Meaning of “Eat Your Young” by Hozier

Written By Michael Miller

Michael is a music teacher and professional cellist. He loves uncovering the deeper meaning of popular songs.

“Eat Your Young” by Hozier is a powerful song, tackling themes of greed, exploitation, and the human cost of unbridled capitalism. The song uses vivid and visceral imagery to portray a world where people, symbolized as ‘young,’ are consumed in the pursuit of gain. The lyrics seem to be a critique of those who profit from the suffering and exploitation of others, notably illustrating industries that thrive on conflict and destruction. It’s not so much a song about a person, but about a system or society that prioritizes gain over humanity. Hozier likely wrote this song to raise awareness about such injustices and provoke thought about societal values and norms.

Dive deeper into this lyrical masterpiece, uncover the powerful messages behind each word, and explore the emotions and thoughts that drove Hozier to pen down this poignant commentary on society. It’s a journey worth taking.

“Eat Your Young” Lyrics Meaning

Analyzing the song chronologically, “I’m starving, darling” sets a tone of desperate hunger—not just for food, but symbolizing an insatiable greed that permeates through the society depicted in the song. This theme of hunger and desire reverberates throughout, emphasizing a relentless pursuit of more.

“Let me wrap my teeth around the world” and “Start carving, darling,” hint at an exploitative approach to the world and its resources, signifying a carving up and consuming of what the world has to offer, without regard for the consequences.

“I wanna smell the dinner cooking, I wanna feel the edges start to burn,” these lines further illustrate the eagerness to partake in the exploitation, feeling the ‘burn’ or the immediate effects of the actions undertaken.

The phrase “Seven new ways that you can eat your young” is particularly poignant, symbolizing the different avenues and methods through which exploitation occurs, with ‘eating your young’ being a powerful metaphor for destroying the future for short-term gains.

“Skinning the children for a war drum, Putting food on the table selling bombs and guns,” depicts the dehumanization and victimization of the innocent, with ‘children’ metaphorically representing the vulnerable and powerless. It highlights industries that profit from conflict, underscoring the human cost involved.

The recurrent lines “Come and get some,” serve as an open invitation or perhaps a challenge to partake in this consumption and exploitation, illustrating a prevailing sense of normalization around these acts within the society depicted.

The song is rich with metaphors and vivid imagery, serving as a stark reflection of a society driven by unrelenting greed and exploitation. The young and the vulnerable, those who are ostensibly the future, are the ones who bear the brunt of this predatory system. It’s an emotional and intellectual plea for awareness and reflection on the societal structures we inhabit and perpetuate.

Why Was “Eat Your Young” Written?

The creation of “Eat Your Young” seems to stem from Hozier’s keen observations and reflections on the world around him. It seems like he was in a state of mind where he felt compelled to communicate the harsh realities and underlying greed prevalent in society.

The song doesn’t just narrate the ills of the society but also seems to be an exploration of Hozier’s own thoughts on exploitation, consumerism, and the cost humanity pays for it. The vivid and raw imagery employed in the song likely stems from a deep sense of frustration and a burning desire to shed light on the unspoken truths of our time.

In delving into why this song was written, it’s evident that Hozier intended to provoke thought and foster a deeper understanding and consciousness about the exploitative structures in place, urging listeners to reflect on their roles within such systems and to contemplate the moral and human implications of unchecked capitalism.