This blog is primarily about cannibalism in films and TV shows, but we take an occasional deviation (love that word) to discuss real-live cases, or other manifestations of the cannibals’ art. So today – cannibal music.
“Jónsi” Birgisson is an Icelandic musician, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist for the Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós. His new album “Shiver” is due in October, and he has just released the song CANNIBAL – the Youtube link is above.
For this one, he collaborates with Liz Fraser. Fraser is a Scottish singer, songwriter and musician, known as the vocalist for the band Cocteau Twins and on several tracks on Massive Attack’s album “Mezzanine”. She was sometimes called “the Voice of God” in Cocteau Twins.
One review says “If anyone could turn a song about being a cannibal for love into a glorious and gorgeous song, it’s the Icelandic singer [Jónsi]”.
You’ve got perfect skin
Soft enough porcelain
White teeth, but you’re sinking in
I’m chewing cartilage
Chewing your carpet
Muscles, veins, and shoulder blades
You know I’m a cannibal, cannibal
I remove your breathing heart
If you want to enjoy a song about cannibals, Jónsi is a nice peaceful place to start.
If peaceful is not your thang, Cannibal Corpse has been putting the death into Death Metal for over thirty years (spooky huh?) I should issue a warning – this is not the album to play if you have a hangover migraine. Oh, also that it has songs with names like
- Meat hook sodomy
- Living dissection
- Under the rotted flesh
- Vomit the soul
- I cum blood
Cannibal’s Hymn is by the brilliant Australian musician, Nick Cave. I have used a line from this amazing song for the title of my thesis: “If you’re gonna dine with the cannibals“.
If you’re gonna dine with the cannibals
Sooner or later, darling, you’re gonna get eaten
But I’m glad you’ve come around here with your animals
And your heart that is bruised but bleating
And bleeding like a lamb.
While we are talking cannibal music, let us recall Katy Perry’s clip where she wanted to be “spread like a buffet”. If you were lucky enough to miss it or forget it, you can refresh the horror here.
Back in 2010, KE$HA released her cannibal song, with lyrics like “carnivore animal, I am a cannibal!” It became a hit all over again in 2020 when people realised it was a nice tune for exhibiting their talents on TikTok.
And let’s not forget (well, we can try) Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ clip from July 2000 where he is stripping for a group of women. When he is completely naked (with the naughty bits blurred out) and they remain unimpressed, he pulls off his skin and starts throwing pieces of his flesh out to the crowd, who eat it.
The video’s director said that the clip had been banned in the Dominican Republic for ‘Satanism’ and that they were ‘wanted in Papua New Guinea for cannibalism’. Now he wants to reshoot it.
It’s interesting from a cannibal studies point of view in that his penis cannot be shown, while his flesh, and the eating thereof, is perfectly acceptable, apparently. Also that cannibalism is depicted as of more interest than sex to his audience. Of course. Cannibalism is about the voracious and insatiable appetite of humans, of which sex is just one aspect.
Interesting, perhaps, but for what it’s worth, my recommendation, both visually and musically, is to stick to Nick and Jónsi.