My lover's got humour
She's the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody's disapproval
I should've worshipped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She is the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday's getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
'We were born sick,' you heard them say it
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
I was born sick, but I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I'm a pagan of the good times
My lover's the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
To drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
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

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

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
Amen. Amen. Amen

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Take me to church
I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I'll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good Gosh, let me give you my life


Take Me to Church song meanings
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  • +42
    My InterpretationI think Danilus is the closest to getting it right. Though I love this from PollyKnotswise:
    "Using the Church (which is against homosexuality) as a metaphor for making love is just genius. Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic."

    The song seems to make sense if "She" is the goddess of Love. And the lovers are gay.

    The song is darker than I thought at first (using "take me to church" as a metaphor for 'hot dirty cleansing sex'). That's a psychologically well-adjusted, unrepentant F U to the church. [Editorial comment: In addition to labeling homosexuality a sin, churches have done a helluva job over the centuries pathologizing any sexual expression other than spousal intercourse for procreation. Thus the universal appeal of this song.]

    But Hozier is also agonizing over reconciling his homosexuality with his religious beliefs. Particularly the anti-gay preachings at his church.

    Thus the chorus has many meanings - his confession of his "sins", his affirmation of his homosexuality and clear intent to continue worshipping the goddess, his desire to also continue to worship at his bricks and mortar church despite the "lies" they preach there, his willingness to accept his churches' punishment ('I'll worship like a dog" and, "you can sharpen your knives"), his desire to give his life to God, his plea for God to accept him into heaven ("give me that deathless death"), and of course the unfavorable comparison of the current manifestation of his church vs. the sacred space of the bedroom with his lover.

    Hozier delivers a poignant illustration of how churches' anti-gay doctrines damage their representation of God. And he makes a plea for the church (and society via the video) to accept and celebrate homosexual love as it does heterosexual love. God certainly must.

    Just saying... that's what I think.

    Don't ask me about the second verse - I don't get the description of the sacrifice. References to the Bible, or Catholic shite?
    david52665on March 17, 2014   Link
  • +37
    My InterpretationMany are using the video to interpret, don't as a video has a producer and their use of the lyrics...

    I looked into it (an austin texas interview with Hozier) and saw I was spot on with the following and Prior to seeing the music video...

    My first thought when I heard the rawness and the way it flowed meant one thing and only one thing, a beautiful union of two people, yes f-ing but so much more. Just pure love and passion and giving yourself and that moment when you climax she is .... your church. But not to just a significant other, this is his goddess, his queen, his true love and hopefully a soulmate.

    As for the video....I highly doubt he is gay.
    The song is about a perfect moment with the right person, and Hozier loves gospel music but disagrees with constraints of the church. It was a slight undertone that the video based it on but the meaning doesnt change. I must admit I don't like seeing guys kiss even though I have been in Bisexual situations in my youth, but because of the song all i saw was love.

    This is one of the best artist I have heard in a long long time. His talent isn't one thing specific, its the passion, lyrics and temperament and flow... it is how we all can relate to it.
    Listen to "work song".. and you will know his other side, regret.
    Passion and truth and I respect him for admitting a argument gone awry.
    His other song I think Eden is about her being crazy..

    All of his lyrics are about a dysfunctional love.... A woman he adores but everything has gone astray.
    kltsinon May 31, 2014   Link
  • +25
    General CommentBefore writing down my interpretation of the song, I must say - this is brilliant. For me, it's what music is all about; the rythm, the voice, the lyrics - everything. Together with that videoclip, this is the embodiment of art. It's touching, it makes you think and, even though I'm not a cryer at all, when I watched that video, I wept frustratingly, wanting to do something about the issue addressed in the song...

    Which is, I think, the way homosexuals are treated in the world we're living in. Being gay is in most countries regarded as a sin, and even though it may be allowed or tolerated in some places, often enough it's not socially accepted.

    A very clear example was when some images of Russians demonstrating against homosexuality were shown.

    This song creates empathy by singing and showing how beautiful love is, and it doesn't matter who loves who, whether that's two men or women or a man and a woman. Love is the best thing that could ever happen to you, so if it ever were to befall you - hold on to it. Worship it, like Hozier sings. Love is the only thing that keeps humans from being entirely egoistic and self-centered.

    Using the Church (which is against homosexuality) as a metaphor for making love is just genius. Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic.

    "Take me to church" --> take me to bed
    "Worship me in the bedroom" --> don't listin to what they say during service/mass, make love to me and worship me instead of ancient words that won't ever be able to express what "love" means
    "'We were born sick' you heard them say it" --> Clerks and a lot of other people say that homosuxuality is an illness
    "I was born sick, but I love it" he mocks the people that keep saying homosexuality is an illness, by saying: sure, I was born sick, the hell do I care how others think about it; I love who and how we are now
    "The only Heaven I'll be send to, is when I'm alone with you" --> again referring to how the Church loathes homosexuality; he won't be send to Heaven because he's gay. But this guy doesn't listin to or believe it anymore, his heaven is his lover and his lover alone
    "There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin" --> homosexuals are treated as if they committed a crime, but they just love someone, like the rest of us. There is no innocence like pure, true love, and expressing that (to others, or by making love).

