“Her white blank page and a swelling rage…” –Mumford & Sons

The video was the first time I put the lyrics in context of the whole Guinevere, Lancelot, King Arthur story. The books on the shelf were “Wales & Arthurian” and “Creatures, Fairies.”


Lyrics
Download White Blank Page MP3
Sheet Music for Voice, Guitar, Piano

“Can you kneel before this king and say, ‘I’m clean'” really does make one think of Guinevere and Lancelot’s affair and breaking Arthur’s trust.

The affair between Guinevere and Lancelot is widely acknowledged as the catalyst for the downfall of King Arthur’s kingdom. The message, as you might already know, is that the strength of a people relies on trust and loyalty.

“Lead me to the truth and I will follow you with my whole life” is about this idea of trust and loyalty. The great thing about this phrase is the play on the word “truth.”

In Middle English, the word “trooth” has a double meaning. It means 1) fidelity, loyalty and/or 2) pledge or promise.

In the context of Guinevere and Arthur, we see that their “trooth” is about their pledge or promise to be true to each other.

“Being true to each other” is a phrase that gets thrown a lot. Didn’t realize until this year when I took a class on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales that truth is not just about being honest if you get caught cheating.

Truth is beyond being true to a person. It’s about being true to your word, your promise of being faithful. It’s ultimately about being true to yourself because your word is a reflection of you.

So when the end of the song goes “Lead me to the truth…” it’s once again about this notion of loyalty and trust. What’s great is that there are multiple layers of loyalty: between husband and wife, between King and Knight, one person to another, one person to a kingdom, a kingdom to its leader.

“Lead me to the truth…” can also simply be about a girl telling a guy that she loves him and makes the promise to be truthful/faithful to him. And because of this promise, the guy will be with her.

So what does “Her white blank page” mean? I think it has something to do with Guinevere being clean. Or maybe this line is out of the Arthurian context. Maybe it’s about a guy cheating on his lover and knowing that his lover was clean and did not do anything to be at fault.

19481766
look inside
White Blank Page
By Mumford & Sons. For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). Folk; Pop; Rock. 6 pages. Published by Hal Leonard – Digital Sheet Music (HX.149070).
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6 thoughts on ““Her white blank page and a swelling rage…” –Mumford & Sons

  1. Hello,
    first,-my english is not that good!:) From the first time of listening that wonderful song I thought that it might be a story about Lancelot and Guinevere and I was looking the whole time to find out if there is somebody with the same meaning. I also think that the last sentence is about the loyality of Lancelot to King Arthur ,,If you leave me to the truth…”. So his love and trust to his king is bigger than his love to Guinevere. Was good to find out that I`m not alone with this meaning about this song:).
    Liebe Grüße
    Heike Gisbertz

  2. Í`m not sure, did you get my text about the song ,,white blank page”? It was about my meaning that it is a song about Lancelot and Guinevere?

    • Hi Heike! Yes I did–I’m so glad you felt the same way. I’m really glad you posted because like you, I didn’t see anyone else writing about this interpretation. As for your English, I think it’s wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to reply to this post.

  3. I think the song is about a gay man who leaves his lover for a woman because he hasn’t come to terms with being gay. The lover sings about his jilt..”Can you lie next to her and confess your love, your love as well as your folly”. Her white blank page refers to her ignorance of his true ways, a swelling homosexual rage or the rage the lover feels for being jilted. In the end, he begs him to speak the truth and he is still willing to forgive and love him, “Lead me into truth and I will follow you with my whole life”

    • Hi Hafeez, that’s an interesting interpretation and because the lyrics are really general, the interpretation works. The only thing I’d ask is how you would explain the line that goes, “And can you kneel before this king and say ‘I’m clean’, ‘I’m Clean’?” I suppose king could be an abstract word for God or some sort of moral authority. I think Guinever and Lancelot’s story applies to a lot of other stories in the past, present, and future. Thanks for your viewpoint and thanks for taking the time to comment!

  4. Hi,
    it`s me again:) I still love M&S and specially ,White blank page” . A few weeks ago I gave the CD to the guitar teacher of my daughter, he didn`t know M&S before, and after he heard the song and watched the video he has the same meaning about the lyrics as you and me. The books in the shelf, that can`t be without a meaning or just a ( don`t know the english word für ,,Zufall”, is it contingency??? ). I didn`t know before today that you answered me, cause I was sure that my ,,reply” didn`t work, and so it was nice to get it now.. Did you see M&S on concert. I hope they will come to germany some day!
    LG Heike

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