"Birthday" as written by Bj�rk Gudmundsdottir, Einar Benediktsson, Fridrik Erlingsson, Bragi Olafsson, Sigtryggur Baldursson and Thor Eldon Jonsson....
She lives in this house over there, has her world outside it.
Grapples with the earth with her fingers and her mouth, she's five years old.
Thread worms on a string, keeps spiders in her pocket, collects fly-wings in
A jar scrubs horse flies and pinches them on a line. she's got one friend
He lives next door, they listen to the weather, he knows how many freckles
she's got,
She scratches his beard. she's painting huge books, glues them together,
They saw a big raven; it glided down the sky, she touched it.
Today's a birthday, they're smoking cigars, he got a chain of flowers,
Sows a bird in her knickers, they're smoking cigars, lie in the bathtub, chain of flowers.


Lyrics submitted by Neon_Like, edited by bleachershane

"Birthday" as written by Einar Benediktsson Sigtryggur Baldursson

Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Birthday song meanings
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41 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentI think everyone is being too literal about this song. I think it's a beautiful coming-of-age song. She's not really five. Sometimes she acts like a little kid, as if she were five, and sometimes she acts like an adult, smoking cigars and touching a man's beard. It's about the transition from childhood to adulthood and how there is no clear barrier between the two. Sometimes you can enjoy the excitement of both.
    denimcheenson December 16, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf this song seems to be about a paedophiliac situation, it's only because the words 'she touched it', 'knickers', 'they lie in the bathtub' seem sexual. it's sensuality, not sexuality. the song is trying to become five again, and the things that five year olds feel. that's why she has all the 'aaaooooohoooohoh' parts for no reason.

    bjork from this era can give you an idea about why she knows so much about people, she's clearly trying to understand things better by becoming a minor and suppressing adult thoughts.
    freeter mcbeanon December 26, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentBjork has said that this song is about "a tasteless love affair," plain and simple. She said she drew on her own memories of being five and falling in love with old men like her grandfather or a neighbor. A very innocent sort of love, you know, the kind that five year olds have.
    blue25000000on February 17, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIt's all just how it happens in the childs mind being told. In the girls imagination they love eachother and they both do things that grown ups do from what she's seen of other people or in the movies.

    I remember when I was five and I had feelings for older women. If I were to write a song about a woman and a boy it wouldn't be as controversial as this song is to some. This is pure and sincere to how children feel at an age before sex was even known about. It's just a little girls crush.
    nic-ckon January 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is the first song I ever heard by the sugarcubes and I saw the video on 120 minutes with Dave Kendall, I remember thinking how could such a voice come from such a little girl! My theory is a little different but I could be way off. I always thought it was about 2 little kids who were best friends, the beard and the smoking of cigars are all pretend like playing grown ups. *shrug*
    zothiqueon August 12, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree that this is a coming of age story, resulting in the woman ending up as a spinster. The song goes backwards through time. It's Lewis-esque in it style. Bkork has drawn heavy influence from the youth and naivety of Alice in Wonderland, and I feel that this song possesses those qualities.
    freudon December 26, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree. Bjork isn't the sort of artist that would be so dark as to include pedophilia into one of her earliest songs, her first biggest hit in the UK and US. I think people should try to regress themselves whilst listening to this song, and attempt to understand the angle these great Icelanders were coming from.
    freudon December 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentweird. i would have never thought of the song refering to pedophilia, nor will i ever! just because it refers to a '5 year' old and then a man with a 'beard', doesnt mean that they are years apart.
    she could, be five years old, on this day, how she is acting, she feels like she is...
    i think this song is so beautiful and very special to me!
    slinkstersarson January 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBjork has said that this song is about "a tasteless love affair," plain and simple. She said she drew on her own memories of being five and falling in love with old men like her grandfather or a neighbor. A very innocent sort of love, you know, the kind that five year olds have.
    blue25000000on February 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMan the people who said this song could be about pedophilia are freaking ridiculous. I never even thought that once about it until I read that shit on here...

    It sounds like a perfect description of a little girl growing up and spending time either with her father or her grandfather. I mean when we're babies our first friends are our parents after all. She's growing up and discovering the world outside her house where she's been all her life. Catching bugs, painting and having fun by pretending to smoke cigars.

    I love that scream/wail/growl she does. This song always makes me so happy whenever I hear it. Probably my favorite song ever.
    The Chrono Triggeron March 04, 2006   Link

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