Oral by Björk & Rosalía

Iceland is a country which, according to some concerned citizens, is facing a potential ecological disaster as a result of certain industrial fish-farming practices. Meanwhile Bjork, who hails from said country, is an established environmental activist who is keen on protecting her homeland, which she described as “the biggest untouched nature in Europe”. And this track, which One Little Independent Records released on 21 November 2023, is serving as a charity single on behalf of the residents of a village called Seyðisfjörður, the location of a notable fjord, who are fighting against their land being exploited by aforenoted industry.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Björk & Rosalía's Oral at Lyrics.org.

The Song’s Lyrics

That said, the lyrics obviously have nothing whatsoever to do with fish farming or the environment. They are by and large poetic, but the bridge makes it abundantly clear that what we’re dealing with here is akin to a lovemaking song. However, the titular oral does not refer to sex of that variety. Instead, all lyrics considered, it’s more along the lines of being a reference to some heavy making out, i.e. passionate kissing.

And theoretically, as illustrated in the outro, there’s some type of forbidden element to the relationship at hand. Maybe what Bjork and Rosalía are alluding to, via phrases such as “just because she can” and there being a ‘line they can’t cross’ is the subject of the song being a female who isn’t afraid to exert herself romantically, i.e. one who is compelled to make a move on a guy instead of waiting for him to do so. That’s sorta the way Bjork explained the track also, with the singer putting a special emphasis on the role that the lips play in such a situation.

But again, the lyrics of this piece aren’t necessarily the easiest to make sense of.  However we can conclude by hoping, as Rosalía and Bjork, that it will achieve the goal of bettering the relationship between the affected residents of Iceland and the moguls who are exploiting their waterways.

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