The phrase "blind leading the blind" refers to someone giving advice or taking the lead who is unfit to do such a thing. The allusion is biblical; Jesus is telling his disciples to leave the Pharisees alone as they are blind to God's truth.
Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit. (Matthew 15 v 14 New International Version).
This song's grim message pours scorn on the way we treat the poor and vulnerable. Humanity today is not learning from their mistakes and we keep digging bigger holes for ourselves. Only by building communities based on the value of mutual respect will we prosper.
My generation's stuck in the mirror
Forget about the poor, 'cause I don't like the word.
Mumford & Sons had the song up their sleeves several years before they recorded the tune. First played live in October 2016, it was cut from the track list of their Delta album in the final stages of mixing. The folk rockers continued to re-write and re-imagine the track as tragic events such as the Grenfell Tower block fire shaped their thinking. Seventy-nine residents died because corners were cut and health and safety checks were not carried out. Marcus Mumford personally witnessed the tower block being consumed by flames from the window of his London apartment.
The song was finally released as a standalone single on October 23, 2019. Said Mumford of the completed track: "We're proud that we've finally finished it, as it feels like one of the most challenging songs, thematically, that we've put out there, both for ourselves and our audience. It feels it's becoming harder and harder to coerce yourself into a listening, present and unafraid disposition, but that's the gauntlet we're throwing down for ourselves."
Delta producer Paul Epworth is credited with helming the track.