20. Birthday – The Sugarcubes

This is a beautiful song which raises more questions than it answers. This is Björk before she was Björk, but long after she was Björk. At this point, she was a Sugarcube, and this is one of their few songs not to be, shall we say, compromised by Einar’s sprechgesang. You ain’t Fred Schneider, mate.

Björk tells the tale of a young girl…

She lives in this house over there
Has her world outside it
Scrabbles in the earth with her fingers and her mouth
She’s five years old

She keeps spiders in her pocket.

She has one friend, he lives next door
They’re listening to the weather
He knows how many freckles she’s got
She scratches his beard

He’s got a chain of flowers
And sews a bird in her knickers

People read a lot more into this song than is necessary. It is a simple song about childhood and love and friendship.

Artist: The Sugarcubes
Album: Life’s Too Good
Writer: The Sugarcubes
Producer: Ray Shulman; Derek Birkett
Released: 1987; One Little Indian

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