Birthday (The Sugarcubes song)

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Single by The Sugarcubes
from the album Life's Too Good
B-side "Christmas Eve""
Released October 1987 (1987-10),
Format 7", 12", cassette, CD
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:58
Label One Little Indian
Writer(s) The Sugarcubes
Producer(s) Ray Shulman, Derek Birkett
The Sugarcubes singles chronology
Einn Mol Á Mann Birthday Coldsweat

"Birthday" is a song written and recorded by Icelandic band The Sugarcubes for their 1988 debut album Life's Too Good. It was their first international single and the first single released from the album. The Icelandic-language version "Ammæli" was released on the Iceland-only single Einn Mol Á Mann (One Cube Per Head) the previous year and was included as the B-side on the international single.

After "Birthday" became the single of the week in Melody Maker magazine and NME in August 1987, and was selected as number one in John Peel's Festive Fifty list, the band attained worldwide recognition and success.[citation needed]

According to Björk, "Birthday" 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.[1] The chorus features Björk singing a wordless melody. Notable covers of this song have been recorded by The Mars Volta (2008) and Dozens (2011).


  1. ^ "thesugarcubes". "It's a story about a love affair between a five year old girl, a secret and a man who lives next door. The song's called Birthday because it's his fiftieth birthday, but not many people can figure that out of the lyrics 'cos it's more about the atmosphere around it and how they touch. It's a tasteless pop song - not even that. A pop song - very unusual" "I was always changing my mind about what the lyrics should be about. I had the atmosphere right from the start but not the facts. It finally ended up concentrating on this experience I remembered having as a little girl, among many other little girls' experiences. It's like huge men, about fifty or so, affect little girls very erotically but nothing happens... nothing is done, just this very strong feeling. I picked on this subject to show that anything can affect you erotically; material, a tree, anything." 

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