Thursday, August 26, 2004



04___________________________________ Vökuró (3mins:12secs)

+ In Icelandic this means 'Vigil'.
+ The poem was written by by Jakobína Sigurðardóttir. (corrected)
+ The original of Vökuró is by Jorunn Viðar (composer). (corrected)
+ Sung in Icelandic. []
+ Björk is accompanied by only a choir on this track; it's very hymn like. []
+ Vocals: Björk & Icelandic Choir

[quote, Bjö]

"It was actually pretty easy to change [from piano]", says Björk, mapping-out the octaves of a piano keyboard on the table in front of her. "The soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts were already there."

+ Song Info

+ Performed by Björk with The Icelandic Choir
+ Written by Jakobína Sigurdardottir
+ Composed by Jórunn Viðar
+ The original version of this song can be found on the Smekkleysa release by Jórunn Viðar - Únglíngurinn I Skóginum.

"It probably means "Calm of being awake".. it's hard to explain. But it's basically a lullaby, and it's the one song on the album that is not by me, it's by an Icelandic composer who is like 80 years old now. There's a funny story for that song, because I wanted that song first to be on Vespertine, and there was this music box company that was making 12" copper plates where they drill holes into the plates that is the song, and it takes forever to do them. I got them first to do 'Pagan Poetry', then 'Aurora' and then 'Frosti'. Then I sent 'Vökuró' for them to do, because the cycle of this disk takes one minute - and 'Vökuró' has four verses which each take one minute, so it was perfect, and each verse goes slower and slower which makes sense, because most songs start slow and then go fast, but since this is a lullaby it starts fast and goes slower. But it takes them so long to drill the holes in the copper plates that I still haven't got it - so it missed Vespertine.

So then we did this song for this album, and I called the composer and go "I just recorded this song, is it OK with you that I put it on my album?" and she goes "Yeah it's OK. You're obviously very influenced by your daughter." ...I go "...Yeah?". "Well she's got blue eyes, doesn't she?" and I couldn't really work out what that had to do with anything. Then we said goodbye, and then later I worked out that the song was actually sung to a little girl that has blue eyes. Four years ago when I wanted to do that song, and was having the battle with the musicbox-makers, there was no way I could have known that in four years time I would have a little girl with blue eyes. It's a little bit of a sentimental story." [Björk, XFM 25aug04]

This is my concise tribute to one of the standout tracks on "Medúlla". Essentially a choral piece, sung to a poem written by Jakobína Sigurðardóttir and composed by Jórunn Viðar, it is the album's most haunting, vivid track. Soul-wrenching and raw, it almost conveys the notion of being on a "vigil". From what? I am not too sure. Whichever the case is, some clever linguist from Björk's 4um has translated the Icelandic lyrics into English. As you can see, it is not complete - although you do get a feel of what the poem whispers.


The Lyrics section of Björk's official website has posted a complete lyrics and translation, as well as some information of Vökuró [as well as the other songs]

+ Icelandic Lyrics - Vökuró

bærinn minn
bærinn minn og Þinn
sefur sæll í kyrrþ
fellur mjöll
hljótt í húmi á jörð
grasi mitt
grasi mitt og Þitt geymir mold til vors
hjúfrar lind
leynt við brekkurót
vakir eins og við
lífi trútt
kyrrlátt kalda vermsl
augum djúps
útí himinfyrrð starir stillt um nótt
lángt í burt
vakir veröld stór
grimmum töfrum tryllt
eyrðar laus
óttast nótt og dag
augu Þín
ótta laus og hrein brosa við mér björt
vonin mín
blessa brosi Þitt
vekur hlijóð úr værð
hvílist jörð
hljóð í örmum snas
lokar augum blám litla stúlkan mín

+ English Lyrics - Vigil

My farm
my farm and yours
sleeps happily at peace
falls snow
silent at dusk on earth
my grass
my grass and yours
keeps the earth til spring

Nesting spring
hid at the hill's root
awake as are we
faith in life
quiet cold spring
eye of the depths
into the firmament
staring still in the night

Far away
wakes the great world
mad with grim enchantment
fearful of night and day
your eyes
fearless and serene
smile bright at me

My hope
your blest smile
rouses verse from sleep
the earths rests
silent in arms of snow
lily white
closes her blue eyes
my little girl


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poem written by Jakobína Sigurðardóttir.
Piece composed by Jórunn Viðar.

8:28 am  
Blogger Reuben said...

Much appreciated!

8:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poem written by Jakobína Sigurðardóttir.
Piece composed by Jórunn Viðar.

8:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oops... sorry about that. you're very much welcome. great blog/site. Thank you very much for the Vökuró translation.

8:33 am  
Blogger Reuben said...

Don't thank me, thank the 4um member who'd translated it. Unfortunately, it was cleaned up, so I don't know who to thank! Please check back for updates. I have two very big specials coming up before the end of August!

8:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But still, thank you... you made it accessible. Will be looking forward to your specials.

-Bergsklyfta (fr. Björk 4UM)

8:40 am  

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