Worship like a Dog at the Shrine of Your Lies

I can not get enough of this song.  It’s kind of old, from 2013, but they started playing on the radio in my home town this summer and I was instantly mesmerized.  The singer, is Hozier, an Irish blues singer whose debut studio release comes out later this month.

You know how sometimes you can hear a song a hundred times before you really register what they are talking about or what the song means to you?  That was not the case when I heard this song.  The minute I heard the lyric:

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

I was mesmerized.  It is one of the most beautifully and painfully accurate descriptions of that all-encompassing, needy, obsessive love that can make you feel like you’re walking in God’s deified light and jonesing for another lethal fix right before you come down from your high simultaneously.

Relationships are all about balance. I struggle for equal footing in everything I do: at work, with friends, with family, with my partner.  Heaven forbid you’re too needy.  Forget about it if you come off to aloof.  There’s something so refreshing about just admitting it.  “I thought about you all day and checked my Snapchats every 10 minutes waiting for a message.”   Or conversely,  “I spent the whole day reading Lena Dunham articles and pinning SJP shoes  that I forgot to text you back until I got home.”  It’s way more sexy to be honest even if it’s fleeting.  Today you’re my giggle at the funeral but tomorrow you could be the deadweight of 20 years of broken promises.  That kind of ebb and flow can be manic but it’s also beautiful and passionate and free.  That’s what I love about this song. It’s needy and obsessive but it’s also sexy and so, so pretty.

My church offers no absolution
She tells me, ‘Worship in the bedroom’
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you. 

Hozier’s voice is so haunting and the beat in this song is so hypnotic. It feels like a drug: starting slow under your skin and then growing until it overtakes every part of your body and mind.

I was born sick,
But I love it
Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen

When I first heard this song I thought it was about sex: great, mind-altering, makes you see God, makes you forget everything else in the world- sex.

But the video turns that all on it’s head.  It takes a very sexual and anthemic song and uses its power to provoke a discussion about something much more political and socially aware – the persecution of Gays in Russia.

This video makes me cry.  I don’t know much about what all that gay cleansing was really like in Russia before the Olympics, and to be totally honest, I don’t want to know the details.  I know it’s horrible.  I know it’s real.  I read the statistics.  I know I want them to stop.  But the details are just too depressing and horrific to comprehend.

I know what it is to be judged. I’m brown. I’m a woman.  But to be judged and then persecuted for following your heart, for loving someone? I don’t get it. I can’t get it.  To me,  it’s so backwards and foreign and sad.  For someone to hide a part of themselves or worse still, kill themselves because they are scared to share who they love? That’s one of the most common tragedies in our world today.

No masters or kings
When the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

Someone once asked me what was the difference between a gay person choosing to be straight and a couple having an arranged marriage.  I remember his face so clearly when he asked me that.  His face was so smug like he was going to finally trap be in some sort of gay rights loophole that he had just discovered. I’ll admit it, I’d never really thought about it.  In fact, I was kind of annoyed that he assumed I was some sort of savant on arranged marriages just because my parents had one.  I’m sure lots of people have different opinions on this but here’s mine in a nutshell.  A gay person who lives life as a straight person isn’t choosing to be straight.  He is hiding a part of himself most likely because he is afraid of what will happen if he is honest about who he is.  An arranged marriage is, ideally, mutually beneficially for the husband and the wife and their respective families and something that they have grown up understanding will be a part of their lives.

Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week
‘We were born sick,’ you heard them say it.  

If you like Hozier, be sure to check out his Tiny Desk Concert on NPR and his London Sessions on Spotify.

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About preetybird

Just another run-of-the-mill mysterious microcosm of magic, music, merriment and malevolence.
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