After reaching number one on the Irish ITunes, “Take Me to Church” took the United States by storm. As soon as I heard the first couple verses on the radio I had double check to make sure that I wasn’t on the Christian station. Hozier brings a theologically disturbing message as he weighs his words on worship, sanctity, identity, and relationships; it’s beautiful. All the following I just listed are a few “mini” themes branching off of the main theme, which is how organizations like the Catholic Church undermine what it is to be human and loving someone else.
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog in 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
When I say Hozier puts a lot of weight on his words, I’m specifically talking about one word: CHURCH. There are so many controversies including the word church. Do you go to church? Do you believe in God? Are you Christian? All those questions follow behind that word. Hozier doesn’t only weigh down church, he places the weight of sexual intimacy directly on top of it. This song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love, which is sex. Hozier said himself, “an act of sex is one of the most human things.”
You may notice that he mentions God throughout the song. He isn’t necessarily talking about the “man upstairs”, he is in fact talking about a girl. He makes it very clear that he worships this woman and wants to give her his life.
My Church offers no absolutes
She tells me, 'Worship in the bedroom.'
The only heaven I'll be sent to
Is when I'm alone with you
Right before the chorus Hozier admits that he sins by saying that he “was born sick.” Then he comes back and mentions that he actually loves sinning and he wants to her to commend him to be well. In several interviews that I read he constantly mentions how this song is not an attack on faith, rather an attack on the church who undermines the sexual intimacy and what it is to be human. Hozier told Irish Times that he “found the experience of falling in love was a death. You kind of watch yourself die in a wonderful way, and you experience for the briefest moment— you see…