Violently Happy – Exploring the Intensity of Passion


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Björk's Violently Happy at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. Unpacking the Oxymoron: The Juxtaposition of ‘Violently Happy’
  5. The Constriction of Small Towns and Big Feelings
  6. The Euphoria of Absence: Longing and Love in Separation
  7. Dancing on the Edge of Danger: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Ecstasy
  8. Iconic Lyrics: The Profound Echo of ‘I Roar Back’

Lyrics

Since I met you
This small town hasn’t got room
For my big feelings

Violently happy
Cause I love you

Violently happy
But you’re not here

Violently happy
Come calm me down
Before I get into trouble

I tip-toe down to the shore
Stand by the ocean
Make it roar at me
And I roar back

Violently happy
Cause I love you

Violently happy
But you’re not here

Violently happy
Overemotional

Violently happy
I’ll get into trouble
Real soon
If you don’t get here
Baby

Violently happy
Cause I love you

Violently happy
I’m aiming too high

Violently happy
It will get me into trouble
Violently happy
I’m driving my car
Too fast
With ecstatic music on

Violently happy
I’m getting too drunk

Violently happy
I’m daring people
To jump off roofs with me

Only you
Can clam me down
I’m aiming too high

Soothe me

Full Lyrics

Björk, the avant-garde muse of modern music, has always been the master of capturing raw emotion in her work, and ‘Violently Happy’ is no exception. The track, a whirlwind of ecstatic beats and piercing vocals, dives deep into the realm of extreme emotions that come with intense love.

It’s more than just a catchy tune; it’s a complex exploration of the interplay between love, happiness, and the darker corners of our psyhce. Diving into the lyrics of ‘Violently Happy,’ we unravel the tethered connections between joy and desperation, presence and absence, and the looming potential of self-destructive behavior as a consequence of feeling too much.

Unpacking the Oxymoron: The Juxtaposition of ‘Violently Happy’

At first glance, ‘Violently Happy’ seems like an oxymoron. Traditionally, violence and happiness are at opposite ends of the emotional spectrum, yet Björk marries them to express a feeling so intense, so overwhelming that it becomes combustible. The song suggests that such extreme happiness—stemming from love no less—can edge into violence, not necessarily physical, but an inner turmoil that rages like a storm.

This juxtaposition reflects the delicate balance of passion where the overwhelming joy of being in love is so powerful that it threatens to consume the self. This is a song about not just love, but obsessive love, the kind that blurs the line between ecstasy and insanity, indicating that the more profound the emotion, the closer one sits to the precipice of losing control.

The Constriction of Small Towns and Big Feelings

‘Violently Happy’ starts with an acknowledgment of spatial limitation—Icelandic barren landscapes possibly come into mind—and emotional expansiveness. The lyrics set up a situation where the expansive nature of the narrator’s feelings is too grand for the confines of her environment, hinting at a sense of entrapment that only fuels the intensity of her emotions.

The line ‘This small town hasn’t got room for my big feelings’ suggests an emotional claustrophobia, that the speaker’s feelings require a vastness that cannot be accommodated. It could be a metaphor for any environment—physical, emotional, or psychological—that limits one’s expression or experience of love. This pent-up energy sets the stage for the explosive and potentially destructive ‘violent happiness’ that follows.

The Euphoria of Absence: Longing and Love in Separation

The repeated phrase ‘Violently happy but you’re not here’ anchors the song in a paradoxical state. It underscores that the narrator’s happiness is so tied to her love that even in absence, the emotion persists violently. The ‘but’ introduces an incompleteness—a gap that love has filled to overflowing, leaving a restlessness that begs to be soothed.

‘Come calm me down before I get into trouble’ is almost a plea for intervention. It’s an admission of the lack of self-control in the face of overwhelming emotion, a dependency on the other to stabilize what has become an unsustainably intense state of being. The power love has to both uplift and unhinge is at the core of Björk’s message.

Dancing on the Edge of Danger: The Hidden Meaning Behind the Ecstasy

The song’s narrative progresses into more ominous territory, with lyrics like ‘I’m getting too drunk’ and ‘I’m daring people to jump off roofs with me’ indicating the lengths to which the protagonist might go to mirror her internal chaos externally. Here lies the hidden meaning: the depiction of a happiness so extreme that it inches towards self-endangerment.

This ‘violently happy’ state isn’t sustainable, nor is it meant to be. It serves as a commentary on the ways extreme emotion can lead to actions that jeopardize one’s well-being. This is where the song taps into a universal truth about the human condition: sometimes our most intense feelings prompt us to act out in ways that defy logic, seeking a release, a manifestation, a physical counterpart to our inner turmoil.

Iconic Lyrics: The Profound Echo of ‘I Roar Back’

Among the most potent lines of ‘Violently Happy’ is ‘I tip-toe down to the shore, stand by the ocean, make it roar at me, and I roar back.’ The metaphorical imagery of conversing with the ocean—something vast, powerful, and uncontrollable—mirrors the nature of her feelings. The ocean’s roar is matched by her emotional outburst, creating a moment of raw expression and connection with the natural world.

This lyric captures the essence of Björk’s ability to communicate powerful emotions through vivid, striking imagery. It serves as a moment of catharsis in the song, symbolizing a release of pent-up energy and an assertion of one’s presence and emotional intensity in the face of something much larger than oneself.

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