Week 189: “Skating” by The Vince Guaraldi Trio


Skating is one of those classic winter activities that I never really got into.  I’m not sure why, really. But along with cross-country skiing, mulled wine, and itchy Christmas sweaters, skating never really seemed enjoyable to me.

I guess it always seemed that skating was a constant struggle against gravity. There you are, trying to keep your footing on a slippery surface, with two pieces of icy metal strapped to your feet. Gravity sees you doing this, shakes its head in disappointment, and inevitably pulls you down to the ice to teach you and your tailbone a painful lesson in physics.

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m glad that other people enjoy skating. There’s nothing like seeing a rink or pond filled with happy skaters to help set the tone for this time of year. It’s just not for me. I prefer activities like tobogganing, where you co-operate with gravity.

Whatever your winter activity of choice, I hope you find time over the holidays to go out and do it. And when you finally make it back inside to warm up, put on this song.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The snow-like, fluttering melody in the right hand, followed by…

2. …an unexpected succession of ascending minor thirds. They seem to emulate the long strides of a skater crossing a rink.

3. The brushes that the drummer uses are much more effective in evoking Christmas than the cheesy jingling bells that are so overused in Christmas music.

Recommended listening activity:

Putting egg nog in your coffee instead of milk.

Buy it here.