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Hozier – Take Me to Church Lyrics 3 years ago
First let me just say that I loved this song from the first time that I heard it, before I even understood what it meant. Here's my interpretation:

The first lines say "My lover's got humor, she's the giggle at a funeral". I think this "lover" isn't really a female that he is in love with but love itself (or the goddess of love or however you want to interpret that)

The next part "Knows everybody's disapproval, I should have worshiped her sooner, If the Heavens ever did speak, She's the last true mouthpiece" I take this to mean that only this goddess of love understands that homosexuality isn't wrong even though everyone disapproves of it. If there is a Heaven, and if it ever had any kind of rules or guidelines, there would only be one: love. The part where he says "I should have worshipped her sooner" I think means that he is now realizing that love is God, is religion, and it is the only thing worth worshipping.

The next part says "Every Sunday's getting more bleak, A fresh poison each week, We were born sick, you heard them say it, My church offers no absolution". Here I think he's referring to his literal church and how they look down on homosexuals, and how hard it is to go there and hear them say that.

The song then goes back to this "goddess of love" and says "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". Love and his feelings of love are urging him towards sex and homosexuality, when he says he was born "sick", homosexuality is the sickness he is referring to. Maybe he won't go to his church's version of heaven, but making love is heaven enough for him.

The chorus says "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, Offer me that deathless death, Good god, let me give you my life.". To me this shows his inner battle with the church. On one hand love has been so good to him and he wants to worship that, but on the other hand his religion has probably been with him since childhood and he feels the need to conform and worship as he has been told. "The shrine of your lies" is that of the church and its anti-homosexuality, "I'll tell you my sins" refers to confessing his sexuality. I personally think the "deathless death" part is referring to heaven. As an atheist I feel that a lot of people are fearful that they won't go to heaven due to their sins, which is why he is still trying to go back to the church even though it is painful for him.

The second verse was hardest for me to understand. The first part says "If I'm a pagan of the good times, my lover's the sunlight". The pagans worshipped the sun, and when winter came would perform rituals to guide the sun back. He, like the pagans, would do anything to keep his "sun".

The next part says "To keep the goddess on my side, She demands a sacrifice, To drain the whole sea, Get something shiny". To me this is saying that to be true to himself he has to admit his homosexuality, and even stand up for it, which is a huge deal.

The last part of the verse says "Something meaty for the main course, That's a fine looking high horse, What you got in the stable? We've a lot of starving faithful, That looks tasty, That looks plenty, This is hungry work". I think here he is calling the church out on their high horse stance against homosexuality, as if they are any better than anyone else. The horse is the meaty thing for the main course, homosexuals in the church are hungry for it, they want to take the church down off their high horse, and he is standing up to do so hence "This is hungry work".

The last part of the song (That isn't more chorus or "Amen") says, "No masters or kings when the ritual begins, 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.". To me this is saying that in love, there is no priest or anyone to tell you that you're wrong. Partaking in loving sex (specifically homosexual sex) is not really a sin, it is an expression of love and worship (worshipping love/the goddess of love) in this world where people look down on that just because it's two members of the same sex. Loving this person, and making love to this person feels so right that "Only then I am human, Only then I am clean"

I could be very wrong but I built this idea from what I have read about this song and it is very powerful to me.

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