Once I chose this song for the letter T, I was very eager to write the relating post. This song is a bit heavy, though beautiful. A mid-tempo song with soul, the details of the lyrics outline Hozier’s frustration with the Catholic Church’s stance on homosexuality. Lyrically, the song is a metaphor, with the protagonist comparing his lover to religion and Hozier said in an interview with Rolling Stone, “Growing up, I always saw the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. The history speaks for itself and I grew up incredibly frustrated and angry. I just put that into my words.” In another interview with New York Magazine he stated, “Sexuality, and sexual orientation – regardless of orientation – is just natural. An act of sex is one of the most human things. But an organization like the church, say, through its doctrine, would undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation – that it is sinful, or that it offends God. The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love.”
The song’s music video has contributed to its popularity, following the relationship between two men in a same-sex relationship and the subsequent violent homophobic backlash. Hozier stated, “The song was always about humanity at its most natural, and how that is undermined ceaselessly by religious organizations and those who would have us believe they act in its interests. What has been seen growing in Russia is no less than nightmarish, I proposed bringing these themes into the story and Brendan (the videos director) liked the idea.”
I’m all for LGBT rights and though this video was hard to stomach at times, I know that these things are actually happening in parts of the world. This is an important issue to address because everyone should have the freedom to love without persecution.
This second video is a version directed by David LaChapelle featuring Ukrainian ballet star Sergei Polunin, the “Bad Boy of Ballet.” It is beautiful and the kind of visual that you can feel in your soul. He is extremely talented. Considering he mainly works in Russia at this time, it’s a bold statement for him to make, whether intentional or not.
What do you guys think about the videos and the meaning behind them?