Dark Light

Released: 2024

“Too Sweet” by Hozier, read at face value, isn’t just a joyful serenade to sugary excess – it’s also a testament to personal independence and individualism. The lyrics feature a narrator who cherishes the unfettered lifestyle and resists the pull of domesticity embodied by the overly sweet figure of the song’s title.

The opening lines: “It can’t be said I’m an early bird / It’s ten o’clock before I say a word” firmly establish the song’s persona as a natural night owl, cut from a different cloth than the traditional morning lark. The lines “Baby, I can never tell / How do you sleep so well?” suggest an asymmetry in lifestyle preferences between the narrator and the addressee of the song. The latter seems to be a paragon of lifestyle perfection – early to bed, early to rise.

These differences are further expounded in the lines “You keep telling me to live right / To go to bed before the daylight / But then you wake up for the sunrise.” The traditional lifestyle is deemed “sweet” in the sense of adhering to societal norms and expectations, but for our narrator, it’s too cloying, too smothering.

As the lyrics roll on with lines like “I think I’ll take my whiskey neat / My coffee black and my bed at three,” the narrator’s infatuation with a life less ordinary becomes clear. The whiskey “neat,” the coffee “black,” these are archetypal markers of the rugged individualist. They stand in clear contrast to the “too sweet” persona of the other – embodying a pliancy and passivity that our narrator resists.

Moving to the line, “You treat your mouth as if it’s Heaven’s gate / The rest of you like you’re the TSA”, we’re given a portrait of someone overly cautious and prim – perhaps not living life to its fullest. It’s a striking image that underscores how little the narrator identifies with this mode of being.

Interestingly, the repetition of the lines “You’re too sweet for me” expresses both criticism and a hint of affection. Despite their fundamental differences, the narrator acknowledges a certain tenderness for this “too sweet” person. It’s a sticky situation – one which leaves the listener in a contemplative space, suspended in the bittersweet reality of their relationship.

The repetition of the ‘oohs’ and ‘woah-ohs’ serve to emphasize the turbulence and conflict within the narrator, akin to the back-and-forth of their contemplation. It’s musical nuance supporting lyrical depth.

So, peel back the layers and you’ll find Hozier’s “Too Sweet” isn’t just a simple song about different lifestyle choices, but a poignant portrayal of personal values clashing with societal expectations, ultimately calling listeners to question – what’s the flavor of your personal freedom?

Related Posts