Marcus Mumford, Cannibal: the lyrics and meaning

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On July 14, Marcus Mumford released his first single as a solo artist, out of his path as the singer of Mumford & Sons: the song is called Cannibal, and it has very enigmatic lyrics, talking about a cryptic relationship that triggers mixed feelings. This article will analyze the song’s lyrics and interpret their meaning.

You can find the official video of the song below. Steven Spielberg directs the video.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Cannibal: inside the lyrics and their meaning

Marcus Mumford explained that his solo album was born during the months of isolation of the covid-19 pandemic. In the lyrics, the singer mentions a relationship where they eat each other, like cannibals, animals. He hates it, but a part of him is excited by it.

I can still taste you, and I hate it
That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it
You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw
Ripped it in with your teeth and your lips like a cannibal
You fu**ing animal

I can still taste you, and it kills me
That there’s still some sick part of it that thrills me
That my own body keeps betraying me
There is such power there, it may destroy me
But it compels me

The image may refer to those complicated relationships where we hurt each other, inflicting deep wounds in the other’s soul, here portrayed as bites on the flesh. While processing what they did with each other, the singer wonders if there is a way to say the right words, to fix everything.

If I could forgive you now
Release you from all of the
Blame I know how
If I could forgive you now
As if saying the words
Will help me know how
To begin again
Help me know how
To begin

However, it’s tough to communicate appropriately. Something tries to come out of you, but the words are stuck in your throat and almost choke you.

But when I began to tell
It became thе hardest thing
I ever said out loud
Thе words got locked in my throat
Man, I choked

Marcus didn’t release any official comment about the meaning of the lyrics, so our interpretation still needs to be confirmed. There is an alternative interpretation that some other magazines on the internet implied: the song could talk about a sexual abuse Marcus experienced when he was a child. From this point of view, the cannibal would be the man who abused him, eating him. “That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it,” says the song. Marcus Mumford commented only with these words:

“Facing demons I danced with a long time in isolation, I wrote a song called Cannibal”

There is no official confirmation or statement by the author about the authentic meaning of the song. A complicated love relationship or child abuse? You can have your personal idea about it.

Read other popular song lyrics meaning on Auralcrave

The complete lyrics

I can still taste you, and I hate it
That wasn’t a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it
You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw
Ripped it in with your teeth and your lips like a cannibal
You fu**ing animal

I can still taste you, and it kills me
That there’s still some sick part of it that thrills me
That my own body keeps betraying me
There is such power there, it may destroy me
But it compels me

Of course I deny it
Can hardly believe it
Dismiss or demean it
‘Cause I know I can’t speak it

But when I began to tell
It became thе hardest thing
I ever said out loud
Thе words got locked in my throat
Man, I choked
And this is what it feels like to be free
Even though it follows back down
Stares into the dark with me

Even then I deny it
Can hardly believe it
Dismiss or demean it
But I know I must speak it

If I could forgive you now
Release you from all of the
Blame I know how
If I could forgive you now
As if saying the words
Will help me know how
To begin again
Help me know how
To begin

Help me know how
To begin again
Help me know how
To begin again
Begin again