Many of us at some stage will have had that hypothetical question about if you were stuck on a desert island what would you take with you. In a similar vein I will be sharing all the songs that I would put in my own personal jukebox, not necessarily to take to a desert island, you understand, but just the many songs that would make me sad should I never hear them again. In order to make things a little interesting I’m going to permit myself just one song from each group or singer, which will be something of a test but one I’ll embrace. I hope you enjoy some of my choices and would be intrigued to hear selections from your own personal jukebox, these days MP3s or Ipods, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me on this occasion.
Sigur Ros – Hoppipolla (2005)
Released in the UK in November 2005 and reissued the following year, Sigur Ros’ most popular song Hoppipolla reached #24 in the UK charts largely thanks to its use in the BBC’s Planet Earth series. Sigur Ros are one of the most unique groups I have ever had the pleasure of hearing and are notable for their use of Vonlenska (Hopelandic), which blends in with their Icelandic lyrics and is considered a form of gibberish of the band’s invention though one that is so carefully constructed it flows seamlessly throughout their music.
Hoppipolla was immediately the stand-out song for me when I listened to the 2005 album Takk. The featured YouTube video contains the lyrics to the song and a translation I hadn’t seen until writing this blog but that’s a reflection of how wonderful Hoppipolla is, even though I hadn’t the faintest idea what the band were singing about, I was still enthralled. The title is said to be Icelandic for “jumping into puddles” and the translated lyrics seem to reflect this as there is mention of getting drenched in puddles, wearing no boots and getting nosebleeds as well. Sigur Ros are never going to be a group that oust Lady Gaga or Katy Perry from the top of the charts but their music shows so much invention and skill, and if you listen to Hoppipolla and don’t find yourself lost in that music or in the melodious vocals of singer Jonsi Birgisson I’d be very surprised.