"Oceanía" as written by Bjork Gudmundsdottir and Sirgurjon Birgir Sigurdsson....
One breath away from mother ocean
Your nimble feet make prints in my sands
You have done good for yourselves
Since you left my wet embrace and crawled ashore

Every boy, is a snake is a lily
Every pearl is a lynx, is a girl
Sweet like harmony made into flesh

You dance by my side
Children sublime
You show me continents
I see the islands

You count the centuries, I blink my eyes
Hawks and sparrows race in my waters
Stingrays are floating across the sky
Little ones, my sons and my daughters

Your sweat is salty
I am why
I am why
I am why

Your sweat is salty
I am why
I am why
I am why


Lyrics submitted by saturnine

"Oceania" as written by Bjork Gudmundsdottir Sirgurjon Birgir Sigurdsson

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Universal Music Publishing Group

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Oceanía song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationI think the gist of this song has been explained, so I'm just offering my two cents on one line:

    "Every boy is a snake is a lily/Every pearl is a lynx is a girl"

    Snake- phallic symbol, masculine
    Lily- gynous symbol, feminine
    Pearl- symbol of femininity- sometimes linked to the clitoris
    Lynx- this one is a bit less obvious. The lynx is a "hunter", associated with the virile male gods Dionysus and Lugh, so it is a masculine symbol.

    With this, it's obvious that this line is a transgression of gender boundaries and states that there is a feminine and masculine part to all of us.

    "You count the centuries/ I blink my eyes"

    This is such a beautiful line. One of my favourite moments in any song.
    DrDandelionon August 15, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI swear Bjork is an unearthly creature who has come to teach human kind of our fundamental flaws.

    This song is genius. I was listening to Medula one day and had an epiphany about the meaning of this song.

    It's about how all life (humans included) originated in the oceans. We are still connected through the ocean because our sweat is salty (our blood also has a sodium chloride content of 0.9%)

    I didn't know that the song was written for the Olympics but that makes a lot of sense.
    st3fannieon February 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song's just amazing!!!!!my favorite Bjork song ever. It's geat that she recorded Medulla (and Oceania, too) using "mouth music" - definately a big step in her musical career
    madameon December 18, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFrom bjork.com:

    "Basically, the Olympics people asked me to do a kind of 'Ebony and Ivory' or 'We Are the World' type song. Those are smashing tunes and all that, but I thought, 'Maybe there's another angle to this.' ...the song is all about how the ocean doesn't see boundaries between countries and thinks everyone is the same."
    wisnijon March 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song really works as a plea for peace, which fits with its usage at the Olympics, because Bjork just states that we are all the same to the ocean. It really is a beautiful message that every kind of life, whether it is a snake or a person, is equal. The final lines, "I am why" is a great reminder that we all descended from the ocean. Also the remix with Kelis is fantastic, her verse is really good. The Kelis remix works as a kind of love song between the continents and their mother, the ocean. Their voices are perfect together. It's Kelis' best work since 'Milkshake' at least.
    indie-YYYon January 25, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe first time i heard it i assumed it was about an exboyfriend or something. like, 'your sweat it salty i am why' meant 'im making you sweat' or something, and the person being talked to is closed minded while bjork is open to possibilities (stingerays in the sky?)

    but as it turns out, the actual meaning is much better-- it's sung in the point of view of the ocean, directed towards humans. it was written for the olympic performance
    tortoiseon November 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is really beautiful. I love the personification that the ocean takes as the mother of life. It's really a beautiful thought. Bjork writes such amazing songs. I loved this preformance at the olympics.
    squee_4_meon November 09, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"one breath away from mother oceania"
    "since you left my wet embrace"

    sexual undertones anyone?
    JohnnyMormanon November 12, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song
    precipitateon November 27, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwhat i get from it, Bjork is trying to imply that we all originated from the ocean and now as time has passed, we have accomplished allot
    "You have done
    Good for yourselves
    Since you left my wet embrace
    And crawled ashore"
    She (the ocean ) still feels and reminds the land creatures that she is our true mother and she still loves us
    paperguy718on December 14, 2004   Link

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