True that I saw her hair like the branch of a tree
Willow dancing on air before covering me
Under cotton and calicos
Over canopy dappled long ago

True that love in withdrawal was the weeping of me
That the sound of the saw must be known by the tree
Must be felled for to fight the cold
Fretted fire but that was long ago

And it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Where I'm set alight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
And I blink in sight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Your blinding light (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Where you hold me tight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Light it fire bright (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, let it blaze alright (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, but you're good to me
Oh, you're good to me
Oh, but you're good to me, baby

With the roar of the fire my heart rose to its feet
Like the ashes of ash I saw rise in the heat
Settle soft and as pure as snow
I fell in love with the fire long ago

With each love I cut loose
I was never the same
Watching still living roots be consumed by the flame
I was fixed on your hand of gold
Laying waste to my lovin' long ago

And it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Where I'm set alight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
And I blink in sight (ooh-ooh-oh)
Your blinding light (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
You hold me tight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
And the fire bright (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, let it blaze alright, honey (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, but you're good to me
Oh, you're good to me
Oh, but you're good to me, baby

So in awe there I stood
As you licked off the grain
Though I've handled the wood, I still worship the flame
As long as amber of ember glows
All the wood that I'd loved is long ago

And it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Where I'm set alight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
And I blink in sight (ooh-ooh-oh)
Of your blinding light (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, and it's not tonight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
When you hold me tight (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
And the fire bright (ooh-ooh-oh)
Oh, let it blaze, alright (ooh-oh-oh-oh)
Oh, but you're good to me
Oh, you're good to me
Oh, but you're good to me
Oh, you're good to me
You're good to me
Oh, but you're good to me, baby


Lyrics submitted by Mellow_Harsher, edited by NateMadison, paperxwrists

Would That I Lyrics as written by Andrew Hozier Byrne

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Would That I song meanings
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  • 0
    Song MeaningThe song is about finding love in a new person. Old romances and troubles of the past are "trees" and this new love is the fire that burns them down.

    True that I saw her hair like the branch of a tree
    Willow dancing on air before covering me
    Under cotton and calicos
    Over canopies that was long ago

    -he remembers the first time he saw Her, he was outside, sheets were under him (cotton and calicos) and over him was a canopy of trees (these trees are also his past life/loves)

    True that love in withdrawal was the weeping of me
    That the sound of the saw must be known by the tree
    Must be felled for to fight the cold
    Fretted fire but that was long ago

    -he cried when people he used to love left him. He felt like they were chopped down and taken from him (1st two lines). He knows he must forget them though, if ever his cold, lonely soul is to feel warm again. He used to worry about moving on, and “burning his past”, but that was before he met Her.

    But that’s not tonight (Ooh)
    When I'm set alight (Ooh)
    I'm blinking so (Ooh)
    Your blinding light (Ooh)
    Oh, let's not tonight (Ooh)
    When you hold me tight (Ooh)
    Light the fire bright (Ooh)
    Let it blaze alright (Ooh)
    Oh, hope that you're good to me
    Oh you're good to me
    Hope that you're good to me, baby

    -She is like a fire, burning away all his past romances, hopes, and dreams, till nothing is left but the two of them. He hopes and knows it’ll be worth it.

    With the roar of the fire my heart goes to its feet
    Like the ashes of ash I saw eyes in the heat
    Sitting soft in this purest snow
    Fell in love with the fire long ago

    With each love I could lose
    I was never the same
    Watch it's still living roots be consumed by the flames
    I was fixed on your hand of gold
    Laying waste to my loving long ago

    -Here Hozier is describing the fire burning up a past hope that is particularly hard-to-forget, probably his old girlfriend. She was like an ash tree; but is now just snow-white ashes. His connection to her wasn’t completely dead yet, (watch its still-living roots be consumed by the flames). He finds strength in the eyes and hand of his new love, as she helps him overcome his past/relationships. (laying waste to my loving long ago)

    So in awe there I stood
    As you licked off the grain
    Though I've handled the wood, I still worship the flame
    Long as amber of ember glows
    All the wood that I'd loved is long ago

    -More burning his past. As long as he has Her (long as amber of ember glows), all the people he used to love are past and gone. (All the wood that I’d loved is long ago).
    Hozier in an interview said, “There’s a weirdly elaborate pun in it: ‘would that I’ is like a way of saying ‘I wish’”. So the last line is also “All the ‘would that I’ loved is long ago.” Which means he not only moved past his old relationships, but also all the things he used to wish for. All his dreams and hopes don’t matter to him so long as he has Her. He is content.
    NateMadisonon March 22, 2019   Link
  • 0
    General Comment(this is MY OWN interpretation of the song!! this is probably not the actual meaning but it’s how i look at the song!!)

    i see this song as someone embracing their sexuality and the fact that they are lgbtq+.

    “True that I saw her hair like the branch of a tree
    Willow dancing on air before covering me
    Under garden and calicos
    Over canopies that was long ago”

    — they’re meeting someone and falling in love with their beauty.

