Svefn-G-Englar

Album: Agatis Byrjun (1999)

Songfacts®:

  • The group is from Iceland. This was used as the title track on a short EP that was their first release outside their native country.
  • Made up almost entirely of the same chord progression. There is a brief bridge, approximately 15 seconds long.
  • NME (New Musical Express, a British music magazine akin to Rolling Stone) hailed this as a Single of the Week in September 1999.
  • Helped this album go double platinum in Iceland. That's about 20,000 copies, which may not seem like a very large number, but in Iceland that means that one out of every 15 people owns a copy.
  • The album has sold over 130,000 copies worldwide and earned the group a Shortlist Award, given to the 10 best albums of the year that sold fewer than 500,000 copies.
  • The title of the song translates roughly to "Sleep-Talkers." It's sung in a mixture of Icelandic and the group's own gibberish language, Hopelandish.
  • This appears on the Vanilla Sky soundtrack. Lead singer Jon Thor Birgisson shot footage in their swimming pool that they use as a visual aid for their concerts. Cameron Crowe used some of the footage in Vanilla Sky. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dane - Kaneohe, HI

Comments: 6

  • Arek from PolandVideoclip contains a group of people with down syndrome dancing happily. Recognised down syndrome fetuses are aborted in Iceland.
  • Eric from Detroit, MiIt is all well and good to listen to them on your stereo, but to truly understand and appericate, just how utterly complex and awesome sigur ros's music is you must see them live. It is an artstic expression on the highest level. A sigur ros show is beyond any normal concert experince you might have. You will be moved, and the greatest part is you won't understand a single word that is being sung
  • Seth from Butler, Pathis song is spoken in plain ol' icelandic. here's a translation:
    I'm here again
    inside of you
    It's so nice in here
    but I can't stay for long

    I float around in liquid hybernation
    (in a hotel)
    drinking all the electricity
    (on board)

    tjú, tjú, tjú
    tjú, tjú, tjú

    But the wait makes me (uneasy)
    I kick the fragility away
    (and I shout), I have to go, (help)

    tjú, tjú, tjú
    tjú, tjú, tjú
    tjú, tjú, tjú

    tjú, tjú, tjú, tjú

    I explode out and the peace
    is gone

    (Bathed in new light
    I cry and I cry, disconnected)
    An unused brain is put on breasts
    and is fed by sleepwalkers

    tjú, tjú, tjú
    tjú, tjú, tjú
    tjú
  • Finnur from KÃ?pavogur, IcelandThis band is great...
    "Svefngenglar" translates to "sleep-walkers", not "sleep-talkers" like someone stated above. The last part of the title "Englar" also means "Angels".
  • Anna from Aberdeen, ScotlandHopelandic isn't technically a language to be understood. It was created by the to effectively see the voice as another instrument, rather than placing a lot of focus on the lyrical aspect of the song/s. Their third album, (), is sung entirely in Hopelandic.
  • Meg from Philadelphia, PaSigur ros is an awesome band from iceland. In my opinion they're right up there with bjork. Anyone who likes this song should listen to Untitled #1 (my favorite!). I love the symbolism in this song, and I wish I could understand hopelandish.
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