Hozier (full name Andrew Hozier-Byrne) is an Irish musician, singer and songwriter who pus a message behind the lyrics of many of his songs. I hadn’t heard of him until last year, but he released his first album ‘Hozier’ in September 2014 following a successful EP in 2013 which included the hit ‘Take Me To The Church’.
Message Behind The Lyrics
I really appreciate well-written music lyrics and Hozier is the master of his craft. Much of his song writing includes social messages which I will focus on in this article.
For example, Hozier has said that ‘Take Me To The Church’ was inspired by violent crimes against gay men in Russia. Another song ‘Cherry Wine’ aimed to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. And there is more!
Recognizing The Power of Protest
In 2018 Hozier released an EP called ‘Nina Cried Power’ which was the first time I had heard of him. I remember just sitting, open mouthed, listening to the title track and I found it rang around my head for hours afterwards.
‘Nina Cried Power’ is the title track of the EP and the message behind the lyrics is the power of protest. It includes tributes to Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, John Lennon, BB King and Curtis Mayfield. Hozier is joined on the track by the fabulous Mavis Staples. Mavis is an American rhythm and blues gospel singer (which really comes across in the track) an actress and civil rights activist.
Watch the official video for the song and see if you get goosebumps like I did.
Love As An Act Of Defiance
My current favorite track from Hozier is ‘Be’ from his 2019 release ‘Wasteland, Baby!’. Wow this track really hits home with its warnings of impending doom, rising sea levels, treatment of immigrants and more.
The message behind the lyrics is that Hozier asks his lover to keep loving him in spite of all the hatred and destruction swirling around, using love as an act of defiance!
This line from the song really hit home for me with its karmic message:
When the man who gives the order
Is born next time around on the boats sent back
Powerful stuff! Listen to it and you will see what I mean (audio only).
Is A Message Behind The Lyrics Compulsory For Good Music?
The short answer to this is of course No! But when you combine lyrics like poetry with a social message, with a great voice and good music then I am a happy bunny!