Into sorrowful soil (Sorrowful soil)
Our roots are dug
Into sorrowful soil (Sorrowful soil)
Our roots are dug (Roots are dug)
Into sorrowful soil
Our roots are dug
Into sorrowful soil (Sorrowful soil)
Our roots are dug (Our roots are dug, are dug, our)

In a woman’s lifetime
She gets four hundred eggs
But only two or three nests
Woven with a mother’s life force (Woven with a mother’s life force)
Emotional textile (Woven with a mother’s life force, woven with a mother’s life force)
Self-sacrificial (Woven with a mother’s life force)
This is emotional textile
Self-sacrificial, self-sacrificial

Nihilism happеning cuts through this
Nihilism happening
You did well, you, you did your best
Wеll, you did your best (You did, you did it well)
You did, did, di-di-di-did well
You did, did, di-di-di-di-di-di well
You di-di-di-di-did well
You did well

Sorrowful Soil


Titre de Fossora

Une version inédite sans les rythmes a été diffusée sur la BBC 6 à la fin du Björk’s Boxing Day Takeover le 26 Décembre 2022.


Production / Paroles / Ecriture / Beats : Björk
Programmation : Björk, Jake Miller
Ingénieurs du son : Bergur Þórisson, Jake Miller
Conducteur : Ragnheiður Ingunn Jóhannsdóttir
Chorale : The Hamrahlíð Choir
Mixage / mastering  : Heba Kadry
Percussion : Soraya Nayyar
Strings, Cello : Júlía Mogensen, Sigurdur Bjarki Gunnarsson
Strings, Contrabass : Xun Yang
Strings, Viola : Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir, Łucja Koczot
Strings, Violin : Geirþrúður Ása Guðjónsdóttir, Helga Þóra Björgvinsdóttir, Ingrid Karlsdóttir, Laura Liu, Una Sveinbjarnardóttir

Two songs, Sorrowful Soil and Ancestress, are tributes to Björk’s mother [...]. Having trained in alternative medicine, she wasn’t happy to be surrounded by white coats when she got ill towards the end of her life. “She didn’t agree with all that,” says Björk. “She was in the hospital a lot and it was really difficult on her. It was quite a struggle.”
Björk is steely as she recounts those distressing couple of years in and out of hospital.
Hildur Rúna was 72 when she died. “That’s quite early. I think me and my brother were not ready to … we thought she had 10 years left. So we were like : ‘Come on,’ and getting her to fight and … and it was like she had an inner clock in her and she was just ready to go.”

The Guardian

On “Sorrowful Soil,” Björk and a choir sing, in a stammering cadence, “You did well.” She said that’s the message she tried to “squeeze” into her cool-headed, compliment-averse mom in her final days.
A few minutes into discussing “Sorrowful Soil,” her patter slowed to a crawl, and she drummed her fingers on the table. “My brain—it’s like there’s smoke coming out of my brain,” she said. She asked if she could go to the restroom to clear her head.

The Atlantic

Sorrowful Soil was written before my mother died—it was around the time that my brother and I realized that this was the beginning of the last chapter of her life. The song is sad in tone, and it’s typical of what people feel before an ailing parent passes away—that whole beginning of the last part of their life.

Björk - Elle

I have one song I wrote about a year before she passed away. It was when my brother and I were starting to understand that this would be the last chapter. Still, we didn’t know how long it would be. I’m grieving this realisation.

Björk - Iceland Review

I’m very thankful to the Hamrahlíð Choir for doing this with me. The conductor told me this was one of the hardest songs they had ever rehearsed. Most choir pieces have four parts, but this song had nine. I think they held something like sixteen rehearsals. They spent their summer working on this song. They had plenty of other things to do, you know.

Björk - Iceland Review

Sorrowful soil est une chanson que j’ai écrite à partir d’improvisations aléatoires. Avec “ancestress”, il s’agit des deux chansons de l’album dédiées à ma mère. “ancestress” est ma conception d’une musique funéraire, mais j’ai écrit “sorrowful soil” il y a deux ans. Les paroles sont une tentative d’éloge funèbre plutôt qu’une énumération – lieu de naissance, travail, mariage – je voulais célébrer les données biologiques comme le fait que la plupart des filles naissent avec 400 œufs … et puis dans leur vie, ne font que 2-3 nids.