Marcus Mumford has earned a reputation for making Mumford and Sons one of the hardest working bands not just in neo-folk rock, but in all of music. The prolific composer and his co-collaborators in the band have frequently spoken about their exuberance in performing at all points of the globe, and they have documented many of their travels, for posterity, in films like their “Dust and Thunder” odyssey through South Africa. Mumford and Sons are proven ambassadors for global music and the healing that it can bring through political strife and across cultural barriers.

When it comes to English football, however, especially in the 2018 World Cup, everything can wait, and nothing evokes more national pride for Marcus Mumford.

The more perceptive than prolific composer had a chat with BBC Radio 5’s Adrian Chiles on July 11, while he and Winston Marshall were on an exuberant “football high” after England’s steaming streak through this year's World Cup standings. Marcus Mumford reveled in the emotion and loyalty that his wife, acclaimed actress, Carey Mulligan, finally understands.

Soppy and steadfast

Early last July, Marcus Mumford and his bandmates were already discussing their songwriting for Mumford and Sons fourth album, and at the time, they also had a full roster of shows and festivals to fulfill.

This July still finds the band, including Mumford and Marshall, busy in the studio, and with concert dates here and there, but watching their country’s World Cup run, in person, has taken priority for the time being.

Adrian Chile’s had the sit-down talk with the folk maestros and songwriters after they had recently arrived in Moscow for the semifinals, and Marcus Mumford was very clear about the depth of joyful abandon that overtakes a loyal English football fan.

“You’re going to kiss the person next to you, on the cheek, full-blown, and really sloppy, when England scores,” gushed the musician, with his grinning bandmate nodding approval. The broadcaster could not help but chime in that the gesture of affection might apply to “even more than the cheek” defending on the level of competition.

Mumford elaborated about how he and his bandmates had left the studio to watch the first “manic” match and was in New York to see the Columbia match, where Marcus Mumford felt the incomparable emotion in “complete strangers getting all over each other.” He described the sense of elation as even greater than what he feels playing gigs, and noted that his spouse understands now, saying, “She gets up for the first time.” He personified British pride in promoting the Southgate team.

“It's more about losing,” Marcus Mumford realistically reflected of England's World Cup history, and of course, the world now knows of Croatia's win which knocked England out of the final competitive match. The artists scolded the broadcaster for wearing a half England-half Croatia shirt for a previous interview.

For the good of the game

No matter the disappointing final results, Marcus Mumford, along with millions of other English fans, will carry glowing, lifelong memories of England's run for glory in this 2018 World Cup. In a playful 2016 interview with the Daily Telegraph, the musician teased that “90 percent of our songs are about English football.” Fans probe the lyrics that explore life, faith, and love to find much deeper revelations, but it is certainly true that Marcus Mumford has used the game of football to benefit others.

He coordinated the Game4Grenfell last year to benefit the victims of the horrific Grenfell Towers Apartment blaze. The Grammy-winning Mumford did much more than writing a sizable check, spending time listening to true needs of affected families, who live not far from him.

He also worked to organize football camps for youth to allow parents to return to work while their children had much-needed diversion and camaraderie. It was also one of the headliners for the Game4Grenfell benefit concert and took his time in the on the field with typical fervor among football greats. The musician has been outspoken in describing the government response to the needs as “shambolic.”

No one will be using that word to describe English football this year, and now, Marcus Mumford can return to the studio, and life with his young family, with memories that will live forever. Some will probably end up in a Mumford and Sons song, but he assured Adrian Chile’s that there will be no remake of the oft-played “Three Lions” by Baddiel and Skinner and The Lightning Seeds, although he does reiterate that knowing such anthems is “an education” that is necessary.