A2Z 2021 Jethro Tull Songs Day 25 “Year One” (Skating Away on the Ice of a New Day) from War Child (1974)

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War Child is their seventh studio album, released in 1974. Much of the music from it was derived from past recording sessions of the band. “Only Solitaire” and “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day” were left over from the summer 1972 writing sessions for what was to have been the follow-up to Thick as a Brick (1972.) Other sources say, “Like other songs on War Child, ‘Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day’ was initially written as part of the ‘Chateau D’isaster Tapes’, an early version of ‘A Passion Play.’ ” The album prominently features David Palmer‘s string orchestration across an eclectic musical set, with the band members, as the two predecessor albums, playing a multitude of instruments. The music is lighter and more whimsical than the dark A Passion Play, with hints of comedy in the lyrics and the music’ structure.

Year One” (aka “Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day”) was dubbed by Ian Anderson as his “first climate change song” due to its lyrics about the then-current concern over global cooling. He later explained,

This was my first song talking about the issue of ecology and, in this specific case, climate change. Back in those days, scientists believed that we were heading towards a period of global cooling, that we could be heading towards a new ice age. And in fact, they realized that in fact, no, we’re heading toward a period of global warming. So my song became kind of redundant. But the idea was sound. And I still have a fondness for it today, because it is talking with optimism about facing the changing world and a changing climate to which we have to adapt, bravely and optimistically. And it feels very apt and appropriate for today. –from Rolling Stone

Sources:
wikipedia
wikipedia
Rolling Stone excellent article if you follow the link

Meanwhile back in the year one
When you belonged to no one
You didn’t stand a chance, son
If your pants were undone

‘Cause you were bred, for humanity
And sold to society
One day you’ll wake up, in the present day
A million generations removed from expectations
Of being who you really want to be

Skating away, skating away, skating away
On the thin ice of the new day

So as you push off from the shore
Won’t you turn your head once more
And make your peace with everyone
For those who choose to stay
Will live just one more day
To do the things they should’ve done
And as you cross the wilderness
Spinning in your emptiness
If you have to, pray
Looking for a sign, that the universal minds
Has written you into the passion play

Skating away, skating away, skating away
On the thin ice of the new day

And as you cross the circle line
Well, the ice wall creaks behind
You’re a rabbit on the run
And the silver splinters fly
In the corner of your eye
Shining in the setting sun
Well, do you ever get the feeling
That the story’s too damn real
And in the present tense?
Or that everybody’s on the stage
And it seems like you’re the only
Person sitting in the audience?

Skating away, skating away, skating away
On the thin ice of the new day

Skating away, skating away, skating away

Songwriter: Ian Anderson

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. ahtdoucette says:

    Very timely as we (maybe) start to take climate change seriously. Getting such a nostalgia feel from so many posts I’m reading today. Maybe it’s just me. This has been a fun April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I hope we do start to get real about climate change. Yes, this has been a fun A2Z month.

      Like

  2. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    Great message and I love the folky sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I am not sure what the alternate title is Year One other than reference to the lyrics, but I ran with it. Glad you like this one, Max.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frédérique says:

    Great topic for a song!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula Light says:

    I love this song so much!

    Like

  5. I enjoyed this one, although clearly, we’ve yet to take the message to heart. Maybe now is the time.

    Like

  6. Most likely he never imagined his song would ring true almost a half century later with talks still outnumbering action. (Imagine, only two more letters to go!)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great tune. I didn’t recognize the title, but once I started to listen, it turned out I had heard it before!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes it is and glad you listened and recognized it, Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This song deserves to be re-released, it’s really current!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. memadtwo says:

    The mix on this is fabulous. Another one I had totally forgotten about…(K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It’s a good’n!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for this journey TT. Time for a little Tull binge. So much good music and musical ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You are very welcome, CB, happy you enjoyed the musical journey 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have certain artist that I binge on. Tull is in that group

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          I know what you mean. I like to do it with Dylan, Pearl Jam, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, REM, U2, and others…

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Interesting lyrics.

    Liked by 1 person

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