"Below My Feet" as written by Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall....
You were cold as the blood through your bones
And the light which led us from our chosen homes
Well I was lost

And now I sleep
Sleep the hours and that I can't weep
When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes
I was lost

Keep the Earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn

And I was still
I was under your spell
When I was told by Jesus all was well
So all must be well

Just give me time
You know your desires and mine
So wrap my flesh in ivy and in twine
For I must be well

Keep the Earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Well keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Keep the Earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn

Lyrics submitted by waywardgirl, edited by Malicaii, mrswinnie, Liiisa, npor4601, OllieVon, nwel20

"Below My Feet" as written by Edward James Milton Dwane Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Below My Feet song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentThis song is about a death causing a crisis of faith and rejection of an old belief system, which is followed by a new view on religion and life, which is described in the chorus.

    The first stanza addresses the dead person, who is "cold as the blood through your bones." But he also describes the "light which led us from our chosen homes" as cold. He resents the light (referring to the light people are alleged to follow into the afterlife) for taking people away from the lives that they build for themselves on Earth. This death has caused resentment for God and the afterlife. He is lost, without his loved one and without his faith.

    The second stanza builds on this. He sleeps and cries. All he knew (his previous belief system) is steeped in blackened holes. He sees holes in his religion. They are black. This is a dark time. He doesn't want to see these holes or have these doubts, but they're there. He is lost.

    (I'll get to the chorus at the end)

    The next two stanzas are accompanied by a louder and more defiant beat than the first two, which are slow and sad.

    He is still. He's surviving, kind of dealing with this death. But he's under someone's "spell." I think he's referring to a preacher or someone else who indoctrinated him in his old belief system. The choice of the word spell clearly indicates that he has a negative view of this person's influence, under which he was convinced that Jesus was telling him all his well. He sings the last line "so all must be well" with a tone of sarcasm and anger. He was being calmed (I was still) by this old belief system, but it was like a drug, a sedative.

    Just give me time. Leave me alone. Now he's telling this preacher that he has different desires than him. He is rejecting the old belief system. The person he is addressing wants to wrap his flesh in "ivy and in twine." Ivy brings to mind images of ivy covered churches and an aged smothering feeling. Twine is also negative, controlling. We wrap meat in twine. This is all a reference to the typical Christian rejection of all things related to sex. He is rejecting this attitude. Again "for I must be well" (by being wrapped in ivy and twine) is spoken sarcastically and defiantly.

    Now the chorus. It's a prayer that sums up his new requests of God. Keep the Earth below my feet. Keep me alive. But also, perhaps, keep me down to Earth. For all my sweat, my blood runs weak. Despite all his efforts, he gets closer to death every day he lives. He's giving up his fear of death, or perhaps asking God to take it away. Let me learn from where I have been. Help me continue to become a better person. Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn. I don't completely get this yet, but I love it. It's a reversal of what you would expect. Perhaps it's about him wanting to live, to learn by acting and making mistakes. It could be viewed as a reversal of the traditional Christian view of learning by watching and listening to your parents and preachers, and then serving God and others through your actions which conform to these teachings. He's going to learn by doing, and serve by watching and listening, because what better way to serve people than to make them feel watched and listened to. I think it's also about humility. We usually think we're smarter than those we help because we've learned by watching, and we can help others by doing what we've learned. But he is suggesting that we can better serve those people by listening to and learning from them, and we can better learn by doing.

    There's so much more to this song, from the subtle nuances of word choices, to the chanting, the changes in musical tempo. It's packed with meaning.

    Their songs are often religiously motivated, but never preachy. They're about personal experiences, usually struggles, with religion. I love it.
    bdh6789on October 09, 2012   Link
  • +4
    Song Meaningheh :D "Thats what it really sounds like on the youtube video with the best quality "

    Everybody are scared from truth - yes he is christian ;) and keep my eyes to server - there is point ! ...
    God bless ya ;)
    mrmonoon May 18, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI believe this masterpiece to be about staying humble and trying to fight the temptation of the flesh. When everything is going well in life, it's easy to stray from God and his word. We begin to think that we accomplished everything on our own and forget to give glory to God. It's in our time of need, when all is steeped in blackened hopes, that we often turn to God for help and direction. God is the one constant in life and God will always be there through all the ups and downs. In a world where your whole life can be flipped upside down in a instant, it's amazing to have something you can always turn to.

    Mumford was able to find strength in God and is trying to hold onto the truth that he has found. Christianity is about admitting our flesh is week and admitting that we need God's help in life. By keeping the earth below his feet, Mumford is trying to stay humble so that he won't feel the way he did when he was lost. He is trying to grounded to the lesson that he learned from his past. This is a song I think we can all relate to, or will eventually be able to relate to as life progresses.

    James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
    Chao15on October 20, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General CommentI'm not religious in the slightest, and often songs with deeply religious meanings make me extremely uncomfortable to the point that I just can't listen to them. But this song, despite it so blatantly being a prayer to a god I long ago left behind, is just too beautiful to be ignored. An absolute musical masterpiece.
    eharm1024on October 10, 2012   Link
  • +2
    Lyric CorrectionJust a minor detail. The lyrics are:
    Sleep the hours and that I CAN'T weep

    instead of:
    Sleep the hours and that I "don't" weep.
    Izyton May 28, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationSo after listening to this song a few times I have a feeling this song is about someone dealing with a death... a death of someone who is very important to them...

    "You were cold as the blood through your bones
    And the light which led us from our chosen homes
    Well I was lost"

    The first part of this is obviously a meaning for death... and the second line could mean the person "going to the light." The "chosen homes" being the persons flesh body. last line being that they were lost without the person.

    "And now I sleep
    Sleep the hours and that I don't weep
    When all I knew was steeped in blackened holes
    I was lost"

    a Breakdown the person went to... locking themselves away because of this death, just sleeping, their waking hours only thinking about the person that died... the "blackened holes" could mean a grave...

    The second verse seems to be the person kind of starting to get over that person, though they need time, they know all was well, and also have religion to help them...

    I haven't actually worked the chorus into this theory, but it seems to be what I got...
    crimsonatomskon June 17, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My Opinionthis song is a prayer. Multiple translations but if you look at it that way it's beautiful.
    Mumffon September 05, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI believe this song is praying to God to keep him alive and not allow him to die.
    "Keep the earth below my feet" basically means that- don't allow him to die and thus get buried. The rest of chorus is all the same deal. "Keep my eyes to serve, my hands to learn" is again asking him not to kill him off. The only way you can see using your eyes and work using your hands is by being physically alive.

    I like how this is placed with For Those Below because in the latter song, he is accepting death.
    triscuitbiscuiton November 29, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentAbsolute and complete love for this song and band. The build up is beautiful. Live; they are amazing (words cannot properly describe) and the lyrics truly are moving.

    Everyones interpretation is different (as it should be), I love that people can be inspired and discern their own meanings. Music is such a beautiful thing, everyone should feel evangelical about it.



    “No, it’s not a statement of faith,” clarifies Mumford. “We don’t feel evangelical about anything. Really. Other than music.” A strained conversation ensues, Mumford deciding the language used “is more social than religious, verging on philosophical”.
    thebgoorton December 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am not positive. But I think the lyric is "keep my eyes discerned" not "keep my eyes to serve"

    I'm not sure, it just makes more sense.

    clangeron November 03, 2010   Link

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