Religion and Environment Songs: Dust Bowl Dance by Mumford & Sons

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Song Picks by Natalie

Dust Bowl Dance is a song by Mumford & Sons. The song is describing the historical dust bowl that occurred in the 1930’s in the United States. The band is describing the hardships farmers had to endure. Many were forced to leave their land and some even died from the extreme dust storms that happened. The lyrics state,

“I’ve been kicked off my land at the age of sixteen
And I have no idea where else my heart could have been
I placed all my trust at the foot of this hill
And now I am sure my heart will never be still
So collect your courage and collect your horse
And pray you never feel this same kind of remorse”

Later in the song he then says,

“There will come a time I will look in your eye
You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied”

The band is telling the story of a boy that was a victim of the times and was forced to leave his land. I think that this connects to Christianity because he describes turning to God in his time of anger. Throughout the song, the lyrics describe the people who took the land as greedy and says they cannot love the land when they took it from the hands of the poor. I think that this then leads to the lyrics listed above, where they say “You will pray to the God that you’ve always denied.” I think that they are saying by being greedy and not doing anything about the land that was being destroyed by the dust bowl, which is what forced this boy to leave his land, that they are denying God. To listen to the Dust Bowl Dance click here. To view the lyrics, click here.

One thought on “Religion and Environment Songs: Dust Bowl Dance by Mumford & Sons

  1. I always thought of the line “took it from the hands of the poor” to be referencing the Native Americans. Massive migrations westward in the late 19th-century further limited native lands. Was the dust bowl karma coming full circle? Or perhaps the boy is blaming the banking cartel for the Great Depression. The economic arena at the time forced farmers in the Dust Bowl to produce more crops, the over farming played a significant role in creating the Dust Bowl. The song leaves me perplexed whether the boy is struggling internally or externally. In other words, is the gun to exact revenge or to end his suffering?

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