Here you can find some really interesting and intriguing fun facts about Björk.
If you are her fan, it is quite possible that you already know majority of these facts. However, we have found a lot of things and some of these may not be known to you.
Björk is indeed special and unique. She is very creative and she always does it her way. An artist in her own way, Björk amuses and entertains and brings something new in this world. So even if you are not a fan of hers, once you start listening and watching her music videos, you will be entertained and you will realize how unique and special individual she is. She is an artist of her own, and she has done some fun things in her life so far.
We have gathered and selected some interesting facts from Björk’s life and we hope you will enjoy reading them!
Let us start with Björk’s name. Her name means “birch-tree” in Icelandic. Many people pronounce her name wrong – as “Bee-york”, or simply as “B’york”, yet the closest pronunciation of her name would be “Beyerk”.
You can read in the discography section on our page about all her albums. But here is one interesting thing about her album Medulla. The title comes from Latin and it means “marrow”. The reason for this is that Björk wished that her album be of a “bodily” nature and that it escapes rationality. As usual, she strives to find that more intuitive way.
Another interesting thing from one of her albums is that she recorded “Cover me” in a cave full of bats, in Nassau, the Bahamas. Indeed, if you listen for the recording, you will hear bats flying and moving around. Just listen to this:
In 1992 Björk even got the chance to make a song that will end up on Madonna’s album. It was a single “Bedtime Story”. The song was an adaptation of Björk’s demo “Let’s Get Unconscious”.
Her song “Army of Me” had a video that accompanied it, made by Michel Gondry. The film was banned by MTV in 1995 after the bombing of the Oklahoma City. The reason for this was that there is a scene in the video recording in which Björk places a bomb in order to wake her lover who is sleeping in an art museum. This unfortunate event at the Oklahoma City made MTV to ban this scene.
Again, talking about Medulla, it is intriguing to know from where she got her inspiration. As you know, and as you can find on this website, Medulla’s songs were made mostly with a voice, that is, they are voice-only compositions. Interestingly enough, Björk took an inspiration from her having fun with her friends. They were drunk singing their favorite songs. It was a capella game through which she found her future songs.
Just like all of us, Björk also has her favorites. When she was a child her favorite album was Spark’s “Kimono My House”.
We found that she claimed her home to be mostly hippy (while her mother said she exaggerated), so contrary to her mother’s taste, she enjoyed theatrical pop. Basically, she always had that propensity for dramatic forms of music along with pop, techno, and so on. This will all influence her style and shape her into what she has become today.
Another thing she really likes is the “Story of the Eye” written by George Bataille. In fact, this is her favorite book. The book is avant-garde and surreal, with sexually explicit content. This book also inspired her and she makes a frequent reference to it. For instance, she was inspired by it in her scenes of the video for the song Venus as a Boy.
Björk explained in a 2004 interview:
“I’ve always had as many powerful, creative ladies in my life as I have men, and you could probably describe some of those relationships as romantic. I think everyone’s bisexual to some degree or another; it’s just a question of whether or not you choose to recognise it and embrace it. Personally, I think choosing between men and women is like choosing between cake and ice cream. You’d be daft not to try both when there are so many different flavours.”
Björk refused to ack as Jet Girl, Tank Girl’s sidekick and lover, in the 1995 film adaptation of the comic book Tank Girl. The role was subsequently taken on by Naomi Watts.
There is politics now linked to some of Björk’s friends, mostly those from the age of punk, such as Einar Orn from Sugarcubes and Jon Gnarr, a punk poet and comedian. They are now with the Best Party and they are running the city.
This one is a really interesting story. In 1996 there was a man who was obsessed with Björk. He got disappointed when she started a relationship with Goldie, a black man. Ricardo Lopez was a pest control officer from Florida. He attempted to kill Björk by sending her a sulfuric acid bomb. A person who would open that letter would either die or be serious injured and disfigured.
Luckily, the Scotland Yard intercepted the bomb before it reached Björk.
It was later found that this man was seriously obsessed with her, because he was making a video diary for eight months where he talked about Björk, making the bomb, Björk’s relationship, and at last him committing suicide. Lopez shot himself in the mouth after he had sent the letter to Björk with her song “I Remember You” in the background.
