Why can’t you give her room ?

Respect her spacial needs
I feel you compress her
Into a small space

With clairvoyance
She knew what you needed
And gave it to you
Now her desires are repressed
Arrows in the flesh

When she found your love
Her nature bowed her head
She surrendered
She renounced the world for you
Now she’s poisoned by demands
You cannot answer

Why this sacrifice ?
Now she regrets the whole thing
A delayed reaction
When she left her craft voluntarily
For your nest, for your love
Did you understand ?


Build a bridge to her
Initiate a touch
Before it’s too late
Say the words to her
That will make her shine
Tell her that you love her

Your generosity will show
In the volume of her glow

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À propos du Sharpsichord

Cet instrument unique en son genre a été utilisé pour la chanson.
Le sharpsichord a été conçu et construit par Henry Dagg entre 2006 et 2010 en tant que partie prenante d’une commission pour une sculpture sonore par la Cecil Sharp House de Londres. Il fut présenté à Björk par Matthew Herbert qui lui a montré des vidéos de l’instrument, et Dagg déclare que "très vite, il a reçu un email de Björk évoquant la possibilité d’un travail en commun et d’une chanson avec le Sharpshichord. (source : M Magazine.
Björk a en outre utlilisé l’argent qu’elle a gagné grâce au Polar Prize pour aquérir l’instrument.

Pages du manual

Présentation du titre dans l’application Biophilia

Inspired by animal mating rituals and female sacrifice, Björk’s lyrics urge the listener to recognize the sacrifice made by all women for the sake of love.

The melancholic vocals ruminate above a repeating baseline, arranged for harpsichord (a pin-barrel harp), and evoking the archaic, and the regular movement of pendulums.

The Sacrifice sound writer app unites traditional and modern, acoustic and digital, aural and notated : musical sounds and traditional notation are connected through a unique font which can be used to create new music.

Analyse par Nikki Dibben

Sacrifice dwells on female surrender. this isn’t an autobiographical story, but the result of thinking about nature’s design of the female of the species —for Björk, the extent to which biology seems to compel female to sacrifice themselves :
"When she found your love / Her nature bowed her head / She surrendered.". Björk expresses these ideas through lyrics saturated with images of spatial compression, and music which contrasts dark and melancholic sections (a) with brighter, yearning sections (b).

In what follows, I highlight aspects of Björk’ music which help communicate her ideas.

In the "a" sections (the first part she hear), lyrical images of melancholia (sacrifice, arrows in the flesh, bowed her head, here desires are repressed, she’s poisoned, regrets) are expressed musically by the minor mode, angular melodic phrases and a repeating two-bar bassline which first leaps by an octave the descends to fill the gap — an archetypal falling figure associated with grief in western art music.

The rumination conveyed by the words is heightened musically by the ending of each "a" section which has one "extra" repetition of the descending bass loop : this makes it 10-bars long instead of the standard 8-bar length typical of this type of song with it’s two-bar phrase structure and results in what feels like a delay or pause.

This is heightened by the way the "a" sections end on a harmony which is not the home chord and which has a added seventh scale degree, both of which give the harmony an opened and "unfinished" sound.

The emotional urgency of the "b" section (first heard at "with clairvoyance") is expressed by greater tonal and rhythmic freedom, and a larger vocal range.

There is a sudden brightness at the start of each "b" section as the music modulates into the major mode, and in the second occurrence of the "b" material there are two such shifts : the notated score shows the verse in a minor modulating to b flat major for the "b" section via the chord of f minor which is shared bu both, then to d flat major (on the phrase "left her craft voluntarily") before returning to b flat major and an unprepared step down to a minor for the return of the "a" section.

What is rather abstract account of the song’s tonal structure describes is the sound of movement from darkness, to hop, to the sudden plunge back into gloom.

The yearning feeling of the vocals partly results from Björk’s characteristic vocal "tensions" : she sings pitches which are outside the main notes of the chords, as on the words "clairvoyance" and "sacrifice" where her pitch "a" is the seventh degree of the flat major chord.

The repeat of the two-bar bassline and absence of the home chord (the ’tonic’) throughout the outro seems to suspend time, suggesting the melancholic ruminations continue beyond the edges of the audible song


Musique et paroles : Björk
Arrangements Voix : Björk
Arrangements pour le Sharpsichord : Björk
Adapté pour le Sharpsichord par : Henry Dagg
Programmation rythmique : Current Value
Ingénieurs du son : Damian Taylor, Mario Dejesus, Curver et Cameron Craig
Mixage : Damian Taylor et Björk
Production : Björk


Sacrifice (Death Grips remix) 04:19 Death Grips
Sacrifice (Matthew Herbert Pins Needles mix) 04:46 Matthew Herbert

Versions utilisées dans les App

Sacrifice (Animation Version) 05:39 App
Sacrifice (Score Version) 04:51 App