Like OMG I so totally like this product, YOLO SWAG. :p

Let’s talk about: Hozier

So I’m a little bit behind in my musical taste. I used to get most of my music from internet friends being like: “Hey Lorna, check out dese cool as ice tunes, yo.” Or something like that. Since, for the first time in my adult life I have more face-to-face friends than internet friends…that doesn’t really happen anymore. So when I do discover new music I like, I get pretty excited.

Trigger Warnings: Discussion of upsetting topics in a not too heavy way, themes of music, including sex, darker relationships, religion and the church.

My music taste can best be described as eclectic. I like stuff from a broad range of genres, but my main jam tends to be some sort of cross between, kind of Pop-py, a reasonable dash of Rock, a handful of Punk and a large dose of 2000’s angry emo. The first album I ever bought with my own money was Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory.

Crawling Hozier Loquacious Lorna
Look at all these shards of teen angst

I’m not a rap fan. I don’t like club or house music, or as I like to call it, that ‘boom-boom’ music.

Boom Boom Music Hozier Loquacious Lorna
Pictured: Actual selfie of me.

I do not, like my mother before me, like blues or jazz. so, imagine my surprise when I ended up liking this guy.

Music Hozier Loquacious Lorna
Look everybody, it’s Hozier!

This guy being acclaimed Irish Indie/Soul/Blues musician Hozier. Since, it’s a hobby of mine to over-analyse everything (you didn’t guess when Inception was one of my favourite movies?) I thought it’d be nice to introduce you to – and pick-apart – my three favourite Hozier songs.

Songmeanings.com has been one of my favourite websites ever since I discovered that I love to learn music lyrics and analyse them, but one of the best thing about music is that it can mean something different to every person.

So let’s get started with the song that threw this genius of a man into stardom:


Take Me to Church – Hozier (2013)

Lyrics

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She is the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
‘We were born sick,’ you heard them say it
My church offers no absolutes
She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
To drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good Gosh, let me give you my life

Meaning

Wikipedia take me to church Hozier Loquacious Lorna

It’s easy to see that the lyrics grew out of a young man’s frustration with the intense doctrine of the Catholic church. Living in Ireland for 8 years, I saw this time and time again, the older people living more traditionally while the younger and often even the middle-aged had begun to rail against the church in the light of the sexual abuse scandals against the priests.

However, where Hozier really drew attention to this song and the reason why it made it huge actually lies in the video to the song. The video shows a love between two young Irish men and what happens when their ‘secret’ is discovered by those who feel bigotry towards such a relationship. This incredible and heart-wrenching video made this song a hit amongst the gay community and catapulted Hozier to a well-deserved fame, allowing I and many others to enjoy ‘Take Me To Church’ for the first time.

Favourite Line: I was born sick, but I love it. Command me to be well.”

Personal

My favourite lyric in this song really says a lot, as well as the themes of homosexuality that many connect this song with. As a bisexual woman who married a man, I’m privileged not to have to deal with much bigotry, since I can and do ‘pass’ as straight. However I have many family members and friends who are gay and the idea that some religions endorse that gay people are flawed or ‘sick’ in some way and must be ‘cleansed’ has always made me pretty angry and hurt.

So I really love how this line turns it around. In the original meaning of the song, it’s possibly referring to the Catholic idea that man is born of sin and naturally sinful. However, when taken in the context of the video, the words become particularly powerful.


From Eden – Hozier (2014)

Lyrics

Babe
There’s something tragic about you
Something so magic about you
Don’t you agree?

Babe
There’s something lonesome about you
Something so wholesome about you
Get closer to me

No tired sighs, no rolling eyes, no irony
No ‘who cares’, no vacant stares, no time for me

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door

Babe, there’s something wretched about this
Something so precious about this
Oh what a sin

To the strand a picnic plan for you and me
A rope in hand for your other man to hang from a tree

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door

Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism sits in prison, chivalry fell on its sword
Innocence died screaming, honey, ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to hide outside your door

Meaning

Like many of Hozier’s songs this one is stuffed full of religious imagery, from the serpent to the words ‘From Eden’ themselves. It’s no surprise that Hozier said that when he wrote this he was thinking almost like a love song from Lucifer to God himself. The lines give the clear idea that the person singing the song has strong amorous feelings towards someone who they consider more innocent than themselves.