Björk was disturbed by this event, but she still expressed sympathy for Lopez’s family. She sent them flowers.
Björk was asked what the weirdest thing she ever put in her mouth had been. She said she once ate a puffin: “I ate puffin once; it’s overrated. There’s a lot of pickled stuff in Iceland. They pee on shark and then dig it into the earth for a few months, then they get it out and the ammonia has preserved it. I’m more into fresh stuff.”
In the same interview where she admitted she had eaten a puffin once, she also admitted she stole a children’s swimming pool.: “I went through an anti-Establishment phase and thought we should get everything for free. I stole a children’s swimming pool because my boyfriend and I didn’t have a bathtub. I was with a poet friend – he was sweating really hard. Poets don’t have strong enough nerves for things like that.”
There is a video from 1988 in which Björk explained that an Icelandic poet once convinced her of TV being bad. This poet says that brain gets influenced by TV in such a way that one cannot judge what is right and what is wrong because the brain is overwhelmed with understanding the images on the screen.
Björk also learned more scientifically about TV and the way it works, and in this video clip she dissembles a television and inspects the inside of it. She concludes that we do not have to be afraid of television.
“I became so scared of television that I always got headaches when I watched it. But then later on, when I got my Danish book on television, I stopped being afraid because I read the truth—and that’s the scientifical truth, which is much better. You shouldn’t let poets lie to you.”
You can watch the video clip here:
Björk has a tattoo on her left arm and this tattoo s the Vegvísir – this literally means “sign post”. It is a symbol that comes from an Icelandic book of magic.
This symbol is often misinterpreted as a Viking symbol. However, it comes from the 16th-17th century Icelandic book of magic. The book is called Galdrabók. If you are interesting in the book, we will tell you that the book contains many spells for preventing illnesses and suffering, while there are some others for causing fear, looking for evil or even killing.
The Vegvísir was actually used for preventing people from getting lost in harsh weather.
There is a manuscript from the 18th century that says: “If this sign is carried, one will never lose one’s way in storms or bad weather, even when the way is not known.”
Elliðaey is also known as Björk Island and it belongs to Iceland. Since Björk was always promoting her native country, the government decided to offer her this island as a form of their appreciation. Björk wanted to take the gift and she planned to build a house there, but she still refused the offer. The reason was that she was worried about losing her privacy. The prime minister withdrew his offer having faced a lot of local protest.
There was a band from 1981 to 1983 called Tappi Tíkarrass, an Icelandic punk band with elements of jazz and funk. There is a really interesting story behind the band’s name. Father of the lead singer once said that their music “fitted like a cork in a bitch’s ass.”
After a couple of months, it was Björk who took over the lead singer role.
People usually thing that Björk started to act from 2000 Trie’s Dancer in the Dark. However, she has been acting all the way from 1986. She then started her acting career in The Juniper Tree. This is a movie which was based on a story by the Brothers Grimm. Björk portrayed Margit whose mother was killed for practicing witchcraft.
Björk won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance in Dancer in the Dark and she was nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes.
You already know how unordinary and controversial Björk’s songs can be. One such is a song that is now extremely popular in Iceland during Christmas time. It is called “Jólakötturinn” which means The Christmas Cat. It was made for an Icelandic Christmas album and it is about a Yule Cat that eats children if they don’t get new clothes for Christmas. The song’s lyrics were written by an Icelandic poet Jóhannes úr Kötlum.
Even though we all know Björk as an avant-garde artist who puts an accent on her video performances and whose songs are electronic techno and psychedelic renditions, Björk still had had many pop hits. In fact, her thirty singles got to the Top 40 charts, along with 22 Top 40’s in the UK. Björk sold between 20 and 40 million records.
Björk continued to do what her mother did when it comes to environment and activism. She protested the creation of an aluminum plant for Alcoa and she also founded a nonprofit organization called “Náttúra”. This organization helps in promoting Icelandic nature. Furthermore, she created a venture capital fund BJÖRK in order to give support to the creation of sustainable industries.
You can also read a great article by Alex Ross in which he talks about how he met Björk and tells some interesting things. You can read the article here: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/08/23/bjorks-saga