Take Me To Church – Another View

Hozier Take Me To Church

Hozier: ‘Take Me to Church’ Music Video Review

Dec 31, 2014

In a lot of ways, music videos are like mini movies. They can entertain you and make you laugh or hit you deep and make you think, the latter of which is usually achieved by the artists who tell a real story over the go-to live performance. Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” certainly achieves the latter.

I had heard Hozier’s hit track several times on various platforms, whether it be the radio or a live performance on some television broadcast. Neither of these is surprising for a song currently peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart sandwiched between Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” What was surprising, however, was how the man behind the music, 24-year-old Irishman Andrew Hozier-Byrne, decided to portray the track in video form.

“Take Me to Church” first appeared on Hozier’s debut EP of the same name in 2013, but with the song’s recent rise to fame, I (and probably many others) hadn’t been pushed to discover the year-old video until now.

The lyrics of the Grammy-nominated tune are a tad deeper than the usual heavyweights of Top 40 radio, which surely lends to the equally as heavy storyline portrayed through excellent editing and cinematography.

Being in all black and white allows for the viewer to truly soak in the elements of the plot. Despite Hozier referencing an interest in a girl (“My lover’s got humor / She’s the giggle at a funeral”), the video shows how corrupt the world can be in regards to the same-sex relationship between two men.

The story begins with one of the men riding a bike while the other buries a box, which is about as descriptive as you can get in a music video using actors and offering no names. The bike rider meets with the box burier at the burial site. They soon venture off together to make out and are spotted from afar by a man in a black coat with its hood up, making only his face visible.

The story flashes back and forth between the box being buried again and the bike rider quickly packing to run to the box burier’s home. When he arrives, he finds a scene of destruction where the man in the black coat—now with a bandana concealing his face—and others like him had tossed aside material items and a family member in pursuit of the box burier before snatching him from the burial site.

Happy moments between the couple are peppered in between the intense segments to show the viewer how much they mean to each other in this story. This helps support the bike rider’s further search for the box burier who is shown elsewhere being dragged towards a large fire. The chained box is now in the possession of the mystery men who hold it in front of the box burier as to taunt him before trying to smash it open. When their attempts are unsuccessful, they toss it in the fire. They then surround the box burier and begin kicking him from all angles as the bike rider watches on from afar.

While everyone may have their own interpretation, mine is that this video is largely a metaphorical depiction of our world’s view on homosexuality. The two men harbor a secret of attraction, physically shown in the form of a box chained shut and buried underground so that no one can crack it. People find out, represented by the anonymity of the mystery men in black coats and bandana-covered faces, and they lash out.

They take the secret—the box—and taunt one of the men with it. They try to open it to see it, or understand it, and when they can’t, they destroy it, which hurts him emotionally. However, they don’t stop there, adding to the pain with kicks, which are physical metaphors for the pain they cause. The men’s relationship with each other is different and unlike anything they’ve experienced, so they toss it aside and torture the ones who harbor it, whether it be the men themselves or the ones who protect them like the family member who was pushed aside.

MsConcerned

“Take Me to Church” was re-released on Hozier in October. The track is up for Song of the Year at the 57th annual Grammy awards.

References

Hozier – Take Me To Church [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYSVMgRr6pw

 

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I Went to the Garden Alone

 

Any Christian or Gospel song I hear, is more to me than a set of sounds with words (that may or may not include the name of Jesus, God or Holy Spirit) applied to the melody.  The song must have a beginning, middle, and end – most importantly, the song must tell a story.  That story must offer hope for hopeless, peace for the troubled, and rest for the weary last but not lease salvation for the lost.  In that story, it must also help encourage me to increase my faith; move from fear to faith, from anger to peace, from pain to joy, from bound to being free!  A song can also help take me to a place of pure worship; in other words, it can set the “stage” (if you will) to embrace the spirit of God and praise Him with all my heart….

With that said here’s my take on Marvin Sapp’s song “In the Garden”.

“…I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses…”

– Have you ever seen a rose or a flower on a summer morning?  Imagine looking out your window and the view of a long country road lined with roses early in the am.  Just after sun rise and the dew is still on the roses from the cool of the evening meeting the warmth of the sun.  How peaceful that picture looks to me in my vision.  God is the God of peace, imagine being on the outside of that window, where the sun is shining brightly but not hot, and you begin to pray.  As you look around you see the roses and the dew and you imagine to yourself – wow who would have taken the time to create such a beautiful flower and think to create an object that would not only warm that flower, but create a night that would turn into day so that, that same flower could get some water without RAIN. Surely if He took care of a rose and saw to all of its needs surely He will provide for me and you!

“And the voice I hear falling on my ear, the Son of God discloses, He speaks and the sound of His voice, Is so sweet that the birds they hush their singing, and the melody that He sends to me, within my heart is still ringing…”

When I pray, and I’m still I can hear the voice of God speak to me.  That’s right I can hear him.  Although His voice is not always like the artists describes, sometimes He just very direct especially when I’m not listening to him – much like a parent.  Oh but when I hear that sweet sound of His voice, that would make the birds hush, my soul cries out and I just want to scream from the top of my lungs, Lord forgive me for ALL the wrong I’ve done, or I can’t seem to thank Him enough for all that He’s had done and/or for all that He WILL do!  That feeling and sound can reverberate in my ears, my eyes (though watching other people get blessed) my heart and my soul sometimes for weeks at a clip.

“..and, and He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me that I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry, tarry there, none other has ever, ever known…”

As we talk (prayer) shared conversation (I listen) I often hear Him say, don’t you worry my child, I have everything under control.  When I walk and talk with Him words cannot adequately describe but I’ll give it a shot.  Think about the worst time in your life, the most painful situation you have been in or may be still going through, think about the husband or wife that abandoned you, that parent that said you would never be anything and they still verbally abuse you, think about all the times you messed up!  Now, think about your favorite food, your favorite picture, your most trusted friend and the best time in your life, imagine the not having experience a “good” time yet, life just has been horrible – roll all that up as walk to YOUR garden and now visualize that rose in the morning’s sun with the dew… and you get on your knees, and simple say, I am a sinner and I’m sorry – I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead.
“…None other has ever, ever known…”

 

– His voice will now sound like no other voice you have ever known….

 

Peace and Blessing

 


References

Marvin Sapp- in the garden [Video file]. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uttIAHmW_8