Florence and the Machine: Bedroom Hymns Meaning
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Bedroom Hymns Lyrics
We'll build our alter here
Make me your Maria
I'm already on my knees
You had Jesus on your breath
And I caught him in mine
Sweating our confessions
The undone and the divine
This is his body
anonymous May 8th, 2014 5:45pm report
Apart from the other religious references, the chorus, "This is his body/ this is his love" is an overt reference to the Holy Eucharist, the pinnacle of the Christian life. In Christian belief, during the Mass (worship service), the supreme act of worship is the receiving of the Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion or The Lord's Supper. According to Scriptural and traditional sources, when the priest recites the Words of Institution (Jesus' words found in I Corinthians 11:24-25), the unleavened bread and wine present on the altar become the actual, literal Body and Blood of Jesus that was sacrificed on the cross. The bread and wine cease to exist, making way for Christ's body, blood, soul, and divinity, with only the appearance of bread and wine remaining. The priest then holds up the Eucharistic Host (Body and Chalice of Blood) to the congregation, reciting a set of words inviting them to Adoration. Florence's own words probably come from Jesus Himself, Who said in the Words of Institution, "This is my Body... This is my Blood..." Which was an inspiration for, "This is His body/ This is His love." An appropriate fit for Florence's act of worship to her lover, repeating the words of the highest act of worship to God.
For a better understanding of Florence's choice of words, research the Miracle of Lanciano or go to Catholicscomehome.org. It's actually really interesting.
anonymous May 8th, 2014 5:21pm report
A religious metaphor for a sexual encounter, "Bedroom Hymns" has a strong overlying theme of submission in sex. The first verse of the song deals exclusively with the song's religious double-meaning, referencing an altar, confessions, and Jesus. One controversial element is in the verse, "Make me your Maria/ I'm already on my knees," which many interpret to mean the Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, who is referred to as Maria in many religious contexts. However, the verse in question is referencing, of course, sex, and the next verse says, "you had Jesus on your breath/ and I caught Him in mine," which in the case of Jesus' own mother, a virgin nonetheless, doesn't make much sense. The verse could refer to St. Mary Magdalene, a prostitute who became a disciple of Christ after he exorcised her demons. Some make the heretical claim that she was Jesus' lover. In the sexual sense it would make more sense than Jesus' mother. Also, this would not be Florence's only song referring to Mary Magdalene. "Seven Devils" refers to St. Mary Magdalene's possession by the Seven Devils before her exorcism by Christ. In any case, the rest of "Bedroom Hymns" refers to religion in other ways, with idols, bedroom hymns, and absolution. The song is essentially about her worship and submission to her lover, a rather explicit subject she felt was best expressed in religious terms... Why? Who knows.
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