Take Me to Church
Writer(s): Andrew Hozier-Byrne (see lyrics here)
Released: September 16, 2013
First Charted: April 12, 2014
Peak: 2 US, 2 RR, 12 AC, 11 A40, 11 AA, 2 MR, 3 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 12.0 US, 3.0 UK, 19.95 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1610.9 video, 2125.2 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Andrew John Hozier-Byrne was born in Ireland in 1990. The singer/songwriter had his music breakthrough in 2013 with his debut single, “Take Me to Church.” The song was originally released on his debut EP of the same name that year and on his debut album, Hozier, the next year.
He wrote the mid-tempo soul song over three months’ time at his parents’ home in Bray, County Wicklow and recorded a demo in the attic. WK He wrote the song after breaking up with his girlfriend as “both a love song and a contemplation of sin.” SF It was a “metaphor comparing a lover to religion.” SF He said, “You kind of watch yourself die in a wonderful way…everything you believed about yourself gone. In a death-and-rebirth sense.” SF
He also spoke about how sex was viewed by the church, saying “an act of sex is one of the most human things…but an organization like the church, say, through its doctrine, would undermine humanity by successfully teaching shame about sexual orientation.” WK He was raised in the Protestant Quaker faith and was frustrated with what he saw as the domination of the Catholic Church over Ireland’s social and political outlook. WK
A video for the song went viral after its September 2013 release on YouTube, resulting in a bidding war from major labels. He was signed to Columbia Records in the U.S. and Island Records in the UK. The song went on to top the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart for 23 weeks, tying it with “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons as the chart’s longest-running #1 at the time. WK It became the most-streamed song on Spotify in 2014. WK
“Take Me to Church” was nominated for a Grammy for Song of the Year.
First posted 7/21/2023.