While it may be hard to believe, "Take Me To Church" has officially been blasting on speakers for ten years. What is arguably Hozier’s greatest hit thus far, the single passed the landmark in September of 2023, followed by his first album, Hozier, a year later in 2014.
With the help of TikTok, some of Hozier’s oldest songs are still being added to playlists all over the world, and the artist has gained some popularity in recent months.
What I find most intriguing about Hozier’s music, is his references to literature, mythology and religion. These topics, certainly not at the top of everyone’s preferences, have been hidden within some of the most romantic and profound lyrics ever written.
Though there are more references than I could possibly count, some that have stuck out to me in my most recent listen of his first album will have you wondering if Hozier is our greatest modern poet.
“I slithered here from Eden to sit outside your door” - From Eden
Hozier’s hit, "From Eden", is a song about wanting someone all while knowing how wrong it is. Hozier has previously said the song is inspired by the Devil existing as a being. Hozier references The Garden of Eden, a biblical paradise where Eve was tempted by the serpent. “I slithered here” signifies that Hozier is the serpent tempting the love interest with sin. How is this romantic? The serpent is leaving The Garden of Eden to sit outside the door of this love interest. The Garden of Eden is said to be a Paradise of God in The Book of Genesis; all the while, the serpent is willing to leave it and his purpose in the Garden to be with this love interest.
“If I'm a pagan of the good times/ My lover’s the sunlight” - "Take Me to Church"
While the song's beginning has some strong Christian references, here we see a reference to Paganism. Paganism is quite different from Christianity, especially in the sense of worshiping nature, gods and goddesses. Pagans have been known to worship the sun because of what it provides for them (heat, light, energy, etc.). Therefore if he is a Pagan, the person he is in love with is the sunlight. He will worship her and do whatever she asks to “keep the goddess on [his] side”.
Here are a few more examples of Hozier’s lyric play. What do you think they mean? In other words, what do they mean to you? Don’t think too hard, just have fun with it!
“Screamin’ the name of a foreigner’s god/ The purest expression of grief” - "Foreigner’s God"
“Lord, it'd be great to find a place we could escape sometime/ Me and my Isis growing black irises in the sunshine” - "Jackie and Wilson"
“No grave can hold my body down/ I’ll crawl home to her” - "Work Song"