Take the basic “Take me to Church.” It’s always on the radio. It’s literally the only song that 95% of this college campus knows that Hozier sings. It’s that song that all the sorority girls go, “Omg. I listen to Indie music. Like Hozier.”
You’re. So. Cool.
Since it’s almost the end of April, I might as well talk about why I chose Hozier as the Artist of the Month. First off, even though “Take me to Church” isn’t Indie, it has some lyrics that make the meaning very different and impactful.
“Take me to church,
I’ll worship like the dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life”
I don’t know about all of you, but I’m not religious, which may have made me appreciate this song a lot more than my friends did. Some people took his words to be a little offensive, questioning religious beliefs and almost mocking it. But, Hozier seems to be bringing up a good point that we constantly question ourselves, whether or not it has to do with religion. According to Hozier, this was a reference to falling in love where you simply watch yourself fall in love, die, and continue the cycle to the point where you wonder what the point of it all was. What’s the point of giving up everything about yourself if you’re going to watch yourself disappear in the process?
He wrote this for his girlfriend, but the song contemplates both the breakup and sins, in general. Throughout the song, it seems that he starts to lose his religious beliefs a bit, talking about “deathless death” and wonder why he should even give up his life for someone who is going to “lie” and “sharpen (his) knife.”
“I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well”
Not only are there just multiple, blatant references to religion, but he begins to question our very existence as human beings. Who we are. What we are doing. Are we made to naturally love or hate? Here comes the question of sexual orientation. An act of sex is natural and very human, but the structural organization of the church undermines humanity by teaching shame of sexual orientation – is that what morality is? Is that why we join the church? To shame ourselves into believing what is “right” or “wrong” about life when we’re not 100% certain if there is anyone deciding these rules?
Let me tell you something. There is someone, and it is called society. We act in certain ways, in general, to make sure we blend in, but are we acting within our true bodies and our true selves? “Take me to Church” is not about the religious beliefs, even though I’ve basically spent the past few minutes talking about it. It’s about assertion of self, reclaiming humanity back to what is natural and worthwhile.
So no. This song is not a satire of the church, and, no, Hozier isn’t criticizing it. I think there’s TONS of irony written all over the place, but this song really makes me appreciate this artist. It’s pretty bold that radios are willing to play this song all the time, considering how skeptical it is about life in general.
But that’s the ugly truth none of us want to question or even talk about. What’s the point of trying to convince someone of your beliefs if they’re not going to understand? There is none (so I would appreciate it if some of my friends would stop trying to convert me, thank you very much). There’s a reason why there are different religions and there’s a reason why we don’t all think the same way: being different is also part of humanity.
It’s not that Hozier is questioning all of you and trying to get you to question yourselves. The original intention was probably so he could question himself, not only in religion, but in everything: love, sex, humanity, etc. That’s something we will all do at one point in our lives, whether or not we’ll admit it.
And that’s okay. That’s totally okay.