Hozier’s “Francesca” Lyrics Meaning

“Francesca”, which was released on 19 May 2023, is one of the singles from Hozier’s “Unreal Unearth” album. His single that that preceded this one, “Eat Your Young“, is likewise found on said LP but also serves as the title track to an EP the singer dropped a couple of months ago.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Hozier's Francesca at Lyrics.org.

That noted, as part of said album, “Francesca” would be a product of Rubyworks Records and Island Records. And the song’s writer and producer, besides Hozier, is Jennifer Decilveo.


Who is Francesca?

The word “Francesca” is not mentioned in the lyrics, nor would that be the name of the person Hozier is singing to per se. What has been ascertained is that the entirety of “Unreal Unearth” was inspired by the classic piece of Italian literature known as Dante’s Divine Comedy

Owing to this, the titular “Francesca” would be a reference to a notable character found within that poem.

Actually, Francesca da Rimini was a historical figure, a noblewoman who lived in 13th century Italy. As the story goes, she was forced by her family to marry a man she didn’t truly love for political reasons. So subsequently, Francesca ended up having a pretty lengthy affair with his younger brother, whom she was truly smitten with. And when her husband found out he proceeded to kill them both, i.e. his wife and brother.

And how that real-life story ties into the Divine Comedy, which is a work of fiction, is as Francesca and Paolo Malatesta, her illicit lover, being depicted as characters therein. 

More specifically, they are portrayed as suffering in ‘the second circle of hell’, i.e. the part of the underworld reserved for those who allowed themselves to be overtaken by lust.

So Dante, the protagonist of the story who ventures into hell, proceeds to have a conversation with the condemned spirits of Francesca and Paolo. And by the time all is said and done, he greatly empathizes with them.

The Lyrics

And so it can be taken with Hozier’s position in this song. With the foreknowledge of who Francesca is and what she represents in mind, it can be taken that the vocalist is taking on the role of someone who himself is in an illicit romantic relationship, perhaps even Paolo, if you will. 

And he perceives that a “hurricane”, i.e. some type of serious hardship or backlash, is brewing in response to being involved so with the addressee. But being someone who grew up in “a storm”, he does not fear the repercussions.

Or let’s say, more simply, that the vocalist is so in love with the addressee that he is willing to deal with the moral/spiritual ramifications of hooking up with her, and vice versa also appears to be true. Going back to the character of Francesca, this stance includes Hozier proclaiming that “heaven is not fit to house a love like” that between himself and the other party involved. 

Or frankly interpreted, what he appears to be saying is along the lines of if he is denied entry into pearly gates due to partaking of this romance, then so be it.

As generally understood in religious circles, acts such as sleeping with someone else’s wife are considered grievous sins, ones that are worthy of eternal damnation. But in this case, it can be concluded that the vocalist is defending such individuals if they find themselves truly in love with the other party, and vice versa.

“I’d tell them, ‘Put me back in it’
Da-ah, darlin’, I would do it again (Ah-ah, ah-ah)
If I could hold you for a minute
Da-ah, darlin’, I’d go through it again (Ah-ah, ah-ah)”

The Comment Section

Folks, this is the section where you can feel free to share your comments regarding Hozier’s “Francesca”.

Amazing Live

“In my personal opinion, I find that the live version of ‘Francesca’ sounds better than the studio version. I encourage anyone who doubts this to visit YouTube and watch his live performances. There’s something indescribable about the live experience. It’s as if the song is reborn and given a new life. Perhaps it’s the combination of his incredible voice and the magical energy the band creates on stage. It feels like witnessing a musical miracle unfold right before your eyes. The rawness and authenticity of the live performances add an extra layer of depth and emotion to the song, making it an experience you would find hard to forget.”

– Jefferey Jackson

“Watching Hozier perform ‘Francesca’ live on “Later” with Jools Holland was a heart-wrenching experience. It felt as though he was singing directly to someone he had lost. He poured his soul into every word. The song clearly holds immense meaning for him, and it was evident in his eyes and the raw emotion he conveyed.

Despite his efforts to hold back, tears welled up, revealing the depth of his feelings. Hozier is undeniably one of the sweetest and kindest performers in the world. He deserves all the love and support. To anyone listening to this song, I want to extend my heartfelt message of strength and resilience. You deserve nothing but the best in life. Know that I am here, virtually embracing all of you, and sending love to everyone who truly understands the power and meaning behind this song.”

– Ella

“My life was a storm since I was born; how could I fear any hurricane”

The line, ‘My life was a storm since I was born; how could I fear any hurricane’ hits me deep inside considering the challenging conditions I grew up in. Stability has always been elusive in my life. However, when I come across songs or stories with such powerful lines, they serve as reminders of my inner strength. They reinforce the belief that I can face any adversity with courage. For the past few days ‘Francesca’ has been the calm center amidst the chaos of my life. It has given me a sense of stability and peace. Every uphill battle, every whirlwind, and every circle of hell I endure becomes worthwhile whenever I listen to it. It reminds me that love and connection can triumph over any storm.”

– Mike Shaw

Hozier poured both heart and soul into “Francesca”

I can’t help but marvel at how every single word of ‘Francesca’ has been carefully chosen and thoughtfully placed, perfectly fitting within the song. It’s like witnessing a masterpiece unfold before my ears. It reminds me of a waterfall, always refreshing, invigorating.

And let me tell you, there are moments when I listen to this song and it moves me so deeply that I could just cry. But it’s not tears of sadness; it’s tears of being grounded to earth, of feeling every emotion within me as I dive headfirst into the depths of the song. It’s an experience that’s truly transformative. I want to take a moment to express my gratitude to Hozier for sharing this piece with the world. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this creation, for crafting something that has the power to touch the lives of countless numbers of people.”

– Mia

Fabulous Live Rendition

“In my opinion, the live renditions of Hozier’s songs sound better than the studio recordings in terms of quality. ‘Francesca’ serves as yet another testament to that belief. I can’t quite pinpoint the exact reason behind this phenomenon, but perhaps it’s because he brings the song to life with every performance. My adoration for ‘Francesca’ grew instantly when I watched Hozier perform it live on BBC’s ‘Later’. As soon as I heard him sing, ‘Do you think I’d give up?’ at the beginning of his performance, my thoughts immediately drifted to my son who was recently diagnosed with cancer. However, in my sober moments, I couldn’t help but notice how exceptional the musicians in the band were. they created an extraordinary blend of chemistry, magic, and what felt like a miraculous experience. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Andrew for such a memorable performance.”

– Jeffrey

Love is Stronger than Death

“From the moment I first heard ‘Francesca’, I knew it would forever hold a place among my favorite songs. It defines the very essence of love for me. My name is Francesca, I guess it’s not surprising that I love this song so deeply. Tragically, my husband lost his battle with leukemia less than a week after the official release of this song. The experience has been a living nightmare, leaving me haunted. However, I find solace in knowing that he had the opportunity to listen to this song a number of times before he passed away. Reflecting on everything I went through for him, I would willingly endure it all over again just to share a single fleeting moment by his side. Love, indeed, surpasses the boundaries of death’s grip.”

– Francesca

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