When I first saw you
The end was soon
To Bethlehem it slouched
And then it must've caught a good look at you

Give your heart and soul to charity
'Cause the rest of you
The best of you
Honey, belongs to me

Ain't it a gentle sound, the rollin' in the graves?
Ain't it like thunder under earth, the sound it makes?
Ain't it exciting you, the rumble where you lay?
Ain't you my baby? ain't you my baby?

Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing can get a look in on my baby
Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

If I was born as a blackthorn tree
I'd wanna be felled by you
Held by you
Fuel the pyre of your enemies

Ain't it warming you, the world gone up in flames?
Ain't it the life you, you're lighting of the blaze?
Ain't it a waste they'd watch the throwing of the shade?
Ain't you my baby? ain't you my babe?

Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing can get a look in on my baby
Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing can get a look in on my baby
Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing

Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing can get a look in on my baby
Nothing fucks with my baby
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by TheLampades

NFWMB Lyrics as written by Andrew Hozier-byrne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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NFWMB song meanings
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  • +1
    Song MeaningAs a “love song for the end of the world,” it’s fitting that this song centers itself around Yeats’ “Second Coming.” In the poem, Yeats describes a world that is spiraling out of control, where animalistic and base instincts reign. “The ceremony of innocence is drowned; / The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.” As a result, a creature, similar to a sphinx, awakens and is heading “to Bethlehem” to be born – alluding to Christianity’s Second Coming.
    However, this “second coming” will be of a new god befitting of the world described.

    In this song, this sphinxlike creature is on his way to Bethlehem, but is stopped in his tracks by the singer’s “baby.” Presumably, it takes notice of “baby” because she stands out as someone good, or innocent, or human, in a world full of people running riot. Her presence could be enough to stop “it” from reaching Bethlehem where its birth would confirm this new era of (lack of) humanity. The singer of the song is instantly drawn to her, and tries to convince her to give up what’s left of her goodness and enjoy reveling in this hedonistic new world. “Give your heart and soul to charity / 'Cause the rest of you, the best of you / Honey, belongs to me.”

    The imagery following draws again on a biblical description of the second coming. "Ain't it a gentle sound, the rollin' in the graves? / Ain't it like thunder under earth, the sound it makes? / Ain't it exciting you, the rumble where you lay?” Again, the singer tries to convince her that this disturbing world is good, and perhaps even tries to play into her sexual desires in the last line. The same sort of persuasion is used in the second series of questions “Ain't it warming you, the world goin' up in flames? / Ain't it the life of you, you're lighting up the place? /Ain't it a waste it watch the throwing of the shade?”

    When convincing her doesn’t work, the singer becomes protective of her, though it is better read as controlling. He will not let anything “fuck” with his baby. Even the uncharacteristic use of profanity in this song reminds us that the singer has shirked all his innocence. The singer is not so much protecting the woman, but rather he’s trying to ensure that the debauchery in the world continues. “Protecting” her allows the sphinx to continue on to Bethlehem. This is amplified in the line “Nothing can get at the kid or my baby.” In Yeats’ poem, the beast was awoken “by a rocking cradle” so he is protecting both his baby and the one in the cradle.

    This misplaced protection is also seen in the following stanza “If I was born as a black thorn tree / I'd wanna be felled by you, held by you / Fuel the pyre of your enemies.” On first glance, it would seem that the singer’s choice of the blackthorn is one positive, as it is a symbol of protection amidst devastation in Celtic mythology. However, the singer wants his “baby” to cut it down, presumably wield it as a shillelagh, and burn the bodies of her enemies. This again reinforces the animalistic nature of the new world. Additionally, the blackthorn is said to be guarded by fairies unfriendly toward humans, and those who cut it down would be cursed. So again, the singer, under the guise of protection, is trying to strip the goodness from his baby.

    (The use of an acronym for the title, a style of writing that has become prevalent in our culture's communications, also suggests that our world now is the one becoming unhinged)

    TL:DR - Baby, let's dance around the end of the world bonfire together.
    Snailpopon September 27, 2018   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningSnailpop started off great with their reference to Yeats "Second Coming", but then I think they've massively missed a few cues on the perspective of the song, and what blackthorn means etc.

    First of all, Hozier says “This song is about watching the world burn and realising that the person next to you is completely unfazed by it – and may have even been the one to start the fire themselves”

    Hozier's Baby is NOT "someone good, or innocent, or human", instead they are an awesome cosmic power that NOTHING can fuck with. Hozier's Baby is also never mentioned to be female or male (or even human).

