The lyrics to the song “Take Me to Church” by Hozier are steeped in religious symbolism and metaphors. The song is about how Hozier feels about the Catholic Church and its history of abuse. Hozier asks for someone to take him to church so he can be saved. Although the song is not religious, it has become a popular worship song. People connect with it because of its raw emotion and intensity.
The famous Irish artist Hozier’s “Take me to church” composition was presented to the world audience on September 16, 2013. Still, the song became popular and world famous only in May 2014. This happened after the singer performed on the highly rated American TV show David Lutterman. After the TV program aired, the soundtrack soared to all the world charts, and radio stations played it. The song was very popular in 2014. Many megastars covered this song, and Hozier himself became
The story behind the song “Take Me to Church” – Hozier
Hozier tried to explain what this composition is about:
Fertility and the presence of sexual appetites (regardless of orientation) are completely natural, and intimate contacts are one of the essential features of a person. But such an organization as the church “interferes with humanity with its teaching about the shame of expressing one’s sexual appetites, calling it sinfulness and an insult to the Almighty.” This soundtrack is about defending love rights and restoring human nature through an act of love.
Hozier wrote the composition Take Me to Church shortly after breaking up with a girl, which could not but affect the words of the musical work. The author associates the chosen one with the church and involuntarily compares love and religiosity.
Meaning of the song “Take Me to Church” – Hozier
The performer owes his popularity to the soundtrack “Take me to church,” an exciting story about all-encompassing and true love. A completely understandable song meaning lies in the very title of the composition, literally translated as “Take me to church.” Still, metaphorically, the expression means not exactly a temple but some sensual-emotional ephemeral temple. The performer sees his love as some religion, and he needs to worship his love object as a deity, which he sings about in the lines of the refrain. He sings that he wants to serve her with the devotion of a dog and repent of all sins, as before a confessor. Hozier fears that he will be rewarded with betrayal for his loyalty but still obsequiously begs the chosen one for permission to devote his life to serving her as the object of his love.
Another parallel of amorous affection with religion is contained in the text of the composition. A religious object does not always deserve worship, and a musical performer’s chosen one does not deserve obsequious adoration. She is positioned by the singer as a rather cynical person, accustomed to shoddy deeds and condemnation of society. Their romantic relationship is clearly unhealthy and causes him suffering. The performer exalts the object of his passionate love, and solitary worship consoles him, although he recognizes this as something painful and extraordinary.
In the second verse, the singer positions himself as an ancient pagan who worships sunlight and makes sacrifices to a capricious goddess. He goes over in his mind all the actions to perform in the name of his love, even the most delusional. Nothing is more essential for him than communicating with his adored chosen one. The performer admits that he sins, but in the midst of follies and worldly sorrows, it is a sin that truly makes him a person who is honest with himself in his desires.
In many interviews, the Irish performer has repeatedly pointed out the presence of religious parallels in the text of his popular soundtrack and, simultaneously, compared love with death. Falling in love, a person, as it were, dies and is reborn again into a completely different personality, formed by emotions and a love object – there is no way back because the lover will never be the same. For a person who truly loves, the thing of his love is an absolute deity and the highest truth, which is a well-known truth. But the singer also focuses on the fact that such selfless love is often not mutual, transforming into worshiping a silent and relentless deity.
So, the primary term that can be chosen for this song is Gnosticism. This word is not commonly used now, but it is applicable everywhere to define different emotional states in pop culture. Hollywood movies are constantly based on ideas based on Gnosticism. Their essence lies in God, the creator (demiurge), who is perceived as evil. His servants, the temple, ancient rituals, and everyday disorder harm a person. Thus, totalitarian powers are also harmful in dystopias. And the idea of goodness is concentrated in man. A man is a man; he strives to gain freedom. The individual must approach the true God through love in himself. Could it be anything specific? For example, any modern character opposes the system. This is done to preserve individuality and bring love into the world. This is an analog of postmodern society,
Anyone who’s been in love knows it’s crazy. But this composition is primarily about love.
Hozier also made it clear how he feels about religion:
The Irish have few cultural vestiges due to ecclesiastical influences. Many people go everywhere with a stone on their hearts and in a state of frustration. This negativity can be passed down from generation to generation. That’s what this song is about – protecting rights, returning humanity to what is most natural and worthwhile, and choosing – in this case, a woman – a lover worthy of love.