In a way, they are almost afraid to hurt the person, while at the same time wanting to cause that person to ‘sin’ and to prove once and for all that ‘innocence’ really does always ‘die screaming’. This narrative absolutely works when looking at it from the God/Devil angle and this song also works amazingly well as a Persephone/Hades song for that exact same reason.

Yet “A rope in hand for your other man, to hang from a tree.” doesn’t really fit with this story, but does with another. This is clearly a love/obsessive love song from the view of someone on the outside of a relationship. For me, I think it works great as an ‘affair’ song or a song sung by the stalker of a woman, who’s somehow invented this whole relationship in his head.

When seen from that perspective, the song takes on an even creepier feeling that deepens the enjoyment.

Favourite Line: “Honey, you’re familiar like my mirror years ago.

Personal

As a feminist and someone who loathes the idea of a real relationship that involves violence or any kind of twistedness, this is pretty hard for me to admit. I love, love, love fictional messed-up relationships. I’m not alone. From Persephone and Hades, to the more recent (and insanely popular) relationship of Karen Page and Frank Castle (The Punisher) from the second season of Daredevil, people love darker relationships. Why, when the relationship is not happening on screen and probably not going to be, are some people (yes, me) obsessed with it?

Well, the answer to that is easy, at least for me. I love the human condition. Anything that pushes emotions and the human brain to it’s limit, especially in love, is intensely interesting to me. While I’d never wish it on a real person, I can enjoy this type of broken-ness in fiction safely, with no-one getting hurt.

Much like Hozier, I’m pretty into questions relating to innocence, sin and other such human philosophies. So the theme of corruption and almost threat that runs through the song and the idea of two people so opposite, but so similar influencing or corrupting each other really just makes me happy. I love the group of lines that essentially imply ‘you’re just like I was, but you’ll see that everything burns and everyone sins’ totally get me every time. Give me a bad boy (or girl) who likes a good girl (or boy) and almost can’t bear to turn them to the darkness, but can’t quite help it and I’m absolutely there for the trashy, trashy ride. How embarrassing.

Add to the fact that Hozier sings it in such a light and gentle way (almost like a love song) and I’m totally sold. Musically, it’s incredible. The little twangy guitar part (hey, I’m not a musician) between the final two choruses is one of the best things I’ve heard in music in a long time.


It Will Come Back – Hozier (2014)

Lyrics

You know better babe, you know better babe,
Than to look at it, look at it like that.
You know better babe, you know better babe,
Than to talk to it, talk to it like that.

Don’t give it a hand, offer it a soul
Honey, make this easy.
Leave it to the land, this is what it knows
Honey, that’s how it sleeps.

Don’t let it in with with no intention to keep it
Jesus Christ, don’t be kind to it.
Honey don’t feed it, it will come back.

You know better babe, you know better babe,
Than to smile at me, smile at me like that
You know better babe, you know better babe,
Than to hold me just, hold me just like that.

I know who I am when I’m alone
Something else when I see you
You don’t understand, you should never know
How easy you are to need

Don’t let me in with with no intention to keep me
Jesus Christ, don’t be kind to me.
Honey don’t feed me I will come back.

Can’t be unlearned
I’ve known the warmth of your doorways
Through the cold, I’ll find my way back to you
Oh please, give me mercy no more.
That’s a kindness you can’t avoid!
I want you baby tonight, as sure as you’re born

You’ll hear me howling outside your door.
Don’t you hear me howling babe?
Don’t you hear me howling babe?
Don’t you hear me howling babe?
Don’t you hear me howling
Don’t you hear me howling
Don’t you hear me howling babe?

Meaning

Musically, this song is so different from anything I’ve ever liked before. The first time I heard it I was all like…no and then the next day I came back with yes please. Three days later I was listening to it pretty much on repeat. I couldn’t tell you if it’s blues, soul or what. All I know is that every note of every instrument and the incredible instrument that is Hozier’s voice, just had me coming back for more.

Lyrically, a lot of people like to say the ‘it’ Hozier is referring to is his genitalia. Listen, I get it. This song is passionate, it’s about passion and love and lust. So maybe there are undertones of that, but it’s certainly not my take on it. The ‘it’ in the first verse and chorus is because he’s drawing strong parallels between him and his feelings and a dog.

Often when someone is treated badly in love, we use the dog analogy. It’s also right on point. Have you never heard the phrase: ‘Don’t feed it, it’ll come back and bring it’s whole family.’ People will often give you this advice about wild animals. In this case, the feeding is being affectionate or loving towards him.

