Where Is the Line

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For the Billy Talent song, see Billy Talent II.
"Where Is the Line"
Bjork - Where is the Line.jpg
Cover art for UK CD1 single
Promotional single by Björk from the album Medúlla
Length 4:41
Label One Little Indian
Writer(s) Björk
Medúlla track listing
"Show Me Forgiveness"
"Where Is the Line"

"Where Is the Line" is a song by Icelandic artist Björk, taken from the 2004 album Medúlla, written by the singer herself and co-produced with longtime collaborator Mark Bell. The track was originally intended to be released as the album's third commercial single, but its release was cancelled just before Björk released the Drawing Restraint 9 soundtrack, in order to focus all promotional efforts on the film and soundtrack instead. Some promotional white labels vinyls were released around 2005.[1] A music video for the song was made by Icelandic Artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir. Upon the cancellation of the single, the video was used as part of a video installation project by Friðriksdóttir.

The track is included on a compilation album released by Rough Trade, titled "The Record Shop - 30 Years Of Rough Trade Shops". The track was chosen by Richard Russell.[2] A remix by Mike Patton of the band Fantômas (who contributed to the original album track) was made available for download on War Child Music in April 2005[3] and also appeared on a previous White label 12", as the B-side to the Vitalic remix of Who Is It. Both remixes were suspected to be included with the commercial release of Where Is The Line.


The song is made up of vocals, as with the majority of the Medúlla album on which it exists. It is quite a dark song in which Björk attacks a younger relative for being greedy and unreliable.[4] She has also said that on this one the vocals of beatboxer Rahzel are edited all the way, because she felt that with Rahzel, she needed to try out both the extremes[citation needed]. The other extreme being "Who Is It" which features Rahzel doing a one-take beatbox, creating a less-brooding arrangement[citation needed].

The Greatest Hits Tour version of "Where is the Line" varies in regards to its string arrangements[citation needed]. Due to its release prior to Medúlla, Björk arranged the song using the prominent strings to create a more Middle-Eastern feel to the orchestration. On the Volta Tour, however, the song is dominated by heavy electronic beats and a synthesized organ, creating a much more Western sound[citation needed].

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Where Is the Line" was directed by Icelandic artist Gabríela Friðriksdóttir and shot at a stable in Iceland, in November 2004.[5] It was premiered during Friðriksdóttir's exposition at the Venice Biennale in 2005.[6] Originally being one of three films from the artist's Versations Tetralogia, then edited to fit "Where Is The Line". It shows Björk wearing a dress made of sandbags and standing in a barn full of hay. She gives birth to a convulsing person (dancer Erna Ómarsdóttir) covered in a white stickiness who, after a wild dance, withdraws back inside the host. After a series of explosions, a number of creatures made of hay emerge from the hay stacks. They surround her and cover her with their bodies on the ground until she is no longer visible.[7] The video was included on the DVD The Medúlla Videos, which included all music videos from Medúlla, released in 2005.[8]

Cover versions[edit]

The track was covered by Michael Wollny and Heinz Sauer on their album Certain Beauty, under the title "Where is the Line (With You)"

Track listings[edit]


  1. ^ "Björk – Where Is The Line". Discogs. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Two Tracks to download at WarChildMusic". bjork.com. 7 April 2005. Archived from the original on April 9, 2005. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  4. ^ Lapatine, Scott (28 March 2008). "Björk: The Stereogum Interview". Stereogum. Retrieved 10 April 2016. 
  5. ^ "Gabriela: Her dark materials". i-D (252). March 2005. ISSN 0894-5373. 
  6. ^ http://cia.icelandicartcenter.is/news/mai05/gabriela.html
  7. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100101023545/http://bjork.com/news/?id=526;year=2005#news
  8. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100101024136/http://bjork.com/news/?id=528;year=2005#news