Mumford & Sons Frontman Marcus Mumford Wrote His New Song "Cannibal" About His Childhood Abuse

·3 min read

Marcus Mumford is sharing his story about dealing with sexual abuse as a child — after staying silent for the majority of his life.

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The Mumford & Sons frontman first publicly alluded to his trauma in his recent solo single "Cannibal," where he compared his abuser to a cannibal.

"I can still taste you and I hate it/ That wasn't a choice in the mind of a child and you knew it/ You took the first slice of me and you ate it raw/ Ripped it in with your teeth and your lips like a cannibal," he sings on the track.

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While recently discussing the song, Marcus confirmed that it was based on his own personal experience.

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"Like lots of people — and I’m learning more and more about this as we go and as I play it to people — I was sexually abused as a child," Marcus said in an interview with GQ.

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He continued, "Not by family and not in the church, which might be some people’s assumption. But I hadn’t told anyone about it for 30 years."

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In fact, the way his mom learned of the abuse Marcus faced as a child was when he played the song for her for the first time.

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He says that a few days after sharing the song, she returned to ask him what it was about — and was shocked to learn the truth.

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"I was like, 'Yeah, it's about the abuse thing.' She was like, 'What are you talking about?'" Marcus shared, adding, "So once we get through the trauma of that moment for her, as a mother, hearing that and her wanting to protect and help and all that stuff, it's objectively fucking hilarious to tell your mom about your abuse in a fucking song, of all things."

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He added that over the past few years, he's been working through it all with a trauma therapist, who was the first person he told about the abuse.

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The first time he discussed it, he threw up, explaining it's "very common once you basically unhook the denial and start the process of removing some suppression."

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In therapy, he began to connect other dots in his life explaining that the abuse as a child "was the first of a string of really unusual, unhealthy sexual experiences at a really early age."

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The whole thing "set [his] brain up in a way to deal with stuff later on in life in an imbalanced way" and over the past three years, he's been trying to "correct some balance."

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He's cut out drinking, as well as some unhealthy habits around food, and used the pandemic to "reset, reprioritize, take responsibility, and be still."

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And while "nothing’s tied up in a bow" just yet, he's ready to start sharing his journey with the world.

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You can read all that Marcus had to say here.

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the ​National Child Abuse Hotline​ at​ 1-800-422-4453 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.

The ​National Alliance on Mental Illness​ is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; ​GoodTherapy.org​ ​is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.