As someone who listens to girl in red and has a deep-rooted appreciation for poetry and writing in general, Hozier means a lot to me. You know what I mean. Ever since I first heard of one of Hozier’s lyrics, his words have stood out to me and I’ve enjoyed looking into them and their meanings over the years. Ever since his debut album Hozier was released in 2014, he has taken the world by storm with his lyrics that often use religious and literary themes in his work. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not someone who’s very into religion — like, at all. But the way he composes his words to create allegories, metaphors, and allusions is so breathtaking that it’s hard to look away. So, without further ado, here are my favorites. Enjoy!
- “Honey you're familiar like my mirror years ago. Idealism sits prison, chivalry fell on it's sword. Innocence died screaming, honey ask me I should know. I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door.”
Starting off strong with this verse from “From Eden.” This is one of those verses that I could definitely see myself getting tattooed. I interpret these lyrics as him choosing his life here on Earth with the girl he loves over life in Heaven. He found an angel on Earth and she reminds him of the nostalgia and innocence of a past life that he longs for. I’m personally a fan of lyrics that tell a story, which is probably why I’m such a huge fan of Hozier’s. I love these lyrics so much — they’re a work of genius and they blow my mind every time.
- “If I was born as a blackthorn tree, I'd wanna be felled by you, Held by you, Fuel the pyre of your enemies.”
Next up we have this verse from “NFWMB.” In this line, Hozier uses a play on words to make the word “felled” sound like “felt” so it has two different meanings. “Felled” meaning to chop down a tree, and “felt” meaning more literally to be held by his lover. His mind is so powerful. This line also contributes to the dark undertone of the song, which I’m obsessed with. Once again, Hozier created a verse that’s extremely poetic and beautiful, expressing how far he’d go to be there for the one he loves, saying that if he was a tree he’d use his wood to fuel cremation at their enemy's funeral! Hello?! I can’t. I really can’t. Beautifully evil – I’m obsessed.
- “Sedated we're nursing on a poison that never stung, Our teeth and lungs are lined with the scum of it. Somewhere for this, death and guns. We are deaf, we are numb. Free and young and we can feel none of it.”
“Sedated.” Oh "Sedated," what a special song you are. When I first heard this verse, I interpreted it as how our generation is numb to violence and the dangers of the world since we’ve been fed it our whole lives — constantly exposed to tragic stories and horrifying events in everyday life from our easy access to the media. The song can also be interpreted as being influenced by drugs. Either way, Hozier expressed this theme in a way that expresses both the beauty and danger in pain. He tackles a heavy topic with meaningful words, as he often does, and that’s honestly what I admire most about him as an artist. All of the lyrics in this song are beautiful, by the way, so feel free to check them out.
- “All you have is your fire, And the place you need to reach, Don't you ever tame your demons, Always keep them on a leash.”
“Arsonists Lullaby” is one of the greatest and most underrated songs of all time, and that's not up for debate. Throughout this song he discusses his admiration for fire, and kind of ties into the “pyre” lyric in “NFWMB.” Because he’s, once again, a genius. The lyrics can be taken in many ways, literally about an arsonist trying to keep his impulses at bay or more figuratively about coping with mental illness. I resonate with the latter. It can be difficult to find a healthy balance between coping with mental illness and not letting it define or control you. When you can’t get rid of your demons, keeping them on a leash is sometimes the only option. Once again, Hozier came through with the poetic answer to a difficult struggle.
- “I was housed by your warmth, thus transformed by your grounded and giving and darkening scorn. Remember me, love, when I'm reborn as a shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn.”
Up next, we have this verse from “Shrike,” which is literally just beautiful poetry composed into song lyrics, once again. These lyrics should literally be hung in a museum. It was only recently that I found out a shrike is a kind of (very aggressive) bird that stabs its prey with thorns, and trust me, that knowledge made me look at this song very differently. Basically, Hozier is saying that without his love he might as well be dead, like the prey of a shrike. But he says it much prettier and more gracefully than that, as he tends to do. I think that the words are incredibly written and I love the metaphor, which is why it made this list.
- “There's an art to life's distractions to somehow escape the burn weight. The art of scraping through.”
“Someone New” is one of Hozier’s more popular songs, and honestly — it's deserved. Not only is this song super catchy, but it’s just so unique and it has so many great lines, such as this one! I think these lyrics are special because they bring attention to the realities of love and life. We love to distract us from the realities of life, while life simultaneously keeps us from being able to be in love. This conflict can often cause struggles and frustrations, but at the end of the day, we have to play the cards we’re dealt with. I like these lyrics because they give you something to think about, and once again they’re written like poetry! Hozier, I am once again asking you to write a poetry book.
- “But I don't know what else that I would give than try to kiss the skin that crawls from you, then feel your weight in arms I'd never use. It's the god that heroin prays to.”
“To Be Alone” is a very special song to me, and I recommend that you look into all of the lyrics from this song, but this verse really stood out to me. It’s about being addicted to the feeling of love, and the way someone you love makes you feel. I just love the deep and witty remarks he makes, comparing love to heroin in that it feels good even though it can be bad for you. It’s also about self-hatred and regret and dealing with that inner conflict. Hozier, if you’re reading this, you’re talented and a genius, and I love you.
Okay, that’s all everyone! It was really hard to narrow down my favorite lyrics, but now that that’s over, catch me getting all of these lines tattooed. And Hozier, if you’re reading this, this is me reaching out to you personally and asking you to release new music. I’m begging. I need more of your genius work to obsess over. And to everyone else, make sure to stream these songs on any streaming platform! You won’t regret it!