Critics saw in the composition an influence on the author of later works of the writer and publicist Christopher Hitchens, a well-known atheist and secular humanist.
Hozier – Take Me to Church Clip Meaning
At first glance, it may seem that Hozier’s meaning of the Take Me to Church video is entirely unrelated to the song’s lyrics. But if you listen more closely to the text or read the translation, I’m sure the connection between the lyrics and the video will become noticeable. Together with you, I will try to figure out what is the meaning of the Hozier – Take Me to Church video and why the song is dedicated to a woman. The video demonstrates homosexual relationships, why the reference to Russia was needed, and what was still in the mysterious box.
The connection between the lyrics and the meaning of the Take Me to Church video
The text of the song Take Me to Church is built on one key metaphor – the beloved of the lyrical hero is identified with God, and the vocabulary used clearly points to the Christian God: the Heavens (heaven), amen (amen), actually church (church). But there are also pagan references: if I’m a pagan of a good time, my lover’s sunlight. In general, comparing love with the worship of God in literature and art is not uncommon. But in combination with the video sequence, it becomes evident that Hozier is arguing with religion, in any case, with the church.
The text is literally permeated with sexuality: she tells me, “worship in the bedroom,” there’s no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin (there is no more adorable innocence than our gentle sin), etc. Hozier contrasts sexuality and love between two people – love of God, religion, and church. As we know from the words of the performer himself, he does not favor the Catholic Church. And Hozier eloquently expressed his rejection in the lyrics of the song.
Now let’s leave the lyrics and turn to the video sequence. The content is clear in general terms – a homosexual couple whose homophobic neighbors found out about their love is being persecuted. How does this relate to the text about love (for a woman!) and religion? And the connection is very direct. All the same sexuality (in the text – the love of a male hero for a woman, in the video – the love of two men) is persecuted by society (in the text, the opposing force is the church, in the video – other members of the community, the neighbors of the heroes). Touching and passionate love scenes – and the gloomy horror that homophobes carry with them, armed with Molotov cocktails. All this echoes the text, and the general idea expressed by both the song and the video is the freedom of a person to love the one he has chosen in the form in which both like it. And it does not matter if the church condemns the sexual relationship between a man and a woman, and the love of two men causes rejection by other city residents. In fact, both scenarios are just particular cases of the conflict between the feelings of lovers and the harsh reality, in whom or in whatever it is embodied.
What does the Russian reference in the Take Me to Church video mean?
While homosexual relationships and marriages are beginning to be recognized in many states, Russia is surprising the whole world with a surge of homophobia, the adoption of outdated laws, and more frequent cases of aggression against homosexuals. Hozier called the situation in Russia in this regard a “nightmare,” and it is not surprising that the video heroes watch a report from a gay parade on TV in Russia. Of course, this should not be taken as a reproach towards our country. Instead, it is a sign of support for those who live in such difficult conditions. The heroes of the Take Me to Church video are in exactly the same situation of misunderstanding and rejection as the homosexual community in Russia.
What is the hero of the Take Me to Church video hiding in the box?
At the beginning of the Take Me to Church video, we see one of the heroes burying a small box or chest in the ground. In the end, the aggressive mob finds and burns the box, despite the protests of the hero. Many viewers would really like to know what is in the mysterious box. But since the content is not shown to us, we must assume that the box is a symbol, a metaphor. On the Internet, I met opinions that the box symbolizes the fragile relationship of the characters. Having destroyed it, the homophobic neighbors literally trampled on these relations.
The box is a metaphor for mystery. The hero puts her in chains and buries her in the ground so that no one will know about his secret – about what is happening between him and his lover. But their secret becomes known, and the crowd deprives a couple of the essential things in their relationship – the sacrament of what is happening between two lovers destroys their shared memories. If you really want to have at least something in the box, then it can be, for example, a handwritten oath of allegiance to each other or some other symbolic and significant item for both heroes.
«Take Me to Church» – Songfacts
- The line “I was born sick, but I loved it. Command me to be well” was possibly inspired by the poem Chorus Sacerdotum by the English poet Fulk Greville. Compare: “Born sick – but you strive to be healthy!”
- Hozier said that the success of his song on the Internet was facilitated by a retweet mentioning it from Stephen Fry.
- The author of the song does not appear in the video clip.
- The song is featured in a famous commercial for Beats wireless headphones featuring NBA star LeBron James.