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Released: 2014

“Like Real People Do” by Hozier is a pop song that delves into the territory of vulnerability and the desire for authentic connection. It gently nudges us to set aside our pasts, and surrender to the present moment, a recurring theme in pop music, but handled here with Hozier’s unique touch.

Opening line “I had a thought, dear, however scary / About that night, the bugs and the dirt / Why were you digging? What did you bury” sets a mysterious and somewhat eerie tone. Hozier isn’t just reminiscing about a night; he is venturing into the terrain of unsettling thoughts. He’s hinting at a past that the “you” in the song is trying to bury, a metaphor for painful memories or experiences kept locked away. But at the same time, Hozier’s curiosity is coupled with respect, he won’t pry into the past without permission.

The line “Honey, just put your sweet lips on my lips / We should just kiss like real people do,” is a cry for genuine, unpretentious affection. “Like real people do” is a clever way to highlight how often we can become caught up in superficial or performative aspects of love and relationships. Slang like “honey” and “sweet lips” alludes to the common sweet terms of endearment we use in affectionate relationships, further emphasizing the theme of authenticity in the song. His sentiment is backed by a longing for a pure, uninhibited love, one that isn’t shackled by the chains of the past.

“I knew that look, dear, eyes always seeking” and “So I will not ask you why you were creeping / In some sad way, I already know” acknowledges an unspoken understanding between the two characters in the song, suggesting a shared, unvoiced pain. The word “creeping” here can be colloquially understood as, acting in a cautious, slow, or secretive way – indicative of the hesitance to reveal one’s past or true self.

In the final verse, “I could not ask you where you came from / I could not ask and neither could you,” a shift from “will not ask” to “could not ask” implies an acceptance, a resignation that they both carry baggage. Even though the past might linger on, his focus remains on the present, captured in the thrilling and simple act of a kiss “like real people do”.

So, what’s my hot take on “Like Real People Do”? It’s a poetic swan dive into the realm of intimate relationships, urging us to embrace genuine connection, even if it means wrestling personal demons. Hozier invites us to relinquish the grip of our haunted pasts and lean into the immediacy of the present moment. It’s deep, it’s haunting, it’s real – just like the kiss he yearns for.

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