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Tonya's Twirls

This song is by Loudon Wainwright III and appears on the album Social Studies (1999) and on the live album So Damn Happy (live) (2003).

You knew she was in trouble when you saw her bodyguard.
When you saw those two together, you knew it wasn't hard
To see that she was different, not just one of the girls,
With their gliding and their sliding and their pirouettes and twirls.

Then it turned out that she smoked and drank and posed practically nude,
And she didn't smile all of the time, she got angry, and was crude.
No, she wasn't goody-two-skates, like all the other girls,
With their grinning and their spinning and their winning little twirls.

And her childhood was unhappy, and her mom was really weird.
Her husband liked to hit her but it was poverty she feared!
'Cause she grew up in the trailer parks not like most other girls,
With their gliding and their sliding and their whirling little twirls, yeah.

Yes, they all look like princesses, little barbies, to the core.
But she was your parents' worst nightmare: the slut who moved next door.
From the wrong side of the track, she liked the boys more than the girls,
With their gliding and their sliding and their girlish dainty twirls--

And it seemed like she was lying, about what she didn't know,
And then she started crying in the media sideshow,
And in practice she kept falling down more than the other girls!
With their gliding and their sliding and their picture perfect twirls.

And they almost towed her truck way, uh, the whole thing was a drag,
Forget about Campbell Soup and Reebok, Weedy's or the flag,
Huh, there'll be books, she'll make some money, that's what they're after, all these girls,
With their selling, kiss-and-telling, and their twisted little twirls.

So play the National Anthem, stand up proud and tall,
Ooh, we hope that ours don't stumble, and that theirs slip and fall,
Remember Olga Korbut, what happens to these girls?
With their triple-flips and axels, and their somersaults and twirls--

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, axels, pirouettes or twirls,
Just giddy, slipping, sliding, laughing, happy little girls!


Written by:

Loudon Wainwright III


Written about Tonya Harding the former American figure skater, who won the U.S. Figure Skating Championships twice.

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