Hozier has delivered another heartbreaking yet beautiful song in the form of his latest single, “Cherry Wine”.
Described by the 25-year-old Irish singer-songwriter as “a love song written from the perspective of someone who is in an abusive relationship”, the music video for “Cherry Wine” tackles the very sensitive issue of domestic violence and the broader anti-violence against women in conjunction with the ongoing #FaceUpToDomesticViolence campaign.
Directed by Emmy winner Dearbhla Walsh, the video clip sees Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan and “Vikings” actor Moe Dunford portraying a couple in an abusive relationship. Although they are seen cozying up after a drunken night out together, we see evidence that their relationship is not a bed of roses at all. In fact, it has taken a violent turn.
Violent scenes are not shown here, rather, the visual offers an insight into the victim’s mindset on why people would justify their decision for staying in a hurtful relationship. As Ronan gently removes her makeup, her face exposes a black eye and the faintest hint of her inner turmoil and trauma.
In the gut-wrenching chorus, Hozier sings, “The way she tells me I’m hers and she is mine / Open hand or closed fist would be fine / The blood is rare and sweet as cherry wine.” Coming from his perspective, when his girl tells him “I’m yours and you’re mine”, it’s a slap in the face because in actuality, she is with someone else.
The emotional pain hurts worse than an actual open hand or closed fist slap. The physical infliction would feel more bearable than to have his feelings toyed with. With this being said, the little time he spends with her is worth all the pain because the experience with her tastes like cherry wine.
Hozier and his record labels have since decided to donate all of the earnings from “Cherry Wine” and donate it to various domestic abuse charity organisations.
— Columbia Records (@ColumbiaRecords) February 14, 2016
Speaking of his decision to take part in this campaign, Hozier said, “Domestic violence is an ongoing issue in our society, the statistics of which are shocking and the effects of which damage whole families, communities and span generations.
“With the song ‘Cherry Wine’, I tried to get across the difficulty of coming to terms with and facing up to domestic violence and the dynamic of an abusive relationship,” he continued.
Ronan added, “The song has always been one of my favourite tracks on his album. I hope through the video and song we can shine light on the issue and complexity of domestic abuse and in doing so help those caught up in the cycle of domestic violence.”
Watch the music video: