“It’s a story about a love affair between a five year old girl, a secret and a man who lives next door. The song’s called ‘Birthday’ because it’s his fiftieth birthday, but not many people can figure that out of the lyrics ‘cos it’s more about the atmosphere around it and how they touch. It’s a tasteless pop song—not even that. A pop song—very unusual. I was always changing my mind about what the lyrics should be about. I had the atmosphere right from the start but not the facts. It finally ended up concentrating on this experience I remembered having as a little girl, among many other little girls’ experiences. It’s like huge men, about fifty or so, affect little girls very erotically but nothing happens . . . nothing is done, just this very strong feeling. I picked on this subject to show that anything can affect you erotically; material, a tree, anything.”
When asked by a reader of The Guardian “what’s [sic] does the line ‘sows a bird in her knickers’ mean?”, Björk replied “Obviously it is about haberdashery … and embroidery of course ….”
Today is Björk’s 49th birthday. Here are twenty career highlights.
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