It's not the wakin', it's the risin'
It is the groundin' of a foot uncompromisin'
It's not forgoin' of the lie
It's not the openin' of eyes
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

It's not the shade we should be cast in
It's the light and it's the obstacle that casts it
It's the heat that drives the light
It's the fire it ignites
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

It's not the song, it is the singin'
It's the heaven of the human spirit ringin'
It is the bringin' of the line
It is the bearin' of the lie
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Nina cried power
Billie cried power
Mavis cried power

And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Curtis cried power
Patti cried power
Nina cried power

It's not the war but what's behind it
Lord, the fear of foul men is mere assignment
And everythin' that we're denied by keepin' the divide
It's not the wakin', it's the risin'

And I could cry power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
Nina cried power
Lennon cried power
James Brown cried power

And I could cry power
Power (power)
Power (power)
Power, Lord
B.B. cried power
Joni cried power
Nina cried power

And I could cry power
Power has been cried by those stronger than me
Straight into the face that tells you to rattle your chains
If you love bein' free

Ah, Lord, I could cry power (power)
'Cause power is my love and my righteous to me
James Brown cried power
Seeger cried power
Woman cried power
Yeah ah, power
James cried power
Millie cried power
Kenny cried power
Billie, power
Dylan, power
Woody, power
Nina cried power

Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by rabbitheartedkid, kimberly7e

Nina Cried Power Lyrics as written by Andrew Hozier-byrne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Nina Cried Power song meanings
Add Your Thoughts


sort form View by:
  • +1
    General Comment

    Power to the people - that's the meaning I read.

    All of the names checked either sang political songs, or at least sang songs of great passion and power.

    One possible correction: Seeger, not Seager.

    No attempts at identifying all the names yet? I'd like to try for most of them:

    Nina Simone Billie Holliday Mavis Staples (Three great female African American singers)

    Curtis Mayfield Patti Smith ("People Have the Power") Nina Simone

    Nina Simone John Lennon James Brown

    James Brown Pete Seeger Woman

    James (Brown, again?) Millie Kenny Billie Holliday Bob Dylan Woody Guthrie Nina Simone

    I don't know that all of the other names above are correct, but if they are, perhaps somebody could help with "Millie" and "Kenny"?

    prairie11on October 15, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The podcast Song Exploder has an episode dedicated to this amazing song. It goes into depth about the making and meaning of this song as told by Hozier and Mavis Staples.

    thatsn0tmynameon May 24, 2019   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Spirit Within
Bertoldi Brothers
Warren wanted a Beach Boys thing for this one, and Carl Wilson and Billy Hinsche came in, with Carl arranging the vocal parts. The other harmony vocalists (credited as the "Gentlemen Boys") were Jackson Browne, J.D. Souther, Zevon's longtime backers Waddy Wachtel and Jorge Calderon, and Linda Rondstadt/Stone Poneys guitarist Kenny Edwards.
Album art
Techno Ted
Techno Ted may be a person who caused Chris incredible emotional pain & trepidation as well as moments of peace & happiness but now is removed and awaiting his fate. Darling may be a different person who is also free of him and can live her life free of Ted's tyranny. "In between all the laughing, and daydreams ... lies: a desert of truth" Lies are like a desert or the omission of Truth: Where there were Lies then Truth was absent. The song, "Techno Ted", may be a cathartic celebration of the downfall of this person.
Album art
Taylor Swift
The song 'Fortnight' by Taylor Swift and Post Malone tells a story about strong feelings, complicated relationships, and secret wishes. It talks about love, betrayal, and wanting someone who doesn't feel the same. The word 'fortnight' shows short-lived happiness and guilty pleasures, leading to sadness. It shows how messy relationships can be and the results of hiding emotions. “I was supposed to be sent away / But they forgot to come and get me,” she kickstarts the song in the first verse with lines suggesting an admission to a hospital for people with mental illnesses. She goes in the verse admitting her lover is the reason why she is like this. In the chorus, she sings about their time in love and reflects on how he has now settled with someone else. “I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary / And I love you, it’s ruining my life,” on the second verse she details her struggles to forget about him and the negative effects of her failure. “Thought of callin’ ya, but you won’t pick up / ‘Nother fortnight lost in America,” Post Malone sings in the outro.
Album art
Standing On The Edge Of Summer
In regards to the meaning of this song: Before a live performance on the EP Five Stories Falling, Geoff states “It’s about the last time I went to visit my grandmother in Columbus, and I saw that she was dying and it was the last time I was going to see her. It is about realizing how young you are, but how quickly you can go.” That’s the thing about Geoff and his sublime poetry, you think it’s about one thing, but really it’s about something entirely different. But the lyrics are still universal and omnipresent, ubiquitous, even. So relatable. That’s one thing I love about this band. I also love their live performances, raw energy and Geoff’s beautiful, imperfectly perfect vocals. His voice soothes my aching soul.
Album art
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.