100 Best Songs of the 2010s – #55: “Believe” by Mumford & Sons

The song at #55 on my list of 100 Best Songs of the 2010s is “Believe” by British folk rock band Mumford & Sons. Formed in 2007, the London-based band has been putting out consistently great music, beginning with their debut album Sigh No More in 2009. I love many of their songs, but my absolute favorite is the magnificent “Believe”, from their third album Wilder Mind. It’s a gorgeous, deeply moving and impactful song.

Released in March 2015, the song was written by band members Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane, minus front man Marcus Mumford, and is a departure from their usual acoustic folk-rock sound. For it and the rest of Wilder Mind, they abandoned their signature acoustic instruments (such as banjo and upright bass) for electric ones, and added a session drummer to fill out their rhythm section. The result is a dramatic, sweeping song that builds to a near-epic crescendo with screaming guitars and galloping drumbeats, leaving me covered with goosebumps and with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I realize that I’ve mentioned how many of the songs on this list give me goosebumps, but isn’t that one of the best signs that a song moves us in powerful ways? And quite frankly, if this song doesn’t move you – as fellow British rock band Muse put it in one of their songs – you’re dead inside.

The lyrics speak to feelings of uncertainty and possible betrayal in a relationship. Mumford passionately cries “I don’t even know if I believe, everything you’re trying to say to me / So open up my eyes / Tell me I’m alive / This is never gonna go our way if I’m gonna have to guess what’s on your mind / Oh say something, say something, something like you love me.

Top 30 Songs for October 21-27, 2018

1. DIZZY – The Million Reasons (1)
2. NINA CRIED POWER – Hozier featuring Mavis Staples (6)
3. GHOST – Badflower (3)
4. CLOSER – IAMWARFACE (2)
5. NATURAL – Imagine Dragons (4)
6. BETTER NOW – Post Malone (7)
7. BURN THE HOUSE DOWN – AJR (8)
8. ALL MY FRIENDS – The Revivalists (9)
9. NEVERMIND – Dennis Lloyd (5)
10. PANIC – Agency Panic (11)
11. CITY LOOKS PRETTY – Courtney Barnett (10)
12. TIDAL WAVE – Portugal.The Man (13)
13. BODY TALKS – The Struts (14)
14. SHE’S KEROSENE – The Interrupters (15)
15. IN MY MIND – Draft Evader (17)
16. LOADING ZONES – Kurt Vile (18)
17. UH HUH – Jade Bird (19)
18. HAPPIER – Marshmello featuring Bastille (20)
19. MY BLOOD – twenty one pilots (21)
20. SHAME – Elle King (22)
21. WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS – Greta Van Fleet (12)
22. GUIDING LIGHT – Mumford & Sons (25)
23. SUPERWOMAN SWAY – Brett Vogel (24)
24. GOLD RUSH – Death Cab for Cutie (16)
25. UNREALITIES – Dying Habit (28)
26. YOU’RE SOMEBODY ELSE – flora cash (30)
27. JUMPSUIT – twenty one pilots (23)
28. THESE ARE MY FRIENDS – lovelytheband (N)
29. YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN – Billie Eilish (N)
30. VISIONS – Dirty Heads featuring Kitten (N)

Top 10 for Week of August 16-22, 2015

1. DREAMS – Beck
2. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
3. EX’S AND OH’S – Elle King
4. RENEGADES – X Ambassadors
5. TEAR IN MY HEART – twenty one pilots
6. FIRST – Cold War Kids
7. THE WOLF – Mumford & Sons
8. BLAME IT ON ME – George Ezra
9. SHIP TO WRECK – Florence + the Machine
10. COULD HAVE BEEN ME – The Struts

Top 10 for Week of August 9-15, 2015

1. RENEGADES – X Ambassadors
2. DREAMS – Beck
3. EX’S AND OH’S – Elle King
4. CAN’T FEEL MY FACE – The Weeknd
5. TEAR IN MY HEART – twenty one pilots
6. THE WOLF – Mumford & Sons
7. FIRST – Cold War Kids
8. BLAME IT ON ME – George Ezra
9. MOANING LISA SMILE – Wolf Alice
10. CRYSTALS – Of Monsters and Men