    "When I first saw you
    The end was soon
    To Bethlehem it slouched
    And then it must've caught a good look at you"

    So, in Yeat's poem while it's called Second Coming, and has the line "Surely the Second Coming is at hand", but instead, it's not Jesus that comes, but "And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?" that comes at the end, ie it's saying something more like one of the Beasts of Revelations, harbinger of the apocalypse is coming...
    poetryfoundation.org/poems/43290/…

    Then in Hoziers first verse, he's implying that at the end of the world, that the Beast saw Hozier's baby "And then it must've caught a good look at you" and the implication was, the Beast was *intimidated*. That's how terrifying and awesome Hozier's 'Baby' is.


    "Give your heart and soul to charity
    'Cause the rest of you
    The best of you
    Honey, belongs to me"

    Ok, this is pretty dark, and awesome - turn this around. So, it's saying that heart & soul are NOT the best parts of his Baby. Uh huh. But that he'll happily lay claim to all the baser parts, his Baby's body (and mind?). But definitely his Baby's body... Bow chicka wow wow.

    "Ain't it a gentle sound, the rollin' in the graves?
    Ain't it like thunder under earth, the sound it makes?"
    The apocalyptic imagery is great, and works on at least two levels. So in the biblical rapture, the dead will rise from their graves.
    But the phrase to make someone "roll in their grave", implies that something is being done that those dead would have found enormously shocking, upsetting, disgusting, or would have been very angry about.
    So, Hozier's Baby, or their relationship, would have absolutely shocked the dead, and Hozier and his baby don't just, not care, but instead seem to really like it, and are commenting what a gentle sound it is, and it's got this absolutely beautiful imagery, like "thunder under earth".

    "Ain't it exciting you, the rumble where you lay?"
    Hozier's baby is into it, rummble ether reaching them where they're laying (c'mon, that's code for fucking), or possibly kind of the implying that Hozier's Baby might be some deep power in the earth that the rumble is awakening.

    While nothing directly speaks to it, this song also kind of reminds me of the Irish Goddess of Battle and Strife, the Morrígan, the Great Queen, and she and many other destructive creatures are said to emerge from a cave in the ground at Oweynagat. That's the kind of power that Hozier seems to be singing about, and Hozier would be familiar with her, being Irish and all.

    So yeah, on a metaphoric level, it's suggesting a relationship that would have been disapproved with, like being in a gay relationship, or like a Dominatrix and her submissive, that would absolutely shock a lot of people, and they are not only not giving a fuck, but enjoying it. Fuck what other people think, in other words.
    Their opinions cannot fuck with his relationship or his Baby, because his Baby is too powerful to be affected, and if anything, it just gives his Baby a thrill.

    "Nothing fucks with my baby
    Nothing can get a look in on my baby
    Nothing fucks with my baby
    Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing"

    This is all pretty clear, but hey, notice it's not 'No one', it's not just people that can't fuck with Hozier's baby, but *Nothing*. Inhuman cosmic forces still can't fuck with Hozier's baby.

    "If I was born as a blackthorn tree
    I'd wanna be felled by you
    Held by you
    Fuel the pyre of your enemies"

    Soooo... this isn't about protection. There's a half dozen other Irish trees that are straight out protective. No, Blackthorn in Irish was known as Straif, which is where our word 'Strife' comes from (also vague link to the Morrigan again?). It has the most sinister reputation, it's thorns cause septic flesh wounds, and yes, the shillelagh, a weapon is made from it. It was used by witches for blasting (cursing) and binding. If you cut it, you might be cursed.
    So it's saying that if he was born as a ill-omened tree of bad luck and strife, he'd want to be used, to be made useful, he'd still want to be held by his lover, his Baby, to fuel the funeral pyre of his Baby's enemies! I mean, that's pretty clear, right? Epic!

    On a metaphoric level, it's suggesting that this person feels like there is something deeply wrong with them, cursed, maligned, and maybe a bit evil, because even as a tree they'd be born as strife, but that they would still want to be useful to their Baby, who, well, is awesome and powerful and terrible and incredibly vengeful, and miiiight just be the cause of the apocalypse... See next verse.

    "Ain't it warming you, the world gone up in flames?
    Ain't it the life you, you're lighting of the blaze?"
    This is the bit Hozier was talking about at the beginning. Being warmed by the ending of the world, and his partner maybe being the one who set it, lit it on fire.


    "Ain't it a waste they'd watch the throwing of the shade?
    Ain't you my baby? ain't you my babe?"
    And again, we're getting to the repeating theme, the metaphor that a lot of other people may hate this relationship, they're "throwing shade", but Hozier and his Babe do not give a Fuck, and they not only will not, but can Not Be Fucked With.

    Because:
    "Nothing fucks with my baby
    Nothing can get a look in on my baby
    Nothing fucks with my baby
    Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing"
    san1183996on September 02, 2021   Link

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