There has always been debate regarding the lyrical content of The Sugarcubes track Birthday with some suggesting that it is about an inappropriate relationship between a young girl and a much older bearded man. Bjork herself has said simply that it is "a tasteless pop song about a five-year-old girl who has a love affair with the man next door, who is celebrating his fiftieth birthday". I much prefer this description that I found on the web :
"I think it's a beautiful coming-of-age song. She's not really five. Sometimes she acts like a little kid, as if she were five, and sometimes she acts like an adult, smoking cigars and touching a man's beard. It's about the transition from childhood to adulthood and how there is no clear barrier between the two."
Whatever the precise meaning there is no doubt that Birthday is quite unlike any other record you will ever hear. Although it sounds nothing like it, something about the track reminds me of The Specials' Ghost Town. I think it's just the simple fact that no other track sounds like either of them. It is such a unique sound that quite rightly finished top of the pile in 1987's Festive 50 .
Debut album Life's Too Good was equally stunning and unique and contains many moments of perfect pop music. It is an astoundingly original record, full of frenetic energy and the vocal range, style and talent of Bjork is simply incredible. Some found the backing vocals of Einar Orn a tad on the irritating side but personally I felt that he was a perfect foil to the vocals of Bjork. Although Birthday was the standout track the album contained many other great tracks like Deus, Cold Sweat and Blue Eyed Pop
I remember seeing them live back in the late 80's - I think it was at Glasgow School Of Art - and being totally blown away by the vocal gymnastics of Miss Gudmundsdottir.