Walking on Thin Ice (3:46)

Cover of Season of Glass

From Season of Glass and 8 other releases

“Walking on Thin Ice” is a New Wave/dance song by Yoko Ono, released in 1981. She and John Lennon concluded the recording of the song on December 8, 1980. It was upon their return from the recording studio to The Dakota (their home in New York City) that Lennon was assassinated by Mark David Chapman. John had stayed up all night the preceding weekend listening to a preliminary mix of the song, and died clutching a final mix of it in his hands. Lennon’s lead guitar work on the track, which he had recorded that day, and praised by many as the most fascinating of his career, was thus his final creative act.

At the end of January 1981, “Walking on Thin Ice” was released as a single and became Ono’s first chart success, peaking at No. 58 and gaining major underground airplay. The single was released in February 1981 in the UK and reached number 35 on the chart.

The lyrics talk of the unpredictability of life and death — of “throwing the dice in the air” — and reach the conclusion, “when our hearts return to ashes, it will be just a story…”. With the world in shock, a new poignancy was added to the already haunting yet highly danceable track.

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