Little Lion Man

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"Little Lion Man"
Single by Mumford & Sons
from the album Sigh No More
B-side "To Darkness"
Released 11 August 2009[1]
Recorded 2009
  • 4:06 (album version)
  • 3:30 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s) Mumford & Sons
Producer(s) Markus Dravs
Mumford & Sons singles chronology
"Little Lion Man"
"Winter Winds"
"Little Lion Man"
"Winter Winds"

"Little Lion Man" is the debut single by English folk rock band Mumford & Sons. It was released as the lead single from their debut studio album, Sigh No More, on 11 August 2009 in the United Kingdom. The song had a positive commercial performance, charting in several countries and peaking within the top twenty in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Ireland, and New Zealand.


Frontman Marcus Mumford has said about the song:

It's a very personal story, so I won't elaborate upon too much. Suffice to say, it was a situation in my life I wasn't very happy with or proud of... and sometimes when you can't describe a feeling with your own words, it's almost easier to express in a song. And then, when you get asked about the songs, it's quite difficult to explain. It's a conundrum – you don't want to seem self-indulgent explaining yourself; it's always awkward. Which is weird again, because it's never awkward actually singing them. I suppose the song should stand on its own and people draw their own interpretation from the words. But for me, personally, it's the lyrics that I listen to again and again in a song. I place specific importance on them. I can't write lyrics unless I really feel them and mean them, which can sometimes be quite frustrating – because if you're not feeling much at the time, you're stuck.

I guess the sound of it grabs you a little bit by the balls – it's quite an aggressive song, a bit more of a punch in the face. Or at least, for our stuff, anyway – a lot of our stuff isn't quite as hard-hitting as that. It felt like the right song to be the single because it represented the harder, darker side of what we do, and at the same time, the more folksy and punchy side.".[2]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Little Lion Man" debuted on the UK Singles Chart on 20 September 2009 at number 72. The following week the single climbed eleven places to number 61. On 4 October 2009, the single climbed to number 47, before climbing into the Top 40 at a peak of number 24 on its fourth week in the chart. The single fell ten places to number 34 before falling to number 47 on 25 October 2009, meaning it only spent two weeks within the Top 40. The song found its biggest success in Australia, debuting at number 23 in October before eventually reaching a peak of number 3 in February 2010.

In the US, "Little Lion Man" entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated 28 August 2010, when it debuted at No. 98. It has since reached No. 61 but has re-entered at No. 45 after a performance at the Grammys. It has sold 2,336,000 digital copies there as of April 2013.[3]


The single was ranked first in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2009, an annual music poll run by Australian national radio station Triple J and described as the largest in the world.[4]

The song was nominated for Best Rock Song for the 53rd Grammy Awards.[5][6]

In October 2011, NME placed it at number 43 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[7]

Year Organization Award Result
2010 2010 MTV Video Music Awards Best Cinematography in a Video Nominated
2011 53rd Grammy Awards Best Rock Song Nominated

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Little Lion Man" 4:06
2. "To Darkness" 4:42

Charts and certifications[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Little Lion Man - Single". iTunes. 
  2. ^ "Countdown: Hottest 100 - 2009". ABC Online. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Paul Grein (3 April 2013). "Week Ending March 31, 2013. Songs: "Thrift Shop" Sets First Quarter Record". Yahoo Music (Chart Watch). Retrieved 10 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Hottest 100". Triple J. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Andre Paine (2 December 2010). "Mumford & Sons 'Over The Moon' At Double Grammy Nod". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  6. ^ Sinead Garvan (2010-12-03). "BBC - 6 music News - Mumford's Grammy nod". BBC Radio. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  7. ^ (2011). "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME. 
  8. ^ "Little Lion Man". 
  9. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  10. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  11. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  12. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Mumford & Sons.
  14. ^ "Chart Track: Week 12, 2010". Irish Singles Chart.
  15. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  16. ^ " – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man". Top 40 Singles.
  17. ^ "Archive Chart: 2009-10-10". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  18. ^ "Mumford & Sons: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  19. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Mumford & Sons.
  20. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Billboard Adult Alternative Songs for Mumford & Sons.
  21. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Billboard Adult Pop Songs for Mumford & Sons.
  22. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Mumford & Sons.
  23. ^ "Mumford & Sons – Chart history" Billboard Hot Rock Songs for Mumford & Sons.
  24. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  25. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2011". Ultratop & Hung Medien / 
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Singles". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. 
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Little Lion Man in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  29. ^ "American single certifications – Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  30. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 100 Singles 2010". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-01-08. 
  31. ^ "End Of Year Charts: 2010" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Sex On Fire by Kings of Leon
Triple J Hottest 100 Winner
Succeeded by
Big Jet Plane by Angus & Julia Stone