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Mumford and Sons - Little Lion Man - Lyrics Meaning

This song was the first single released from the band's debut album Sign No More, which was released in 2009. Marcus Mumford has come out and said the song is personal to him, and is a self assessment of the mistakes he made during a failed relationship. The song begins with Mumford telling himself he has not lived up to his own expectations and that he is "not as brave as you were at the start", which indicates that many times when people initiate a relationship, they attempt to show off the best qualities or versions of themselves, but eventually their true character comes through. The chorus is Mumford's confession to his partner of how badly he damaged the relationship.

He goes on to berate himself in the second verse as well saying, "You know that you have seen this all before" meaning that he has ruined previous relationships with the same posturing and self-aggrandizement that has brought him to this point. Throughout the song Mumford refers to himself as the "Little Lion Man" which is a shot at how he perceives himself - he is not the thundering beast that he envisions in his mind. He laments not speaking up when he had the chance. The song trails off with a repeat of the chorus, where Mumford further professes his guilt and the part he played in this failed relationship.