14 Of The Best Lyrics From Hozier's 'Wasteland, Baby!'

14 Of The Best Lyrics From Hozier's 'Wasteland, Baby!'

"I wouldn't fall for someone I thought couldn't misbehave."


It's been five years since Hozier's self-titled debut album was released, and many of us have spent those years in hopeful anticipation of the next time he would release new music. Now, we have "Wasteland, Baby!"--a fourteen-track album of musical experimentation and pure lyrical poetry that was worth every minute of the wait. Here are the best lyrics from every track on "Wasteland, Baby!"

1. Nina Cried Power: "Power has been cried by those stronger than me/Straight into the face that tells you to/Rattle your chains if you love being free"


"Nina Cried Power" contains some of the most powerful messages on the album, including this spur to action by the legendary Mavis Staples.

2. Almost (Sweet Music): "I got some colour back, she thinks so, too/I laugh like me again, she laughs like you"


"Almost," is a love letter of sorts to legendary jazz artists like Duke Ellington and Chet Baker. Within it is still concealed a modern and specific story of a healing relationship. This lyric, while possibly referencing Chet Baker's "I Get Along With You Very Well" also shows the power of love and music to restore color and laughter to someone's life.

3. Movement: "When you move/I can recall something that's gone from me/When you move/Honey, I'm put in awe of somethin' so flawed and free"

Many songs on "Wasteland, Baby!" serve as homages, and "Movement" could be considered an homage to great dancers. Then again, it could also be considered simply an homage to being captivated with everything about the person you love, to hanging on their every move. This lyric worships the imperfect perfection of said person and the way they make you realize what you've been missing.

4. No Plan: "There's no plan, there's no hand on the rein/As Mack explained, there will be darkness again"


Here Hozier references astrophysicist Dr. Katherine J. Mark's belief that the universe will ultimately dissolve into ultimate nothingness. "No Plan" details two people's reckless choosing of each other in spite of that--that they don't need a plan, they don't need to try to control what they can't, they'll still choose each other.

5. Nobody: "I wouldn't fall for someone I thought couldn't misbehave"


The relationship Hozier sings about in "Nobody" is by no means perfect. These two people lead each other through dangerously high highs and low lows. However, these people have never expected perfection from each other, knowing that a traditional relationship wouldn't work; they need misbehavior.

6. To Noise Making (Sing): "You don't have to sing it nice, but honey sing it strong/At best, you'll find a little remedy/At worst, the world will sing along"


"To Noise Making" is one of the most upbeat songs on the album, about the power of singing and the joy it can bring. Here, Hozier encourages his partner not to worry about singing beautifully, but just to sing for the sake of singing, in the hope that it will heal them or reach out to others.

7. As It Was: "And in a few days I would be there, love/Whatever here that's left of me is yours just as it was"


"As It Was" is about the relationship you just can't let go of. Despite heart break, Hozier sings that he would go back to his lover in a moment, ready to give up all of his heart once more.

8. Shrike: "I was housed by your warmth, thus transformed/By your grounded and giving and darkening scorn/Remember me, love, when I'm reborn/As a shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn"


"Shrike" is one of my favorite tragic songs. Once it settles into you, it stays. This final chorus encapsulates some of the most achingly poetic loss and longing you'll ever hear.

Here is someone who found a home in someone, only to lose them by their own failure to voice their feelings. Their only hope is to live on in their lover's mind--but even then, only as a shrike impaling prey on their thorn.

9. Talk: "Imagine being loved by me"


"Talk" one of my favorite tracks, is sung by an unreliable narrator trying his hand at seduction. He makes all sorts of grand promises, like the having devotion of Orpheus, the forgiveness of Eurydice, and the last shred of truth. It's overblown and cocky, and we can't help falling for it anyway.

10. Be: "Be love in its disrepute/Scorches the hillside and salts every root/And watches the slowin' and starvin' of troops"

"Be" simultaneously begs for unconditional love and criticizes the complacency we have in the presence of world tragedies, like war, climate change, and the rejecting of refugees.

