Hozier’s Cherry Wine is one of my personal favorite songs from his first album, Hozier. The album is riddled with meaningful songs that cover many different messages, some more obvious than others. Cherry Wine is a song that sounds incredibly romantic, the softness of Hozier’s tone and calmness of the guitar in the background disguises the dark reality of the lyrics and their story.
“Hot and fast and angry as she can be
I walk my days on a wire”
Cherry Wine, Hozier
Cherry Wine in its most basic form, is a song about abuse, both physical and emotional. However, unlike many other songs that discuss domestic abuse, Hozier explores a narrative that is generally passed over. The song details domestic abuse with the man as the victim. Lines such as:
“Thrown at me so powerfullyCherry Wine, Hozier
Just like she throws with the arm of her brother”
The metaphor’s used little hide the physical abuse Hozier, who acts as the speaker and victim, experiences. The use of ‘thrown’ and ‘throws’ could be used in the literal sense, where she could be throwing an item at him. But, it could also mean that this behavior might be normal in her family as well.
The chorus of the song is what makes the abuse especially transparent, But the chorus lyrics also create hold some of the best portions of the song in terms of poetic verse.
“The way she tells me I’m hers and she is mineCherry Wine, Hozier
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine”
The title and final word of cherry wine plays into the idea of the speaker’s romantic relationship as a whole as well. One the outside it looks sweet, a happy couple without any issues, while their actual relationship is actually extremely bitter. This is the beauty of Hozier’s music, using whimsical wording and sound he can hide the reality of a song, but like how we never really know what relationships are like behind closed doors.