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Oh boy
where have I put my keys?

I've looked in my pocket
behind the newspaper
and underneath the remote control
and I cannot find where I put it again

Oh boy
I cannot find my keys
I'm far too late

The door is open now
a taxi is waiting there

A phone keeps ringing
I am definitely not going to
pick it up

when I grow up
I'm gonna get those fancy keyrings
that you whistle at
and they whistle right back
at you

Lyrics submitted by merchantpierce

Domestica song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentThis song is what the title says, domestic. It tells a short, very personal story about a seemingly pointless endevour; Björk's search for her keys. There are two important parts as to why this song is so beautiful.

    A: The questions that this song poses. Where is Björk going, what is so important that she would be late. The scene you create in your head is magical.

    B: The philosophical idea that "Wow, we are all so worried about this and that and we never sit down and think about the beauty in the little things." This song is about grounding ourselves, but at the same time, keeping our heads in the clouds. This message is inherent simply because Björk chose to write a song about about the seemingly mundane task of searching for your keys.
    teenCpwron August 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think you're looking too deep into it.
    I really don't know what this is supposed to mean, myself, but maybe it's about how you can't escape the pressures of the outside world in your own home.
    buddha boyon January 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is definitely one of Bjork's best, btw.
    The Vespertine B-sides are amazing!
    buddha boyon January 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHm, its like a day in the life. I lose my keys alot and its frustrating but this song doesn't sound ornery in the least. So the sound has an effect that its a matter of temporary importance and happens often. Like its no big deal but its inhibiting. The last stanza seems a bit daydreamy so the narrator could very well be a young woman. But she needs to answer the phone...
    Orange Morendoon April 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDomesitka was an early title given for the album that became Vespertine...

    in which case one wonders the eary direction the album might have been taking with themes of songs in the domestic sphere... i think this might explain the wealth of other bsides around this album
    pinkpalluson October 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentangel pop #1: Vespertine
    First in a series of notes on lyric details and aspects from the mainstream pop canon.

    It was written as domestic music, “music for the home”. Its original name was ‘Domestika’, the title track of which was relegated to a B-side, and is the only real point where the writer breaks the spell she is under, delivering instead words that are a hymn to the banal: “Oh boy, where have I put my keys? I’ve looked in my pocket. Behind the newspaper. And underneath the remote control. And I cannot find where I put it again.”

    Bjork didn’t call her album Domestika, because she felt it would be too obvious, that theme already far too implicit in its small, finest china sounds. ‘Vespertine’ amplifies what she felt was another important aspect of the album. The dictionary definition has it as “pertaining to, or occurring in the evening: vespertine stillness.” or in the context of botany, “opening or expanding in the evening, as certain flowers.” or with zoology, “appearing or flying in the early evening; crepuscular.”

    What she’s really talking about is sex. The home is the garden of sex, after all. It is where we grow new humans, and blur the boundaries between our shells and others. All definitions of ‘vespertine’ bleed into Bjork’s thinking about sex; about us as dehiscent evening flowers, of crepuscular, curious creatures hunting and smelling each other.

    Her language links every thought to a physical act. It’s almost sex magic.

    When she is writing about negotiating another human being, this translates most literally to sex, but even when discussing the more abstract, interpersonal stuff: feelings, thoughts, the rendering of these thoughts in physical expressions becomes almost sexualised.

    Through her work her body is consistently presented as an interface that can manipulate internal monologues and anxieties with her mouth or fingers, even her womb.

    “Who would have known? A train of pearls cabin by cabin. Is shot precisely from a mouth. From a mouth of a girl like me. To a boy.” It’s most obvious visual counterpart is the scene from Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9, where, in a flooding tearoom aboard a Japanese whaling vessel, Bjork and Barney lovingly slice at each other with flensing knives in a delicate abstraction of sex.

    Perhaps it was Barney’s response track. Vespertine is, of course, insatiable with love and other hunger for him.

    “Through the warmthest cord of care. Your love was sent to me. I’m not sure what to do with it. Or where to put it.” Bjork becomes hyper-literate with longing. “He’s. The beautifullest. Fragilest. Still strong. Dark and divine. And the littleness of his movements. Hides himself.”

    “Who would have known: miraculous breath. To inhale a beard loaded with courage.”

    In lyrics omitted from the album she writes of “Having an ocean of desire. Having a hairy desire around the hips. Having eyes that can see in the dark. And too much space between the legs.”

    Her lover is a thing which hides, can make itself invisible, which nestles into her bosom like an animal. She hibernates, finds sanctuary in the immensity of his his hair and smell, and traces his topography in nature: “A mountain shade. Suggests your shape. I tumble down to my knees. Fill the mouth with snow. The way. It. Melts. I wish. To melts with you.”

    Cocoon is a relatively straight and unpretentious sexual anecdote: Bjork and Barney making love in sleepy rapture, she eventually waking to find him still inside of her. She doesn’t destroy the moment with floweriness, but instead remarks upon it with classic Bjork-in-speech exclamation point directness: “Gorgeousness!”

    The detail of the words make the piece magical. There are no cringes. It is hard to write about sex. The only piece of music I can think of which has ever attempted to articulate the same scenario as something profound is Ari Up’s abysmal farewell note, Lazy Slam.

    Cocoon is juxtaposed though which It’s Not Up To You. There are no lovers here. Just the author. Casting spells to alleviate the sickness.

    “If you wake up and the day feels a-broken. Just lean into the crack. And it will tremble ever so nicely. Notice. How it sparkles. Down there.”

    When she writes about boredom and frustration it is almost as though she is making love to it.

    In the narrative of Vespertine this despondency chases Bjork through the rooms of her too-empty house, stuff spilling out of her and coiling around her in ribbons: “Pedaling through the dark currents in me. I find an accurate copy. A blueprint. Of the pleasure in me. Swirling. Black lilies. Totally ripe.”

    He doesn’t return until halfway through the album, awakening her from dreams where she loses her voice, which can only be restored by swallowing little glowing lights her mother and son bake for her.

    Maybe more than about domesticity, and the home as a theatre to the minutiae of love (other flavours of domestic love, such as maternal admiration appear in album b-sides like Mother Heroic), Vespertine is about love and sex and the desperate, unravelling energies that surge within your most sacred of spaces when those chemicals are encountered.

    Bjork writes about the sublimation of love. Uniquely for pop music, there is no anger in this. She isn’t accusing about the distance either in geography or ideals between her and her lover. Rather than lapsing into neurosis, her feelings become as necessary and strength-lending as food, and she chews herself fat on them. Even in Generous Palmstroke, when her song-voice breaks down, struggling with the syntax and admitting “I am strong in his hands. I am above. Way beyond me. I… con… She’s strong in his hands. She is beyond her. On her own she is human. And she does faults.”

    The narrative, unsure of which person these most private admissions should be delivered in, carefully encircles the non-word in the lyric by doing so: confess.

    Harmony Korine wrote one song. Other trivia concerning the lyrics of Vespertine are available from Wikipedia.
    xeroxboyon September 03, 2012   Link

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