Hozier is known for his soulful music and his lovely lyrics. “Like Real People Do” is from Hozier’s eponymous debut album that combines the genres of alternative/indie, electropop and country. It is a seemingly simple song that houses a lot of complex emotions, typical to Hozier’s lyricism.
I had a thought, dear
About that night
The bugs and the dirt
Why were you digging?
What did you bury
Before those hands pulled me
From the earth?
Hozier begins the song by presenting a detailed image of a person digging through the depths of the earth to find a person. On the surface level, the lyrics make the song an exploration of folk themes, something Hozier loves to do. The imagery of unearthly hours, unquiet grave and bog bodies is evident in the person who comes to the graveyard to bury their secrets and accidentally exhumes a dead soul. This soul doesn’t ask them to reveal their secrets and sympathizes with their dire situation, yearning for a kiss instead.
Digging up the dirt, that person was looking for something they’d buried and said goodbye to. Instead, they met this soul and unearthed him. This indicates their dark past and the awful things they’d been through. There is an unmissable touch of romanticism in the way his soul had been feeling “dead” after being “buried” without love but the seeker’s hands pulled him back to life. Surely, love has found him once again.
“Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips
We should just kiss like real people do”
Their love turns its back on the ghosts of the past and decides to bloom right now. He says they should kiss like real people do and this refers to normal happy couples who live without worries. Even though they haven’t been able to attain that picture-perfect contentment in love like “real people” before, they can certainly try to live like them now. Their love will now grow organically and healthily in a place far away from the shadow of their misery. In this way, they teach each other the joy of loving and living again which their previous relationships were not able to provide them.