Declare Independence – Empowering Anthem for Personal to Political Liberation


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Björk's Declare Independence at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Unleashing the Rebel Within: The Call to Personal Revolution
  5. A Sonic Assault: Industrialized Beats as Weapons of Emancipation
  6. Dismantling Oppression: The Powerful Emblem of Language Preservation
  7. Sovereignty of the Self: Unpacking the Hidden Meanings Behind ‘Don’t Let Them Do That to You’
  8. Defiance Embodied: The Unforgettable Image of Raising One’s Flag

Lyrics

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
(Justice)
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
(Justice)

Start your own currency
Make your own stamp
Protect your language
(Justice)

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Make your own flag
Make your own flag
Make your own flag
Make your own flag

Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Damn colonists
Ignore their patronizing
Tear off their blindfolds
Open their eyes

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

With a flag and a trumpet
Go to the top of your highest mountain

And raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)
Raise your flag (higher, higher)

Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you
Declare independence
Don’t let them do that to you

Raise the flag

Full Lyrics

In the audacious track ‘Declare Independence’ by Björk, the Icelandic music icon delves into the fervor of self-determination with a composition that’s as sonically insurgent as it is textually. Interweaving elements of punk rock’s rebellious spirit with the electrifying pulses of industrial beats, Björk concocts a battle cry that’s as applicable to individual liberation as it is to nationalistic pride.

This multi-layered anthem, taken from her seventh studio album ‘Volta’, serves as a universal call to arms, challenging listeners to shake off the shackles of oppression. But to purely categorize it as a nationalistic ode would be to overlook the deep personal and artistic statements Björk embeds within the fabric of the song’s directive lyrics. ‘Declare Independence’ is a rich tapestry of political fervor and personal empowerment, demanding a deeper reading of its insistence and repetition.

Unleashing the Rebel Within: The Call to Personal Revolution

‘Declare Independence’ is not merely a song; it’s a movement, a manifesto in its own right. At its heart, Björk’s rousing repetition of the title commands us to be architects of our own destinies. The instruction to ‘start your own currency’ and ‘make your own stamp’ speaks not just to the creation of national symbols but to the imprinting of one’s individuality upon the world.

It’s this bridging of personal and public space that makes the song transcend time and traditions. In an era where identities are often constructed for us, ‘Declare Independence’ serves as a reminder to build and protect our unique character and voice. Each line serves as a reminder to not only seek but to craft freedom with our own hands, to not just break the mold but to create one of our own.

A Sonic Assault: Industrialized Beats as Weapons of Emancipation

From the very first thunderous beats, Björk propels the listener into a state of heightened vigilance. In ‘Declare Independence’, the instrumental backdrop is as much a part of the message as the words themselves. The jarring, distorted sounds and gritty, aggressive rhythms mirror the chaos and turmoil that often accompany the birth pangs of freedom.

This is not the polished pop of escapism; it is the raw, unfiltered sound of insurrection. The music grinds and lashes out, taking the form of aural guerrilla, as opposed to the melody that lulls us into submission. Björk implores her audience to rise up, and the music itself acts as the rallying horn.

Dismantling Oppression: The Powerful Emblem of Language Preservation

One cannot overlook the significance of Björk’s charge to ‘protect your language’. Language acts as the repository of culture, history, and identity. By urging the listener to guard it, she is highlighting a form of protest against cultural homogenization and the silent death of diversity.

In the act of declaring independence, Björk doesn’t just mean from political overlords but also from the tyranny of cultural erosion. It is a poignant recognition that true sovereignty is not just territorial but also intellectual and linguistic. This line strikes a chord especially for communities whose languages are under threat, framing linguistic preservation as an act of resistance.

Sovereignty of the Self: Unpacking the Hidden Meanings Behind ‘Don’t Let Them Do That to You’

The simplicity of the phrase ‘Don’t let them do that to you’ belies a complexity that resonates on an intimate level. Here, Björk taps into the sentiment of consent and agency. Behind these lyrics lies the implication of resistance against any force—be it a lover, a societal norm, or a political regime—that seeks to impose their will.

Repeated like a mantra, the line becomes a shield, reiterating the idea that submission is not inevitable. Rather, it is a choice—and one that she is imploring her listeners to reject. It’s about reclaiming space, whether it’s the physical squaring of shoulders against encroachers or the metaphysical carving out of one’s autonomy.

Defiance Embodied: The Unforgettable Image of Raising One’s Flag

Amongst the song’s most striking visual directives is the call to ‘Make your own flag’. Flags are symbols of identity, markers of claimed land, and emblems of unity. When Björk commands to ‘raise your flag higher, higher,’ she is summoning the imagery of pride and visible resistance. This is a celebration of one’s claim, a visible statement that will not be easily brought down, transcending mere nationalism into the realm of personal sovereignty.

Each repetition of ‘higher, higher’ is a visceral surge towards ascension, breaking through barriers, and aiming towards the literal peaks of one’s capabilities. It’s an enduring crescendo that leaves its echo long after the final beats fade, lingering as a memory of empowerment and a catalyst for actualization. It’s no wonder that this line has echoed through protest movements, becoming a symbol of solidarity and strength in the face of oppressive forces.

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