Hozier’s secret: no way to get under our skin

What was the Irish pop star thinking performing at the Victoria’s Secret show?

“Take me to church

I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies

I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife

Offer me that deathless death


Good God, let me give you my life”

Good god, Hozier. What were you thinking?

What were you thinking when Victoria’s Secret called up and asked you to perform at the company’s notorious semi-naked extravaganza?

We had come to love you, Hozier. We’re even on first-name terms these days. We had come to love you and your filleting of religion.

We had come to love you and your steadfast support of difference. We saluted your penetration of the more conservative markets - here and in the US - with your rapier lyrics.

We watched the video Brendan Canty directed for Take Me to Church with tears in our eyes and admiration for opening the closet further to the horrors of homophobia.

"To me, it's not even a gay issue or a civil rights issue, it's a human rights issue, and it should offend us all. It's just simple. Either somebody has equal rights, or they don't," you told Una Mullally in an interview for The Irish Times.

We had come to love you, Andrew Hozier-Byrne, a Bray boy made good at the altar of world music.

Here was an Irish pop star who had the word credibility running through him like seaside rock.

“Why did I grow up in a homophobic place? Why did I grow up in a misogynistic place?” you mused with Mullally.

“You grow up and recognise that in an educated secular society, there’s no excuse for ignorance. You have to recognise in yourself, and challenge yourself, that if you see racism or homophobia or misogyny in a secular society, as a member of that society, you should challenge it. You owe it to the betterment of society.”

We know you meant that Hozier. We just don’t know where the pants-wearing uber-models who marched to the beat of your drum in London this week fit into your world view.

"Hozier and Ed Sheeran are the luckiest men in showbiz as they rock Victoria's Secret show", said the headline in the Herald.

“Only Sheer for the leers”, shouted The Sun. At this point, Hozier probably gave thanks that even tabloid headline-writers can’t find a rhyme for some words.

Yes, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande played the Victoria's Secret show too. Yes, they should also know better.

Yes, Jose Mourinho took his wife and daughter to ogle brassieres before the club’s match against Spurs. No, we’re sure not surprised at that special one.

But, Hozier?

Hozier is au fait with the word misogyny. Hozier should not be standing on a London stage as the inert backdrop to a bunch of breasts. He is worth more than that. More than Victoria’s Secret were paying him anyway.

Victoria’s Secret call their models “Angels”. At least there’s a Take Me To Church tie in there. Otherwise, there probably is “no excuse for ignorance”.

You’ve told us your sins and we’ve sharpened our knife, Hozier.