I have wanted to do a blog about this song for quite a while now. I love all different types of music but this song is in fact the only one that has the ability to make me cry. It is of course Take Me To Church by Hozier. When it was released in 2013, the song topped the charts in over 18 countries and was nominated for the Grammy award for song of the year. Hozier stated in an interview with Gigwise that this song intends to “indict all institutions that undermine humanity” specifically the Catholic church who have historically undermined and even condemned homosexuality. The way in which Hozier delivers this indictment is truly magnificent. He uses subtle techniques of satire and metaphor to reinforce the indirect message of the song.
As gay people, when we think about how far we’ve come in our journey for equality, it is truly incredible how society’s view of the LGBT community has changed so dramatically for the better. Historically, the church has never been very supportive of homosexuality although some religions have in recent years started to succumb to the idea. For instance, the protestant church now permits gay and lesbian priests, which, looking back even 40 years people would never have foreseen a prospect as such. It has however become a refreshing reality, and it really goes to show that anything is possible for our future.
Upon first listening to Take Me To Church several years ago on the radio, I regarded this song as religious but when one actually takes the time to listen carefully to the lyrics, one learns that it really is anything but Christian. The dark undertone of the song is positively overwhelming for those who tear up easily and the song has received numerous negative reviews and complaints from the Catholic community. I believe that introducing homosexual themes into popular culture like music has played an essential role in the shaping of LGBT equality in the sense that young people idolise these figures. Being in a position of such exposure to an extensive audience is very effective in teaching many LGBTQ people that it is okay to be who they are.
Hozier’s beautiful voice sings the heartfelt lyrics with such passion and pain and what compliments this song is its music video. Seen by many as controversial, it tells a horrific but scarily true story of two discreet homosexuals in a small Russian community who are shunned by society and forced to runaway together when they are found out to be engaging in sexual activity. Eventually one of the boys is captured by the vigilante and is violently beaten to death in a tale of tragedy and sorrow.
The whole concept of the song and the video really intends to shock the viewer in an uncomfortable manner. As shocking as it is, the way in which gay people are treated in Russia at the moment cannot be ignored. This music video would not be such a shock for many communities in this part of the world but instead an everyday reality. I was really impressed that Hozier brought this subject to light. The video has been view over 200 million times on Youtube and has helped to enlighten the world on a subject matter that needs to be addressed. It scares me to imagine a world in which I’m not allowed to be myself or love who I chose to love so for this I am extremely grateful to live in such a liberal city like London which allows me these freedoms.
If you have been living under a rock and you haven’t yet heard the song or seen the video, head to youtube now and give it a go (Click here to watch).
Friday, 2nd March 2018