A beautiful rendition of a traditional Scottish song in a time where its meaning is completely appropriate and just as heartbreaking.
‘The Parting Glass’ is one of those classic songs that has been covered more times than you can count – with artists from Ed Sheeran to video games like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag each taking their turn. And for Hozier, it’s right up his avenue – the somber tone melds right with the tunes he’s well known for like ‘Take Me To church’.
It’s sad and brutally raw in a way some other versions miss; this is a parting song, one that would be played or sung as people were leaving after a night of rivalry, but more recent performances it has taken this more melancholy turn. It’s somewhat sobering to listen to, the little gut-punch of emotion sticks with you far after the tune has finished. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll listen to it three, four, five times and then find yourself humming it for the rest of the day.
Dedicated to those who have died from COVID-19, Hozier’s version of this traditional Scottish song hits every point it’s trying to get across. There’s almost a real pain in these words, and the isolation of the vocals centralises these feelings of pain and departure.
The single is available now via Rubyworks Ltd., with all proceeds being donated to ISPCC and Childline.