Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Is It Really Sweet as Cherry Wine?

The Irish singer and song writer, Hozier is better known for his number one hit, "Take Me To Church" on his creatively named album, "Hozier". However I learned to love a different song on his album, "Cherry Wine". The first time I listened to it, I was captivated by the beautiful fingerpicked guitar chords and what I thought were sweet romantic lyrics. It was not until I started to really listen to the lyrics that I found the song had a deeper meaning to it. The song is about domestic abuse. The song speaks to a deeper level how hard it is to end the cycle of abuse and how the victim starts to believe that an abusive relationship is true love and they deserve this.

The way she tells me I'm hers and she is mine
Open hand or closed fist would be fine
The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine

Abusers tend to see the abused as objects, as possessions instead of people. The first line in the stanza further helps the listener depict this, "she is mine". However, at first glance some may think that this statement is sweet and romantic however, this further adds to the notion that abusive relationships are hard to spot.  The second line continues the notion that some victims may believe that this is relationship is okay and they will accept what they believe they deserve. Whether that be holding hands or a punch to the face. The last line uses a strong simile that ties in the violence of the song and compares it to something addictive such as wine, another hard cycle to break. The sweetness Hozier is referring to, symbolizes the good parts of the relationship and the love the victim has for the batterer. 

Her fight and fury is fiery

The alliteration used here, emphasizes the passionate anger that the abuser evokes on the victim in an abusive relationship.

It looks ugly, but it's clean
Oh Mama, don't fuss over me.

This juxtaposition used here emphasizes that domestic violence is not easily detected. The victim doesn't leave an abusive relationship for many reasons. For example if they are too scared, embarrassed, or in denial. This stanza depicts this when describing that the victim says they are fine when asked by their mom. In addition, the abuser often only physically abuses the victim in places where it is not noticeable or easy to cover up so no one can figure out what is really going on.

Call of guilty fall on me,
All while she stains
The sheets of some other,
Thrown at me so powerfully,
Just like she throws with the arm of her brother.

In domestic violence relationships, the victim often believes that they are the cause of all this. The abuser will make it seem like it is all the victims fault, when in reality, it is never, ever the victims fault.


  1. Molly I really appreciate your analysis of this song. I have never heard this song before, so I will definitely give it a listen now. But another thing I found interesting in reading your analysis was the fact that the song comes across as sweet and upbeat (?) but it really has a darker side. This is true to most domestic abuse. It may seem cheerful and nice from the outside, but under the surface it is not.

  2. I had never heard of this song before, but I found it really interesting how it can have a beautiful sound and also be about something deeper.

  3. I love this song! I always found the lyrics to be kind of strange because I thought it was a love song too, but honestly I never really tried to figure out what they meant. I find that, as you said, it's hard to spot an abusive relationship, it was just as hard to spot that this song is about one.