You all know the feeling: you’re on the way to pick up some food from Taco Bell with a Spotify playlist on shuffle, and an emotional song by Irish singer-songwriter Hozier happens to play as you’re pulling into the drive-through, making you contemplate your level of satisfaction with the life you’ve lived so far.
In honor of the release of his sophomore album “Wasteland, Baby!”, here are the Hozier songs that made me cry hardest in the Taco Bell parking lot.
“All you have is your fire / And the place you need to reach”
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, I don’t know what to tell you but I do not have my fire. I forgot to ask the cashier for Fire hot sauce to go with my Quesadilla Combo #7, and by the time I realized, I had already started my ritual of eating my food and crying to one of your songs in the parking lot. My love, why must you taunt me? Why do you remind me of my greatest mistakes? I forgot my Fire, but I found a packet of Mild sauce at the bottom of my purse. Is that enough? Will that get me to the place I need to reach?
“I couldn't utter my love when it counted / Ah, but I'm singing like a bird 'bout it now”
Initially released on Hozier’s 2018 “Nina Cried Power EP,” this song tells the tragic tale of the loss of a lover, with the relationship’s value unrealized until it is too late. When I listen to this song, I think of all that could have been. On that dreadful day in December of 2006, if I knew that my usual order of Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes was about to be changed forever, I might have appreciated it more. If I had been older and wiser, perhaps I might have known what E. Coli was, and I might have understood that a lawsuit alleging an outbreak would, unfortunately, stop Taco Bell from putting green onions on the potatoes for the rest of my life.
But I was an eight-year-old naive dipshit, and I have been waiting thirteen years for the triumphant return of a crucial ingredient on my favorite side. May the green onions rest in peace.
“If I was born as a blackthorn tree / I'd wanna be felled by you / Held by you / Fuel the pyre of your enemies”
The title is an acronym for “Nothing Fucks With My Baby,” also from his “Nina Cried Power EP.” With that title, one might expect the song to be about a man protecting his lover from the world, but Hozier quickly topples this expectation. Nothing fucks with his baby because she is so terrifying that she will tear apart anything that comes her way, and he loves her for her power.
And as I chowed down on my Cool Ranch® Doritos® Locos Tacos Supreme®
in the parking lot, I wept. Will I ever find someone who will love me for my independence and strength? Will I ever have a lover who will stand alongside, nay, enthusiastically participate in my most rash choices? Will my partner be there by my side to pick up a Supreme Variety Taco Party Pack for just the two of us on a Wednesday night?
Is there anyone out there who will “Live Más” with me, or is my life destined to follow a lonely path of solitude?
“There's no plan, there's no hand on the rein / As Mack explained, there will be darkness again”
What do you do when you are first confronted with the reality that if things went slightly differently, your existence could have been infinite nothingness? If you’re like me, you order a Mountain Dew® Baja Blast™ Freeze.
I think about those who came before me, the people who set the stage for me to be here. How lucky am I, that my parents took a chance and moved to a country they barely knew. How lucky am I, that on the special occasions that we would buy the now-discontinued Mango Strawberry Frutista Freeze®, they would let me have the cut pieces of strawberry from the top of their drinks, which were, objectively speaking, the best part. Chance had it so that I would be alive in the right time and place to celebrate the short-lived tenure of the greatest menu item that Taco Bell had to offer. Yes, there will be darkness again, but for a few brief moments, I have the privilege of experiencing humanity’s greatest light: the first sip of a frozen soft drink after sitting in an old-ass car with no working air conditioning.
A man in a sleek BMW is fully honking at me for how egregiously I double-parked my Honda Civic. The lot is so full that he probably does not have room to go anywhere else, but just for today, I don’t care that he is rolling down his window to give me the finger. I’ll take my time. I’ll savor my Mountain Dew® Baja Blast™ Freeze.
After all, there will be darkness again.