Song of the Week: “Sigh No More” (Opening track of the 2009 album of the same name by Mumford & Sons)
Literary Work Mumford and Sons claim to have “ripped off”: Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing (1598)
Literary Work Mumford and Sons actually ripped off: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince and the Fox (1943)
Reason for Song Title:
The Little Prince is a gruesome children’s tale that not only deals with giant snakes devouring elephants, but also suggests readers to side with a chick-stealing fox (“My life is very monotonous – I hunt chickens, men hunt me.”)
Clearly, the song is about a fox apologizing for his worldly sins towards his fellow chicks – and the only place on earth where foxes and chicks can have such a conversation must be heaven – where both foxes and chicks “sigh no more”.
To perfect the fox/heaven combo, Mumford and Sons evoke the ecclesiastic atmosphere of the Fleet Foxes’ arrangements for several voices throughout the lengthy first part of the song.
Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008):
Do the chicks buy the apology?
As is well-known, chicks themselves (especially dixie chicks) are no strangers to flying away on a “Sin Wagon”. Therefore, as a sign for their reconciliation with the fox, the chicks addressed by the fox join in with the foxes monologue in the second part of Mumford and Sons’ song via their signature banjo-accompaniment, as made world-famous by Dixie Chick Emily:
The Dixie Chicks – Sin Wagon (1999):
Note how beautifully the Dixie Chick’s – banjo-style melds with the Fleet Foxes’ singing-style in the final of Mumford and Sons’ song – as if the two adverse animals had always belonged together. And proving once more, that heaven is indeed a place on earth.
Belinda Carlisle – Heaven is a place on earth (1987):
Have a reconciliatory week,
Not to be Confused with: Sanford and Son intro (Opening track of the 1972 TV sitcom of the same name)
Also Not to be Confused with: JD and Turk’s rendition of the Sanford and Son theme (Season 1, Episode 8 “My Fifteen Minutes”, 2001)