tripping and slipping down memory lane

Categories: 31-songs-in-may

Tags: music, Loudon Wainwright III, ice skating, childhood

Date: 11 May 2003 03:20:00

I've just been reading one of those child of the Eighties/Nineties things that makes you think way too hard about the halcyon era of your youth - well the stuff that was going on for everybody and not the stuff that was individual to you. A friend and I had a massive Torvill and Dean thing when we were growing up, and one of the greatest thrills of that was living near Nottingham at the time, being able to go and skate on the same ice as they had every Saturday morning. This leads into the song for today:

May 10th: Tonya's Twirls

I'm sure that most of you will (possibly a bit vaguely by now) remember the events of 1994 when Tonya Harding's ex-husband took a club to the knee of Nancy Kerrigan, and changed the public view of ice skating forever (well, at least for a while). Well, a certain guy by the name of Loudon Wainwright III recorded a song which on the face of it was about these events, but was really about lost innocence. It was one of the first songs I heard by Loudon, and it struck a chord. It can be found on his 'Social Studies' album, but for anyone who hasn't heard any Loudon before, I'd recommend a 'best of' rather than this. The full lyrics are nowhere to be found on the internet, so I won't re-publish them here, but the ending of the song is quite poignant:

Ice used to be a nice thing

When you laced up figure skates

Now it's a thing to win a medal on

For the United States

But once there were no lutzes, axles, pirouettes, or twirls

Just giddy slipping sliding laughing happy little girls.