Marcus Mumford virtually stopped by The Tonight Show to perform two songs, “Lay Your Head on Me” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a Rodgers & Hammerstein cover the musician released as a charity single in March.
In footage shot by his wife, actress Carey Mulligan, Mumford explained why he released “You’ll Never Walk Alone” earlier than intended. “This is a cover of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ which I had recorded in January for Jason Sudeikis, who I 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.”
He added, “We put it 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.”
“You’ll Never Walk Alone,” originally from the musical Carousel, was a British hit in 1963 for Gerry & the Pacemakers, and later caught on as the unofficial anthem of the Liverpool football team. In the face of the coronavirus outbreak, the song has become the worldwide rallying cry in support of the medical professionals fighting COVID-19. Mumford’s recorded version sees him playing piano, while the live rendition on The Tonight Show comes on acoustic guitar.
“Lay Your Head on Me,” meanwhile, is a new collaboration from Mumford, Major Lazer and Danish pop star MØ. The lyrics aren’t explicitly about the current global crisis, but reflect dealing with an upsetting time as Mumford sings, “And this too shall pass, this too shall pass/It won’t always be the same/And every single scar that you claim/Is a stone in the path to this place.”