First snow in winter
I’m walking hills and valleys
Adore this mystical fog ! This fucking mist !
These cliffs are just showing off
Then the body memory kicks in
I mime my home mountains
The moss that I’m made of
I redeem myself

I’ve been wrestling with my fate
Do I accept this ending ?
Will I accept my death ?
Or struggle claustrophobic ?
But, like a wolverine
With my destiny
Refuse to accept what was meant to be

Then the body memory kicks in
and I trust the unknown
unfathomable imagination
Surrender to future

Oh how to capture all this love
And find a pathway for it
Like threading an ocean through a needle
River through a keyhole
I Can’t fathom the grasp
I can’t grasp the fathom

Then the body memory kicks in
My limbs and tongue take over
Like the ancestors before me
Show me the flow

My sexual DNA
X-rays of my KamaSutras
Summons different bodies
compares spines and buttocks
and backs and necks
Then my body memory kicks in
It simply takes over
I redeem my body

I wasn’t born urban
Toxic doesn’t agree with me
A love lured me into a stagnant state
My myths, my customs, ridiculed
Vacuum-packed molecules
Then my body memory kicks in
On this Brooklyn dance floor
Sweating with these rhythms
Rotate this matrix

I’m trapped in legal harness
Farce like patriarchy
Avoided to confront it
Then the body memory kicks in
My warrior awakens
My turn to defend
Urban didn’t tame me

Then my body memory kicks in
all Bosoms and embraces
Oral, anal entrances
Enjoy the satisfaction
of the other is growing

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Body Memory


Paroles : Björk
Ecriture : Björk
Production : Björk et Arca
Mixage : Heba Kadry

À propos du titre

And so she wrote Body Memory to remind herself that she is able to move through grief, get past Vulnicura and survive. She wrote six verses, to herself, about “destiny, love, another about sex, another about motherhood, one verse – and this has been a struggle for me – is urban, another rural nature”. The verses are reminding her not to think too much, “not be neurotic, just do this”. “It’s my version of helping myself, suggesting you have it all in you, you have all the answers. Without sounding mushy. It’s like my manifesto. Let’s do this !”

The Observer

And “Body Memory” was a really strange song for me. I did not know what to do with that song. In the beginning it was 20 minutes long, and I ended up recording a 60-piece choir [the Hamrahlid Choir] on it. They all came to my cabin. It’s one of the best choirs ever. We invited [conductor Þorgerður Ingólfsdóttir], this incredible Icelandic woman who’s in her 70s. She’s a legend in Iceland. I sang myself in this choir when I was 16. I’ve listened to this choir all my life, so to finally write something for it was really scary and courageous. Just sitting in the church when we recorded it was really satisfying. It felt like I’d broken into a new place.
“Black Lake” on Vulnicura was the darkest and saddest I’ve ever gone. “Body Memory” is a reply to that. It is my manifesto. My subconscious was like, “OK, I’ll let you write the saddest song ever for 10 minutes if you then write something to counter that.” And then this song came out all in one go. Each verse is about big things in life : destiny, love, sex. It’s a bit big-headed. It’s about, “OK, how am I going to live the second half of my life ?” It’s a new territory, a door that’s opened.


“On my previous album there was a song called ‘Black Lake’, which was at the bottom of a heartbreak. And I think something in my subconscious mind was [thinking], if you’re going to write your saddest song ever, you’ve also got to write its optimistic sibling. I came home to my cabin here in Iceland and it was a bit chilly and I put on three coats, lay next to the lake, looked at the clouds and listened to an audio-book for four hours. It was The Tibetan Book of the Dead. A third of it is almost like a Catholic thing : if you haven’t been good in your life, when you die you will go into a tunnel and burn for a thousand years. That’s part of it – whipping yourself into being a good person while you live. And then one section, which is my favourite, is about a utopian life, and says if you are good, there will be twenty miles of lavender and lakes and peacocks. So ‘Body Memory’ ended up being me thinking : at the moment of death, what will I be thinking ? It’s about me teaching myself, and hopefully I can share some of that with people. In the verses, it’s about when your head plays games and you get neurotic and scared, and the chorus is when your body kicks in and you relax. It’s teaching you about trusting your body, whether that’s parenting, or being a lover, or destiny – all these big issues in life. We have it all encoded in our DNA, so if we relax into our body memory, we know how to do it naturally.”