When I first heard the song “Take me to Church” by Hozier, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of it. Initially, I liked the melody and how slow it is. Most importantly, I loved how powerful his voice sounds—the deepness and strength of his vocals allow the listeners to understand that what he’s saying is, in fact, important, which is what really led me to actually want to pay attention to the message he is trying to get across.
In the first verse he says, “’We were born sick’ we heard them say. My church offers no absolutes…” When hearing this, I immediately think of one or two things: either “sick” being as original sin because of Catholicism and the title being “Take me to Church.” However, from the very beginning, we hear him referring to a lover: “My lover’s got humor. She’s the giggle at a funeral.” I’m not going to lie, I was very confused as to what exactly Hozier was trying to get across. Is he talking to about God? Or is he talking about romance?
Just shortly after, I read an interview that Hozier did with New York Magazine explaining what his song is actually about. It turns out that he is mainly talking about sexual activity, and most importantly, one’s sexual orientation, specifically gay, being considered a sin in society and frowned upon. This cleared up so many questions I had about why the music video portrayed a gay couple, when the lyrics are referring to his lover as a female.
Hozier did something not many artists do—he took religious terms and concepts, and used them to describe his sexual pleasures with his lover in order to point out how society has been teaching each other that certain sexual orientations are “wrong” or “sinful.” Not only was Hozier a genius for deciding to write his song in this discrete manner, but he’s also a genius for creating a song and music video that actually made his listeners want to know just what exactly his message is.
Everyone is going to have their own interpretations of this song, as well as any other song, but it’s the way he constructed it that makes it different from other artists.
Written by Fusion Alternative Blogger: Laura Ledesma