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Hozier – Take Me to Church Lyrics 3 years ago
This is all my own personal interpretations, somewhat based on his interview with NY Mag.

I think the general jist of the song deals with the Church's aggressive methods and views on sex, sexuality, and sexual freedom. Yes, I think homosexuality is one of these themes, but I think the song expands on all forms of sex (think about how seriously the church takes abstinence).

My lover's got humor
She's the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody's disapproval
I should've worshiped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She's the last true mouth piece

I think here he is saying that his lover is more of a personification of what eternal and everlasting love is, rather than the church itself. Comparing her to a giggle at a funeral shows that she is carefree and warm, as compared to the stiff and strict church. I think hes saying that she is more of an embodiment of a religion than the church is.

Every Sunday's getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week

Here, he is pointing out how each week at Church, more and more hate, or "poison", is being spread, rather than love and healing.

We were born sick, you heard them say it
My church offers no absolution

Again, the church is pointing out how our race as a whole is "plagued" with lust, and insisting that we are all sick, and love is what saves us from our lust. Yet, the church isn't offering love when they do this, so its counter productive.

She tells me 'worship in the bedroom'
The only heaven I'll be sent to
Is when I'm alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well

Back to his lover, who is the embodiment of love to him, shows him that the only way to live in love is to reclaim our sexuality, and to not be ashamed of it, as the church often makes us feel.

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

I think that this is supposed to be sarcastic, pointing out that blindly worshipping the Church when it is saying that it is spreading love, yet doing the opposite (homophobia, slut-shaming, judgements) is like shrine of 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

He's pointing out that when you confess to the church, judgements follow, which isn't what is supposed to happen ("sharpen your knife")

If I'm a pagan of the good times
My lover's the sunlight

If having a good time is considered sinful, than his lover is the center of it (how pagans worshipped the sun). Again, if love is a sin in the church's eyes, she is the center of all of it.

There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin
In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean

There is only innocent intentions with sex, which is why it is gentle, so why is it a sin? Rather than being ashamed of his humanity, he reclaims it with his sexuality. Then, he is "clean", or pure.

I honestly love this song. I have never seen a song like this one, with this message. You can tell it isn't supposed to be condemning anyone, but pointing out the idea that our humanity is something to be celebrated, not repressed (being gay, having sex, etc.). With some experience growing up in a Catholic School setting, I can strongly relate to the constant shaming of all things considered human. In my opinion, he is right. There is nothing more innocent than celebrating our humanity. Its our humanity that allows us to love and be loved, and to be truly happy. It shouldn't be repressed.

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