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Rare is this love,
Keep it covered,
I need you to run to me,
Run to me lover,
Run until you feel your lungs bleeding.

Oh but the farrow knows
Her hungry eyes, her ancient soul,
It's carried by the sneering menagerie

Know what it is to grow
Beneath her sky, a punishing cold,
To slowly learn of her ancient misery

To be twisted by something (some fate?)
A shame without a sin,
Like how she twisted the bog man
After she married him

Rare is this love,
Keep it covered,
I need you to run to me,
Run to me, lover,
Run until you feel your lungs bleeding

But in all the world
There is one lover worthy of her
With as many souls claimed as she,
But for all he's worth
He still shatters always on her earth,
The cause of every tear she'd ever weep

Rushing ashore to meet her,
Foaming with loneliness,
White hands to fondle and beat her,
To give her his onliness

Rare is this love,
Keep it covered,
I need you to run to me,
Run to me, lover,
Run until you feel your lungs bleeding


Lyrics submitted by music_scene, edited by teaspill

Run song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationWhat I see here is a meditation on change, and particularly the changes experienced in love.

    There's a parallel structure to these lyrics. The first set of verses personifies earth, and the second set personifies water. The images described are meant to illustrate the interactions and changes experienced between and within individuals as they proceed through life, interacting with the world and other humans.

    It starts with images of fertility and growth, quickly followed by an acknowledgement of the inevitability of death (winter's punishing cold).

    The last four lines within the first set of verses talks about twisting a bog man after marrying him. This is the pain and change of unity. A bog is a melding, a marriage of water and earth, to such a degree that it would be hard to characterize it as either state.

    The passion we will later see described in water is particularly hampered, as bogs are necessarily stagnant. Water itself is twisted, stopped from acting like itself in any way, because of the love and embrace of the land. It's natural, not sinful, but it is a shame to be so shackled. Particularly as the earth has no difficulty maintaining her function and character in a bog. It is immutable and fertile as any other earth.

    Now the second set of verses, the ones about water. Things are born, grow, and die in water as well, which is why water is a worthy lover for earth. They're both necessary for life, even as they're opposites in how they function. Land has weather and stability, water lacks both, for one example.

    Shattering on her earth and the tears she'd weep are evoking rainfall for me. Rain being, of course, necessary for growth just as it's capable of flooding and destroying crops. It's lovely to describe it as shattering, it emphasizes the destruction of water on such an immutable surface as the earth. Again, it's the pain of unity.

    Rushing to shore is obviously beach imagery, which is fascinating because it's one of the few aspects of the land that no longer supports life in a meaningful sense. The life you find there is washed up by the sea. It's one of the few places she gives up her purpose and bows to the water. It's also constantly being reformed, losing its physical structure.

    And why does she bow down, why is there no life on a beach, why does it lose its shape? Because of white hands that fondle and beat her, the incessant foaming and crashing of the waves on her shores. She bows because she is both loved and hated with intensity and passion, acquiesces the tiniest bit of her shores as a concession to the passion and intensity of water. The earth, too, is changed like the water in a bog when faced with union.

    Love changes people, consumes and twists them as they seek to please and control the other party in a relationship, as they both seek to form a unity rather than remain isolated individuals. There must be conflict, because perfect unity is impossible. If a unity is accomplished, as is the case with the bog man and the beach, neither party can remain entirely himself -- compromises and sublimation of self, concessions must happen.

    I haven't unpacked it all. Unwrapping it slowly. But I thought I'd share what I have.
    teaspillon January 19, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Song FactHozier, in Birmingham at The Institute on 23/01/15: "[James Joyce] famously had a quote about Ireland in which he lovingly said [...] that Ireland is the sow that eats its farrow. And so it's the pig that eats her young, which I think he meant that in a loving way, but this next song is kind of about that, I suppose."

    I've never read Joyce, but that still helps a lot of pieces fall together.

    Charles Stewart Parnell and Kitty O'Shea are the love that needs to be covered, because it was an adulterous affair. Which just points to the thrust of the song being the destructive nature of love, if for no other reason than because people aren't willing to tolerate it.

    Pushes that it goes down to the land and sea destroying each other, particularly when they form a union as well. Animals eating their young as an image of love/destruction also.

    Very nice. Though today I'm mostly just amused by the consumption pun with the bleeding lungs and hungry sow.
    teaspillon February 08, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Song Fact"Seamus Heaney is an Irish poet. He wrote a lot about the land — he was a naturalist. A lot of it was about the landscape and nature and stuff. He has this great poem that I didn’t realize had such an effect on me until he died. It’s called “The Grauballe Man.” It’s part of a series of poems where he describes bog bodies. Those are, in places like Ireland or Norway, where you find a preserved human being from hundreds or thousands of years ago in bog. [...] He describes him [...] like a long, fluid version of a human with a face twisted in pain."
    Hozier in an interview by radio.com

    "Would bog people ever end up in one of your songs?"
    Hozier: "Well yeah, a little bit. Not so much about bog people… There are some references, I think, in ’Run’ [...]"
    From mtv news
    Hoz_98on October 25, 2015   Link

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