Oceania (3:25)

Cover of Medúlla

From Medúlla and 8 other releases


Performed by Björk with the London Choir
Beats: Shlomo
Piano: Nico Muhly
Vocal samples: Robert Wyatt
Programmed by: Björk, Mark Bell, Valgeir Sigurdsson

This song was premiered at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

“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. ’ When I tried to write an Olympic lyric, though, it was full of sports socks and ribbons. I ended up pissing myself laughing.” Björk decided to call on Sjón Sigurdsson, Icelandic poet and previous lyrics-collaborator. Needing something epic, Sjón took a course in Greek mythology, and then wrote these lyrics for ‘Oceania’, a kind of aquatic sojourn and the last song recorded for Medúlla. “The Olympic version will be a little different. But it will fit the occasion, I think, because the song is all about how the ocean doesn’t see boundaries between countries and thinks everyone is the same. Sjón came up with this beautiful last line that touches on how we were all little jellyfish or whatever before we made it on to land. He has The Sea saying, ‘Your sweat is salty / And I am why / Your sweat is salty / And I am why.’” (Björk 13 Aug 2004)


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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

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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