    Then in the next stanza when Hozier sings about the lover he/the guy in the video worships, he compares her/him to a godly force, and that this love demands a sacrifice.. It could be that "the worshipper" would sacrifice anything, he'd drain whole seas, do hungry work and worship like a dog. It could also be that the sacrifice of loving someone of the same sex is that deathless death, that pain and humiliation that monsters like in the video make you go through, that life that you'd give for love.

    I love how this song (hopefully) makes people understand that love, in every form possible, is something gentle, sweet, something great we should worship, instead of bleak lines bringing about hateful thoughts and actions.

    Great lyrics, great voice, great message. I could write a book about this song. Maybe I will.
    PollyKnotswiseon October 30, 2013   Link
  • +22
    General CommentThis is from an interview Hozier did with NY Magazine. Straight from the horses mouth:

    "'Take Me to Church' is essentially about sex, but it's a tongue-in-cheek attack at organizations that would … well, it's about sex and it's about humanity, and obviously sex and humanity are incredibly tied. Sexuality, and sexual orientation — regardless of orientation — is just natural. An act of sex is one of the most human things. But an organization like the church, say, through its doctrine, would undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation — that it is sinful, or that it offends God. The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love. Turning your back on the theoretical thing, something that's not tangible, and choosing to worship or love something that is tangible and real — something that can be experienced.

    But it's not an attack on faith. Coming from Ireland, obviously, there's a bit of a cultural hangover from the influence of the church. You've got a lot of people walking around with a heavy weight in their hearts and a disappointment, and that shit carries from generation to generation. So the song is just about that — it's an assertion of self, reclaiming humanity back for something that is the most natural and worthwhile. Electing, in this case a female, to choose a love who is worth loving."
    TheNamesJameson October 26, 2014   Link
  • +8
    My InterpretationBefore exposing my version of the song meaning, I have to say first that it's been a while I didn't read such a good lyrics! This song is just amazingly written!!

    The lyrics are about a man who's in love with a person to the point of worshipping her, and putting her at the same level than the gods ("If the Heavens ever did speak, she's the last true mouth piece"). She is in fact his religion and church. That man finds consolation in his Goddess when the real religion and the church bore him while his Goddess only asks him about love. ("Every Sunday's getting more bleak, a fresh poison each week, we were born sick, you heard them say it"). He’s getting tired the poisonous words the ministers preach, claiming that people like the singer and his lover are flawed from the beginning.("My church offers no absolutes. She tells me 'worship in the bedroom')

    "If I'm a pagan of the good times
    My lover's the sunlight [people used to worship the sun]
    To keep the goddess on my side
    She demands a sacrifice
    To drain the whole sea
    Get something shiny
    Something meaty for the main course [for the sacrifice]
    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"

    "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"

    Oh my god how I just love this part, definitely my favourite!!

    "No masters or kings when the ritual begins [making love]
    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"

    After understanding what the song is about I think it gets pretty clear with the last verses. Bref, the song simply amazing!
    MalMoukon October 26, 2013   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationSuch a beautifully written song. I think at the very least it is about a person whose lifestyle (homosexuality) is in conflict with their religious beliefs and is causing them a crisis of faith. They can't reconcile this divine love they feel for someone with the fact that the church rejects it as sinful.

    I think if you take the chorus more literally, it's someone begging for salvation ("deathless death") despite the fact they know that the anti-gay gospel is a lie ("I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies"). He knows they take your insecurities and weaknesses and use it as a weapon against you ("tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife") but he is still willing to give himself to the church ("good god let me give you my life")

    In the second verse it's as though he feels he has to abandon or forget about his faith in order to enjoy himself and be happy ("pagan of the good times"). His homosexuality ("goddess") is difficult to maintain alongside his faith and choosing it over his faith is draining on his soul ("she demands a sacrifice/ to drain the whole sea"). He worries that in the grand divine scheme of things, it may be the wrong or superficial choice ("get something shiny"). I think again that despite what he knows and feels to be true, leading dual lives and managing the inner conflict is exhausting and part of him still desires what the church has to offer ("what you got in that stable/we've a lot of starving faithful/that looks tasty/ that looks plenty/ this is hungry work").

    The final verse is interesting in its vagueness, but I think the song both starts and ends with a funeral and/or his death. A funeral is a ritual after all. All men are equal in death ("no masters or kings when the ritual begins") and he describes death almost as a release from his turmoil and the only way he will be seen as worthy or equal ("in the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene/only then I am human/only then I am clean"). You could even interpret the opening verse as being the same funeral of his death, with his lover's sad "giggle" at the absurdity of having a ceremony performed by the very church that rejected him. And him looking back after death on that perfect love he had and regretting not "worshiping" it sooner.

    What a great song!
    Whatdoesthatmeanon August 20, 2014   Link
  • +6
    General Commentit's not about homosexuality in particular.it's about sexual longing in general being condamned by church.deathless dead - 'la p
    petite morte' is an euphemism for orgasm
    loore8251on August 26, 2014   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationFirst 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.
    annatimmyon October 02, 2014   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis 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.
    ammouringon August 14, 2014   Link
  • +4
    General CommentOkay, I have to say I'm amused.

    Offer me that deathless death
    Good God, let me give you my life


    Offer me that deathless death (orgasm)
    Good God, let me give you my life (the male "stuff of life")

    The "life" (or potential for it) that comes from this death.
    How very... balanced.

    I never thought about it that way before.
    42 stepson January 29, 2015   Link

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