and the father runs to him and hugs him and lets him in again.

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As with many songs, I think anyone's interpretation is a reflection of their own recent experiences. For me it could be about seeing past religion, but instead I think it's just about someone realising everything they've invested their heart and soul in is 'unreal'. Roll away your stone definitely reminded me of Jesus and the resurrection.

For me, it is money, and how many of us invest all our time in making money to buy superficial things we think we need and so other people can see us and respect us because of what we own. A car, a 3D TV, a dining room table or a haircut.

He has realised he has filled is soul with things that mean nothing and it's stolen his true character - is a darkness which dominates all that he sees.

Upon realising this is all 'unreal' he has chosen a different path, and to not be scared of all his burned bridges because what you get when you make that change to concentrate on everything that really does matter is what it's all about. He has stuck his stake into the ground and marked out what is his again - not investing his soul in what belongs to the bank.

The end - you've gone too far this time is saying they've pushed him over the edge and won't go along with it anymore. 'They' can't have his soul anymore.

For me, the only things that matter are to be free, your loved ones, your children and making the most of the time you have left.

My Interpretation
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It may just be me, but when I listen to the song I hear "These are my desires, and I WILL give them up to you this time around."

I've listened to the song and watched a bunch of youtube videos and I really think he says that will, not won't, and that completely changes the meaning of most of the interpretations I have read on here.

You absolutely correct. The lyrics written in the album booklet read: I WILL give them up...."

This sheds new light on that part of the song and basically means a lot of the interpretations of that part are incorrect.

You're*

Yes... thank you! It is will... and that is the word that the song hinges on. Which way will the interpretation go? It depends all on that word.

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From the standpoint that a lot of MS songs have Christian / Spiritual themes, this seems to talk to me of a sinner giving his life to Christ. It's a scary but liberating event that completely changes who you are and how you view the world.

I think the first verse, is a new Christian first looking at his former life through a new perspective and feeling the trepidation & fear that can come from honestly looking at yourself. In the 2nd verse, he sees all the worldy things the he has tried to fill the void caused from being seperated from God, how they do not fulfill, & how they have made him into a person he doesn't want to be.

The chorus speaks to how becoming a Christian can potentially compeletely change your life and cause you to lose many of the things & people that you held dear - a process that can be very saddenning & seemingly bleak. He sees that some of his former relationships have ended ("bridges burned") but realizes that there is purpose behind it so he chooses to focus on this new life rather than turning back to his former desires / relationships ("It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart, But the welcome I receive with the restart").

Finally, I think he ends by speaking to the World. He's saying that the flashy temptations of the world used to distract him ("stars hide your fires") but he is turning away from these & proclaiming he will stay true to his new desires to live as a Christian ("these are my desires, and I won't give them up to you this time around") & that these desires are not just external and being forced upon him but have become his own.

He ends with says that his soul is his, he will choose to stand steadfastly in righteous desires, & the world no longer has power over his soul to bend it to the will of the world.

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This song, to me, is about someone struggling to change into a better person. This person has been drawn to something that he is not proud of and wants to stop. He wants to embark on a journey but he wants to take his friend along that is struggling with the same thing. The thing is his friend doesn’t want to fix this problem so the speaker doesn’t have the support that he craves. His friend agrees to go on this journey with him to get back to their old selves, but only halfheartedly. So they're searching within themselves to find the old ones again. It's like inside our hearts and minds where we don't dare venture is a cave of our deepest secrets... And when it gets to the end, it sounds like the speaker has fallen again, so I'm going to say it's the journey to self-discovery, recovery, and then falling again. And the cycle starts over.

[from] "Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine..." [to] "For I'm afraid of what I will discover inside"

At the beginning of the journey they're uncovering the cave to their hearts, but the speaker is telling his friend to stay close by because he afraid of what he'll find deep inside himself.

[from] "Cause you told me that I would find a hole..." [to] "And all the while my character it steals"

He's scared because his friend told him that he'd find hole deep inside. His friend has been there so he knows. Maybe the speaker doesn't want to fall in, i.e. fall into a deeper mess than he is already in. But he's been filling that hole with unrealistic worldly things that has been robbing him of his character. He doesn't even know who he is anymore.

"Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think? And yet it dominates the things I see"

They're in a cave so all he sees is darkness.

[from] "It seems that all my bridges have been burned..." [to] "But the welcome I receive with the restart”

He is now realizing just how far down he's fallen, and his friend is telling him that it’s a long way back, probably giving up himself. The speaker knows he has a long way to go to get back to where he was. He doesn't mind though, he's willing because he made the mistakes in the first place. But he is excited to get back to his old life and start over.

"Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think? And yet it dominates the things I see Darkness is a harsh term don’t you think? And yet it dominates the things I've seen"

He has finally emerged from the cave...notice how he goes from "darkness dominates the things I see" to "things I've seen". He is no longer in the darkness. He has resurfaced.

"Stars hide your fires, These here are my desires And I won't give them up to you this time around And so, I’ll be found with my stake stuck in this ground Marking the territory of this newly impassioned soul"

This is my favorite part of the song because it sounds so victorious, like something someone would truly chant after getting over a trial and gaining a new love for life. Since he can see the stars again because he has emerged from the cave, he's singing to the skies. He's found what he wanted in life and he won't let anyone take that from him, not again.

"But you, you’ve gone too far this time You have neither reason nor rhyme With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine"

And this is where he has fallen back down. Without the support of his friend, he has fallen back into that hole in his soul.

...And that is why it is important to help your friend roll away their stones, because if they are left alone, they'll just end up dragging you down with them or being that person that needs help but doesn't know how to get it. Anyone can go from being the speaker to the friend back to the speaker in this song, I think...

My Opinion
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All of their songs are literary allusions in some way shape or form. This one is a literary allusion to Macbeth. If you are familiar with the play, it almost describes a characterization of Macbeth. "Darkness is a harsh term, don't you think? Yet, it dominates the things I see." And the line "stars hide your fires, these here are my desires" that is almost directly taken from Macbeth. I don't know them for it though, I think it's really cool. I also noticed that the song "The Cave" is a literary allusion to the story The Odyssey by Homer.

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To me this is more aimed at a person, about a relationship.

"roll away your stone i'll roll away mine" seems like putting the cards on the table. He will give his all if you do.

"it seems that all my bridges have been burned but youll say thats exactly how this grace thing works"

seems more about when hes walking away and the ties are burnt, the reply is thats what it means to be graceful.

also "these here are my desires and i wont give them up to you this time around" is that in the end he won't give everything up and "roll away his stone"

Just how i hear it anyway :)

The actual lyric is "and I WILL give them up to you this time around".

It pretty obvious what this song is about - the struggle of man to turn his back on earthly desires is something all Christians can relate with and Marcus is eloquently articulating this struggle through song.

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