Lyrics in Singles and Pairs….

So by now skate fans know that lyrics are now allowed in the singles and pairs disciplines (they’ve been allowed in Ice Dance since the 1997-98 season). What is YOUR opinion of the use of lyrics in all of the disciplines?

I was originally against the use of lyrics in singles and pairs, and two competitions into the Grand Prix skating season, I can’t say that my opinion has changed very much. Watching skating for many years I have heard all kinds of music butchery, as well as skating warhorses being beaten to death (“Carmen”, anyone?) I wasn’t afraid of lyrics per se, but of lyrics being done poorly. Also, it is going to take a long time for me to stop thinking “exhibition” when I hear lyrics. Since I much prefer competition skating to exhibition skating, this is not a good portent for me.

Using lyrics can have its advantages if done well, though. Javier Fernandez‘s SP this year is “Black Betty”, and he’s now able to use the version that most of us are familiar with. However, during Skate America, I heard yet another musak version of the Beatles, and thought “Why would you not have Sir Paul singing instead of the elevator version of “Eleanor Rigby??”

I’ve seen a few cases so far when lyrics have been used to good effect. This season, Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage (USA) are skating their free to “The King and I”, and making sparing but effective use of lyrics:

In Aaron/Settlage’s case, the lyrics are not overwhelming nor terribly distracting.

But let’s look at Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford‘s SP. “C’est bon”? Someone caterwauling in French is not my idea of good!!

Their skating is quite wonderful, but it was really hard  to pay attention to it with my hands over my ears. In this case, the lyrics totally overwhelm the skating.

With lyrics allowed, one would think that skaters would be choosing a greater variety of music, but we’ve certainly seen our share of Carmens (thankfully sans lyrics), Malaguena (with lyrics, ick, ick), and Argentine tangos. I like Samantha Cesario‘s “Carmen”, but she has the fierceness to pull it off. Skaters, when your coach suggests one of the tired old nuggets, unless you are a skater with the chops to bring something new to a piece that’s been beaten within an inch of its life,  JUST…SAY….NO.

 

 

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2 responses

  1. HI

    Thank you “sk8maven” for that link regarding PAIRS skating at the 2014 Skate America. I am extremely angry at popular media for AGAIN (!!!) TELEVISED figure skating is sacrificed and PAIRS SKATING is skipped and NOT shown.

    Where, on TELEVISION, can decent PAIRS figure skating be found? When Universal Sports went exclusively to DirectTV and literally cut-off a large percentage of the figure skating audience, I felt betrayed; How many other figure skating fans feel the same?

    Where can we find figure skating on television? I search desperately on the Internet for a full program ONLY to find individual performances and have-to juggle-between various YOUTUBE snippets to watch anything. HELP!!!!!!!!!

    Again, thanks for that link (Madeline Aaron/Max Settlage and Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford‘s SP) I loved them both.

    CIAO

    Terry,
    Philadelphia, PA

    • I finally broke down and got IceNetwork, which is choppy but better than nothing (I use it with ChromeCast to be able to watch it on my TV). There is sometimes a Eurosport feed on the Internet for the Grand Prix events as well.

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