Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Take me to church (three videos)

You've probably heard it on the radio, Hozier's beautiful, haunting song "Take Me to Church." I wonder how many listeners know the background.

Here's your clue: it's not about going to church. 

It's a statement about how so many in the church have rejected LGBT people in thought, word, or deed. Hozier uses religious imagery to tell a story about true love, but while the highly singable anthem uses subtle symbolism and metaphors ("I'll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife"), the official video is extremely clear of the song's intentions. Two male lovers are tracked down and beaten; it was made to raise awareness and support for gay marriage after Russia criminalized homosexuality.

The other night at the Grammys, one of my favorites, Annie Lennox, did a beautiful duet of this song with Hozier. It's worth watching too!

And now Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin improvised a gorgeous solo performance in what looks like a church under construction:

This is what Hozier says about the song:

"The song, to me, is about what it is to be a human, what it is to love someone as a human being, and organizations that would undermine that, and undermine the more natural parts of being a person. If you feel offended or disgusted by the image of two people kissing, if that's what it is, but you're more disgusted by that than the actual violence ... I think you should take a look at your values, maybe. I don't think there really should be a controversy when we're talking about a basic human right and the equal treatment of people. Electing a person in the place of an organization, like the church, as something that is worth worshiping and something that is worth loving, something tangible and real ... There's a lot to the song, but if I need to stand up and swing from the corner, I'm happy to do that."