The Anchor Song

’ANCHOR SONG’ was written in summer 1990, when Bjork left her boy Sindri with a child-minder for a while and set out across Iceland on a "freedom thing". She rode her bicycle around the island with the express purpose of visiting all the hundreds of churches she’d heard about.

Since Iceland’s Christianity is based on a crafty get-out clause (the Viking Assembly said they’d pretend to worship Jesus if they could remain Pagans on the quiet), the religious places Bjork found were the wildest.

Lots of farmers had these little churches, like just one wooden room the size of a bedroom, and they’re really over-decorated. The farmers would make these naive paintings of the baby Jesus, really smiling, and they’ve got his beard all wrong, and there are all these stars in the ceiling. Completely beautiful churches, and they’ve all got harmoniums.

So I used to bike between them, and have my little Walkman and go and ask the farmer if I could play his organ. I expected a no from everyone, but they all said yeah, why not. I’d play for two hours and then aim for the next church. I wrote a lot of tunes, and `Anchor Song’ is one of the ones I finished. I’d recommend it as a holiday.

NME, 25 december 1993