‘Honey, that’s how it sleeps.’  – He is only able to sleep knowing that she isn’t available/doesn’t want him, but if she shows him any affection he’ll come right back.

This is about a man who is madly in love with a woman, but she always eventually treats him bad, or he doesn’t believe she’s as into him. We’ve all had that kind of love where just being in the presence of the person turns us into someone else. We’re so into them, we’ll be whatever they need, almost like a spell, and afterwards we hate ourselves for it.  – ‘I know who I am when I’m alone.’

This song is basically him begging her to cut him loose and show him no affection, because at the first sign of affection he’ll be back at her door like a wild dog that gets fed. He wants to break free of this obsessive, pathetic love, but can’t bring himself to. So instead he’s asking the person who has the power in the relationship to cut all ties, because he knows she won’t ‘keep him’ and wants to be free.

Favourite Line: “Don’t let me in with with no intention to keep me
Jesus Christ, don’t be kind to me.

Personal

Ok let’s be clear. The music and instruments are great in this song. The lyrics are awesome with a great analogy. The one thing that kept me into this song over and over.

It’s sexy. Hozier’s voice in this song is super hot. It’s just a song laden with sex appeal and passion and that’s super appealing to me.

Let me be shallow, just this once.


Honorable Mentions:

Amazing, soft song, with incredible, chilling lyrics. Themed to domestic violence (woman against man) with a video following the same theme but with opposite genders.

Something a little more Rock and Roll to end up our time here. If you’re interested in an awesome Punisher (season 2 Daredevil) fanvid with this song, click to see it here. (spoilers, be warned).

Are you a Hozier fan? Did you like any of these songs? Link me to your favourite songs in the comments and I’d love to check them out.

I don’t own Hozier (sadly) and this was just a fun post for me to share what I love. To see more from me and watch me alternate between review Lorna and silly Lorna subscribe to me by email on the left sidebar or via Bloglovin’.

Published by

loquaciouslorna

Montreal based Scot who writes about tech, beauty, DIY, Plus size issues, fashion, video games, life, how to be frugal and many more.

  • bella

    Love this post! Hozier is suuuper talented and his music is actually really inspiring. Quick story time: My friend was singing Take Me to Church while walking into class and a teacher told her that she couldn’t sing that song because it goes against the church… So, basically, when we think something is flawed or could be improved, we’re not allowed to voice our opinion? Just something I had to get off my chest XD Anyway on music taste, I’m into everything except jazz (think 20s music) or screamo. Just know that twenty one pilots and Melanie Martinez are my life <3 and I couldn't go a day w/o listening to either of them.

    • That’s so silly. But yeah, depending on where we live and other factors, teachers are often just horrendously wrong. I’ll definitely have to check both of those out! Thanks 🙂

  • Tracy

    This was one of my favorite posts to read, very intense and so real ,the way you expressed the meaning of the songs and your thoughts was amazing,I absolutely love Hozier,the songs are so beautifully done ,being a Catholic alot of these topics are rarely discussed but i think they should be ,this world is full of so many amazing people

    • Thank you so much! I’m not religious myself, but living in Ireland for eight years, I picked up a lot of the themes in the catholic religion. It’s also a common thing in movies and TV shows. I love that many modern Catholics like Hozier and yourself are re-examining the meaning of these things and bringing their faith into the modern world ^_^ Thanks for your comment.

  • Esther

    Hozier!!! I adore his music 🙂 My two favourite songs by him are probably Work Song and Like Real People Do. I’ve been listening to blues and soul music since I was a little kid (thanks Dad), and Work Song hits all the musical buttons for me! Plus, the music video is absolutely stunning :O Like Real People Do *sounds* light and airy and sweet, but the lyrics are actually a little creepy in a way? I read somewhere that Hozier wrote it as a kind of adult fairytale, which I looooove – gentle and sweet music but also, you know, someone digging someone else up out of the ground? Idk, like you I’ve always loved stories about weird messed up relationships, so this one really fits the bill for me 🙂

    • It’s funny actually, these were the first three songs I really ‘loved’, but the longer it took me to write the post, the more I started to love the others too. Work Song is absolutely incredible and Like Real People Do has a tendency to get stuck in my head. I don’t think I’ve actually see the music video for Work Song, I’ll have to check it out. I feel ya, I’m in love with adult interpretations of fairy tales!