11. Dinner & Diatribes: "Your friends are a fate that befell me/Hell is the talking type"


"Dinner & Diatribes" is the most playful song on the album, essentially describing being stuck in an awkward situation and the desire to escape it with the one person you actually want to be with. We've all been there.

12. Would That I: "I fell in love with the fire long ago"


"Would That I" is an extended metaphor in which Hozier envisions himself as a tree and his partner as the flame. Instead of fearing his eventual destruction by her, he embraces the warmth she gives him, and the fact that while they are together, he burns bright.

13. Sunlight: "I would trade the hum of night, share in evening's cool and quiet/Who would trade the hum of night/For sunlight, sunlight, sunlight"


Hozier often deals with darker, nihilistic themes, but "Sunlight" is all hope. In this song, he sings about finding someone he would give everything for and who gives him sunlight in return.

14. Wasteland, Baby!: "Be still, my indelible friend, you are unbreaking"


"Wasteland, Baby!" shows us the hope at the end of the world. Both the album and this title track deal with great pain, but also show us what's left to hold onto. In this lyric lies much of the heart of the album: that we are irreplaceable, and damaged though we may be, still whole.

Popular Right Now

An Open Letter To My College Freshman Roommate

Be sure to send this to your college freshmen roommate if you love them as much as I love mine!


Dear College Freshmen Roommate,

To be honest, my first impression of you was a quiet, shy private catholic school girl. (Wow, this couldn't have been the farthest thing from the truth)! I remember walking behind you and your boyfriend on the way to the bars on our very first night of Summer B. I kept thinking how much you didn't like me because you didn't say hi to me. Little did I know, after admitting to each other our unfortunate first impressions of each other years later, you were just being cognizant of me because you thought I was a real-life version of Regina George from Mean Girls. It turns out you weren't the shy, private school girl I thought you were and I definitely wasn't as cool as Regina George after all.

Lexi Garber

It didn't take much time for us to become best friends. You had me at "So, do you know what a mountain melt is from Ale House?" After this day, I knew we were going to be lifelong friends and celebrate our passion for carbs, fast food, and sugar together. You make friendship seem so easy. You're always down to study whenever, leave the library whenever, and most importantly, get Chick-Fil-A no matter what our budget is or how broke we are. You always pick up the phone and support all the bad decisions I make. You ALWAYS figure out all my Wordscape puzzles for me and support my real life Candy Crush addiction.

Lexi Garber

I realize that you give me a slice of home when my mom doesn't answer the phone. I love that we always get to talk about our high school memories together because every story is a new and exciting one for both of us. Sometimes I'm happy we met in college because we would have caused way too much trouble in high school together. Besides, I get to hear about how much of an awesome volleyball player you were and I tell you about crazy my lacrosse years. Although, I will say how much it sucks when we go home for summer and winter break because I do get major separation anxiety!

Lexi Garber

When we go out, you know we're requesting ALL Luke Combs songs and sing until our voices are gone. Whether it be going out to the club, binge-eating, studying at the library, watching the Bachelor in your apartment, going to football tailgates or watching baseball games together, we are ALWAYS laughing. You have this amazing brightness and you only radiate positivity and happiness. I can't wait to see what the rest of college has in store for us. I feel so grateful that I got the chance to meet you and call you one of my true, lifelong best friends. I love you to Infinity (the place where it all began) and Back!


Lexi Garber

Forever and Always,

your college freshmen roommate

Lexi Garber

Lexi Garber

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You Can Dislike 'Captain Marvel' And Still Be A Feminist

It's good to watch Captain Marvel. But we don't have to love her.


When "Wonder Woman" came out in 2017, I got a lot of flak from male friends when they gushed over Gal Gadot (supposedly as her superhero character?) and I didn't overwhelmingly ooze the same sentiments. "You're such a bad feminist!", I was told, for merely thinking the movie was enjoyable and a decently positive step forward rather than a life-changing poster-child feminist movie. There were things I enjoyed, and things I thought the movie could do better—but because I didn't unconditionally love "Wonder Woman," I wasn't really a feminist

Seeing "Captain Marvel" after hearing it lauded for months as a ground-breaking feminist movie, I found myself disappointed again.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed the movie. (Every observation here is based on the film alone; I've never read the comics.) The CGI was great, the plot incorporated fun references to the MCU universe that will amuse fans, it had no more plotholes than any average superhero movie, and I did love that the main character was a woman (and a strong supporting character is an African American woman, which is wonderful: let's certainly celebrate the intersectionalism of "Captain Marvel.")

