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How Hozier Uses His Music as a Platform

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

I cannot conceal my love for the Irish singer-songwriter, Hozier. He first entered the spotlight when his debut song, “Take Me to Church” became an immediate success. He has three released albums, with Unreal Unearth released earlier this year. Something I have always admired about Hozier is how he uses music as a platform for activism. He has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and the Irish people. He takes it a step further by using his voice to bring awareness to these issues. After looking through Hozier’s discography, I found songs that have themes relating to the social issues he speaks about. 

Religion: “Take Me to Church” 

The fact that this is the second time I have already mentioned “Take Me to Church” in this article proves how powerful this song is. With its heavy religious themes, “Take Me to Church” is a commentary on opinions expressed by the Catholic Church. Hozier’s rich vocals and soulful lyrics really sell the impact of this song. 

Women’s Rights: “Swan Upon Leda”

One of Hozier’s more recent releases, “Swan Upon Leda” expresses feelings of solidarity with those affected by the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Hozier also donated to various charities supporting reproductive and women’s rights. The title itself refers to the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, where the god Zeus takes advantage of the mortal woman Leda. While the song itself is slower, the lyrics are beautifully written and gut-wrenching. 

Loss of Language and Culture: “Foreigner’s God” and “Butchered Tongue”

Hozier speaks to everyone who has felt a sense of loss when it comes to their culture or heritage with these next two songs. When discussing “Foreigner’s God,” Hozier described it as “…feeling alien in a culture of feeling, feeling distant from your own cultural values, your own place, from the accepted ideas that you inherited.” He captures the emotion of feeling disconnected from a broader cultural history, and the grief stemming from that loss. Similarly, “Butchered Tongue” explores the destruction of culture and language stemming from colonization. But, despite these efforts, some fragments of the culture still remain, hence the butchered tongues that the title references. Both of these songs touch upon a yearning to reconnect to one’s culture, even when it is difficult to do so. 

Protesting: “Nina Cried Power”

Hozier acknowledges the Black musicians who pioneered the rock ‘n’ roll genre of music and carries on the power of protest music with “Nina Cried Power.” He references iconic Black artists like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and James Brown. Hozier thanks them for their contributions to not only the music industry, but also for using their voices to speak up against injustice.  

The Irish People: “Eat Your Young” Finally, Hozier uses his music to preserve and tell the story of the Irish people. He often speaks of the British colonization of Ireland and the resulting cultural destruction. He does this especially in “Eat Your Young,” the title itself referring to a satirical piece published by Jonathan Swift during the 1700s. In this work, Swift proposes a solution to class inequality where the poorer classes would offer their children as, well, food for the wealthier classes. Hozier echoes the spirit of resistance that generations of Irish people have held.

Olivia Post

Lasell '26

Olivia Post is the President of the Her Campus at Lasell chapter. She oversees all matters relating to the chapter, from editorial content to on-campus events. Beyond Her Campus, Olivia is a student ambassador for the Blue Key Society at Lasell. She is currently a sophomore at Lasell University, studying Secondary Education and English with a minor in Spanish. In her free time, Olivia enjoys reading, playing video games, and spending time with her roommates. She can also be found working on her latest crochet project, or watching RuPaul's Drag Race.