Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford couldn’t have picked two better songs for his digital performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night.
Directed by wife Carey Mulligan, Mumford started off his set by strumming his Major Lazer-assisted lullaby “Lay Your Head on Me,” which Danish singer-songwriter MØ co-penned. Mumford stripped down the tropical-folk jam into an acoustic ballad and comforted listeners right in the first verse: “And this too shall pass, this too shall pass/ It won’t always be the same.” The message comes amid the disturbing uptick of coronavirus diagnoses, as the world reaches 1 million confirmed cases.
And when it comes to the most vulnerable populations suffering from the illness, the British singer-songwriter reminded them “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with another heart-warming number. His latest charity cover song will donate revenue from streams and downloads to The Grenfell Foundation and War Child UK, two organizations aiding communities in the midst of COVID-19.
“This is a cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ which I had recorded in January for my friend Jason Sudeikis, who I know you know well. I recorded it because I did the music for his TV show, and we spoke and felt like it was appropriate to try and get it out sooner,” Mumford told the virtual audience. “So we put it out for two charities that are really close to my heart, War Child UK and The Grenfell Foundation, and also just to accompany people who might like it through a pretty weird time.”
The decades-long history behind “You’ll Never Walk Alone” begins in 1945 when Rodgers & Hammerstein wrote the show tune for their musical Carousel. Liverpudlian beat group Gerry And The Pacemakers performed it later in 1963, spawning a career hit for themselves and an unofficial anthem for their native Liverpool F.C. More recently, people repurposed “You’ll Never Walk Alone” into a worldwide coronavirus-related rallying cry for solidarity and support of medical professionals.
Watch Mumford’s much-needed Tonight Show: At Home Edition performances below, and donate to The Grenfell Foundation and War Child UK here.