Yes, a MCU superhero who's a woman is ground-breaking—that's great. But it's okay to not unconditionally adore "Captain Marvel." We can have reservations about the movie—or even not like it—and still be a feminist.

In her article "Diamonds in the Rough," Janine Macbeth writes: "Way back in the day when the pickings were slimmer than slim, maybe, just maybe, enjoying a book like "The Five Chinese Brothers" (first published in 1938) was alright. But today […], any book that opens, "Once upon a time there were five Chinese brothers and they all looked exactly alike" is completely unacceptable."

Similarly to feminism in movies: back in the day, when "pickings were slim," it behooved feminists to support any remotely positive female representation in any film. But—even though there's still a discrepancy today—we no longer need to unquestioningly and indiscriminately accept every aspect of a women's representation.

I would posit that it's actually anti-feminist to love everything about a character simply because she's a woman, or everything about a story because it features a female lead. Should we go see the movie to support it? Sure, that's great. Should we be happy we're taking strides forward in female representation? Hell yeah.

But do we need to be happy that half a loaf is better than none? Absolutely not. We can still expect, demand, and yearn for a full loaf. We can support the movie financially as half a loaf if we choose while also acknowledging there are aspects of the film that were lacking and we wish they will be present in the next movie: insisting on, someday, a full loaf.

We don't have to lower our liking-something standards merely because the film highlights women. We don't have to happily embrace every plot-hole and trait we'd ordinarily dislike just because of that.

Case in point, I would love to see more women in political office and I'm thrilled with the current diverse representation in Congress. I love when I get to vote for a woman! But if I ran for office and someone voted for me just because I was a woman, I would be offended. Vote for me for my ideals, my principles, and my policies—be happy that I'm a woman, but don't vote for me just because I'm a woman. That's almost as offensive as not voting for me just because I'm a woman.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter why I didn't fall in love with "Captain Marvel"**. I genuinely do feel "Captain Marvel" let me down as a feminist idol. The point's not whether or not she's an amazing poster-child or a flawed one or even a bad one. The point is that feminists (or, decent humans) shouldn't feel obligated to walk on tiptoes around any valid criticisms merely because she's a woman.

Feminine representation is no longer so fragile that having reservations about a specific film will cause the whole house of cards to come tumbling down and shove women out of films forever. It's not a matter of being a "diamond in the rough": if someone loves "Captain Marvel," they should love her! And if someone doesn't, that's okay too. Feminism is broad and strong enough to encompass both perspectives.

Studios don't necessarily care about all of these nuances, they largely care about money. So sure, if you feel so drawn, go buy a ticket to show that people will watch a movie about a female superhero. However, it's worth noting that no one feels the need to support every male superhero movie out of fear that if we don't support it, studios will stop making male superhero movies. There are enough men represented in superhero movies that there can be crappy movies and amazing movies and people can dislike a particular movie without being accused of being a manhater. No, they don't hate men, they just didn't care for that particular film.

I went to see "Captain Marvel," and I'd see it again (even knowing that I felt a bit disappointed) to support the representation of women in films in general; but I'm disappointed because I expected better: I expect, someday, my full loaf. Maybe next year there will be a female superhero movie that I absolutely love; maybe someday, we won't feel we have to go see a superhero movie just because it features a woman. We can go see it just because it's awesome.

There's a great argument to support movies like "Captain Marvel." But women in movies are not diamonds in the rough anymore. We no longer have to uncritically love all film characters just because they're women. Some people may love her representation, and that's great. And some will not. (A quick Google search shows my disappointment is not unique.) The pickings aren't excessive, but neither are they non-existent. We can appraise Captain Marvel on her merit, not merely unquestioningly accept her just because she is a woman.

**Regarding the reasons: my next article is on what "Captain Marvel" got right…and where it missed the mark.

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