    True that love in withdrawal was the weeping of me
    That the sound of the saw must be known by the tree
    Must be felt 'fore the fight that calls
    Threatened fire but that was long ago

    — “love in withdrawal” represents the suppressed sexuality and therefore the lack of intimacy in their life. they weren’t able to be in love because they were hiding themselves away. the trees in this song represent their old life, when they were ‘in the closet’. now they realise that it’s time to move on from that life and accept themselves. they must destroy the ‘forest’ (their old life).

    And it's not tonight (Ooh)
    When I'm set alight (Ooh)
    I'm blinking so (Ooh)
    Your blinding light (Ooh)
    Oh, let's not tonight (Ooh)
    When you hold me tight (Ooh)
    Light the fire bright (Ooh)
    Let it blaze alright (Ooh)
    Oh, hope that you're good to me
    Oh you're good to me
    Hope that you're good to me, baby

    — the thrill of destroying this old life is passionately described in this verse. they’re embracing their beautiful sexuality and hoping that they’ll be treated right. the fire represents their new life, and their newly emboldened sexuality.

    With the roar of the fire my heart goes to its feet
    Like the ashes of ash I saw eyes in the heat
    Sitting soft in this purest snow
    Fell in love with the fire long ago

    — this illustrates the relief of breaking through the closet doors and starting a new life. it’s uplifting and rejuvenating to watch the self conscious, scared side of you burn to ash.

    Each love I could lose
    I was never the same
    Watch it's still living roots be consumed by the flames
    I was fixed on your hand of gold
    Laying waste to my loving long ago

    — they’re moving on from their own life with they person they love, discarding their old way of loving. perhaps when they were suppressing their sexuality and trying to cover up their feelings for others. they’re realising that love is only rewarding when it’s genuine.

    So you know there I stood
    As you licked off the grain
    Though I've handled the wood, I still worship the flame
    Long as ember, November glows
    All the wood that I'd loved is long ago

    — they’re glad to see their old life perish. my favourite line is “though i’ve handled the wood i still worship the flame.” i feel like this line is saying that even though their old life may have pleased others, their new one pleases them. they’re happier and free. all the things they used to believe about themselves is in the past.

    this is one of my favourite songs by hozier. the lyrics are so meaningful and can be interpreted in so many ways! his lyrics are so versatile and relatable to anyone.
    hozierfanaticon June 22, 2019   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationHere's how I see it:

    True that I saw her hair like the branch of a tree
    Willow dancing on air before covering me
    > Hozier compares a woman letting her hair down to the branches of a willow tree, her hair covers him because he's under her.

    Under cotton and calicoes
    > cotton and calicoes are types of fabric - the implication would be sheets, clothing, underwear.

    Over canopy dapple long ago
    > canopy dapple likely refers to the filtering of light through a forest canopy

    True that love in withdrawal was the weeping of me
    > 'weeping' is a callback to 'willow', 'withdrawal' is an allusion to addiction; the meaning here is that when the love ended, he was sad

    That the sound of the saw must be known by the tree
    Must be felled for to fight the cold
    > This means that the tree - the love, the lover - must be cut down to fuel the fire that keeps him warm

    I fretted fire but that was long ago
    > 'fretted' may allude to the fret board of a string instrument, the implication being that 'the fire' is Hoziers music. So heartbreak fuels the fire, his work. In the past he 'fretted' (meaning 'worried about') the fire, but he's over that and has come to terms with the process of writing about heartbreak.


    And it's not tonight (Oooh, oooh)
    Where I'm set alight (Oooh, oooh)
    And I blink in sight (Oooh, oooh)
    Your blinding light (Oooh)
    Oh, it's not tonight (Oooh, oooh)
    Where you hold me tight (Oooh, oooh)
    Light a fire bright (Oooh, oooh)
    Oh, let it blaze, alright (Oooh)
    > Basically, this night is not fire-inspiring. And he's probably not getting broken up with.

    Oh, but you're good to me
    Oh, you're good to me
    Oh, but you're good to me, baby
    > she's good to him, but she doesn't 'light his fire', doesn't inspire that kind of passion, intensity, or heartbreak.

    With the roar of the fire my heart rose to its feet
    Like the ashes of ash I saw rise in the heat
    > This fire inspires passion. 'ashes of ash' refers to when ash itself burns - so a fire here has been re-lit and is more intense each time.

    Settle soft and as pure as snow
    I fell in love with the fire long ago
    > he likes this cycle of passion and heartbreak etc.

    With each love I cut loose I was never the same
    Watching still living roots be consumed by the flame
    > every time he parts with a lover, it changes him. Part of it lives within him and the 'flame' is fueled by it.

    I was fixed on your hand of gold
    Laying waste to my loving long ago
    > 'hand of gold' means a wedding ring; he fell for a married person and became fixated on them - or - he wanted to marry someone and that fucked him up.

    So in awe there I stood as you licked off the grain
    Though I've handled the wood, I still worship the flame
    > Having sex, his partner performs fellatio to a finish, and so the 'wood' has been handled, but he still 'worships' his partner, meaning they're not through with sex just because he came

    Long as amber of ember glows
    All the "would that I loved" is long ago
    > As long as there's something left of the fire, he has no feelings of wanting to be in love

    Basically, the picture overall is one of having sex in a relationship that you know is doomed.
    burningonemptyon December 30, 2019   Link

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