SOMETHING A BIT BONKERS TODAY

The third single released by Sugarcubes on One Little Indian is among the most strange and yet compelling of their entire back catalogue:-

mp3 : Sugarcubes – Deus

To begin with, Bjork sounds as if she is simply denying the existence of God….and then she seems to be singing that if in fact he did exist then she wouldn’t mind being groped or molested by him. And then to totally bamboozle listeners, Einar comes in to say that he actually once met God.

(Bjork vocal in red; Einar in purple)

Deus does not exit.
But if he does, he lives in the sky above me
In the fattest largest cloud up there
He’s whiter than white and cleaner then clean.
He wants to reach me.

Deus does not exist.
But if he does I always notice him.
Getting ready in his airy room
He’s picking his gloves so gently off
He wants to touch me.

I’m walking humbly down a tiny street
Pulling my collar it gets bigger, woooh

I once met him,
It really surprised me,
He put me in a bath tub,
Made me squeaky clean,
Really clean.

To create a universe
You must taste
The forbidden fruit.

He said hi. I said hi,
I was still clean.

Deus does not exist,
But if he does he’d want to get down from that cloud
First marzipan fingers then marble hands
More silent than silence and slower than slow
Diving towards me.

My collar is huge room for two hands,
They start at the chest and move slowly down.

I thought I had seen everything,
He wasn’t white and fluffy
He just had side burns
He just had side burns
And a quiff
He said hi.
I said hi. I was still clean
I was squeaky clean.
I was surprised.
Just as you would be.

Deus, Deus, Deus, Deus

He does not exist
He does not exist
He does not exist
He does not exist

Quite incredibly, this was almost a hit, reaching #51 in the UK singles charts in 1988 which meant that it outperformed Birthday in terms of the chart which stalled at #65 on both of the occasions it was released as a 45. Just imagine the furore in the tabloid press if Deus had been performed on Top of the Pops!

The 12″ came with two other tracks.

mp3 : The Sugarcubes – Organic Prankster
mp3 : Johnny Triumph & The Sugarcubes – Luftgitar (12″ version)

The former is very unconventional and avant-garde, even by the band’s standards and may be a bit much for non-fans to take to. The latter is in fact the UK release of new-wave style single that had come out in Iceland the previous year on Smekkleysa Records featuring Johnny Triumph, which was a name adopted by modern poet and performing artist Sigurjón Birgir Sigurðsson (a.k.a. Sjón, backed by a band called Sykurmolarnir, who were in fact The Sugarcubes.

That’s you got some more bizarre facts to drop into a conversation down the pub soon.

JC

4 thoughts on “SOMETHING A BIT BONKERS TODAY

  1. So happy to buy the Sugarcubes singles early on. After seeing the video for “Birthday” on Snub TV, I wasted no time in diving in. “Deus” was a very good choice for a single and I had no idea that it had got as high in the UK charts as it had. I seem to remember that they were an underground phenomenon at the time. I saw the band in Orlando, Florida on their US tour and they spent the time before the show chatting with fans which was refreshing. I remember reading an interview with the Icelandic band Kukl in the local college paper in the early 80s. That was the precursor to Sugarcubes, so maybe for some reason the band were attracted to Orlando, Florida? I still prefer The Sugarcubes to Bjork solo. I eventually got her first three solo albums, but recycled the third one. Never heard anything after that. Bjork without Einar’s contrasting presence was much less interesting to me.

  2. What a wonderful time-warp moment. I forgot just how wonderful this track is. I never could take to Einar … still, this song stands the test of time. Oh, how I barely recall that vodka and orange juice fueled Barrowlands gig. Ouch! It wasn’t my best moment but, from what I can recall, the band were on fire.

  3. Hi JC, you’ve managed to post ‘Delicious Demon’ instead of ‘Organic Prankster’. I was thinking that rather than being avant-garde, it was one of their more commercial tunes when I realised what was going on!

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