Meaning of “Work Song” by Hozier

“Work Song” acted as a single from Hozier’s debut album, a self-titled project, with the tune being released as such on 9 March 2014. The labels behind this track, which was written by Hozier, are Rubyworks, Columbia Records and Island Records. Hozier also co-produced “Work Song”, in that regard being aided by Rob Kirwan, and its music video was directed by Isaac Ravishankara.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Hozier's Work Song at

This track went on to be a notable hit, as it for example appeared on three different Billboard charts stateside. Moreover, this song has been certified double-platinum in Canada as of 2021. Furthermore, it’s on record as being publicly endorsed by Taylor Swift.

Work Song

Lyrics of “Work Song”

This is the one of types of tracks in which the vocalist goes about celebrating the love and commitment of his significant other, Hozier style. What that means is whereas songs with these types of thesis sentiments are quite common, Hozier’s lyrical presentation of the subject matter at hand is far from conventional.

For instance, you’re not likely to come across another love song that’s actually titled “Work Song”. But apparently, the reason the vocalist decided to name it so is because, as implied in the first verse, he’s a blue-collar worker, one who furthermore toils in “the burning heat”. But even under such circumstances, his thoughts are preoccupied with those of his sweetheart.

The second and third verses steer us in a slightly-different direction. They still focus on how much Hozier appreciates his lady, but now he puts an emphasis on why that is actually so. And that’s because, if the lyrics are to be taken literally, during a particular three-day episode the vocalist proceeded to engage in so much boozing and related careless activity – or “sin” as he puts it – that he became sick. 

“When my time comes around
Lay me gently in the cold, dark earth
No grave can hold my body down
I’ll crawl home to her”

Furthermore, it was this lady who nursed him back to health, no questions asked. Or viewed from a different standpoint, she doesn’t judge Hozier for his shortcomings. Thus the way he sees it is that even “if the Lord don’t forgive” him, his “baby” will nonetheless. 

And it is seemingly along those lines that he goes on to assert that even in death, he’s going to popup out of the grave and “crawl home to her”, i.e. her love being even more powerful than “heaven and hell”.

So reading in between the lines, perhaps we can conclude by putting forth that the meaning of these lyrics is twofold. On one hand, they come off like your average love song, with the singer celebrating his lady’s sweetness and commitment to making him good. 

But on the other hand, there’s a notable religious connotation which reads as if Hozier is saying that this romance has proven more appealing or edifying to him than religion. And the implication is that the reason he feels that way is because religious ideologies would condemn certain things he may do, while his sweetheart would not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...