Sufjan Stevens – Tonya Harding (Official Audio)

Sufjan Stevens – Tonya Harding (Official Audio)

Buy/listen here:

Tonya Harding, my star
Well this world is a cold one
But it takes one to know one
And God only knows what you are

Just some Portland white trash
You confronted your sorrow
Like there was no tomorrow
While the rest of the world only laughed

Triple axel on high
A delightful disaster
You jumped farther and faster
You were always so full of surprises

Are your laces untied?
What’s the frown on your face for?
And just what are the skates for now?
Tell me which is your good side?

Are you lonely at night?
Do you miss all the glory
And the mythical story
Of the Olympian life?

Yamaguchi in red
She had high rise and roses
And red-carpet poses
And her outfit was splendid

Nancy Kerrigan’s charm
Well she took quite a beating
So you’re not above cheating
Can you blame her for crying?

Tonya, you were the brightest
Yeah you rose from the ashes
And survived all the crashes
Wiping the blood from your white tights

Has the world had its fun?
Yeah they’ll make such a hassle
And they’ll build you a castle
Then destroy it when they’re done

Tonya Harding, my friend
Well this world is a bitch, girl
Don’t end up in a ditch, girl
I’ll be watching you close to the end

So fight on as you are
My American princess
May God bless you with incense
You’re my shining American star

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48 Responses

  1. bee says:

    Thank you Suf.

  2. olivia mary says:


  3. Aron van Os says:

    Is this for the new movie??

  4. jehan says:

    Subaru wyd

  5. Lukas Mayo says:

    thanks smurfman sassafras for blessing us on this holy day oh yes subaru

  6. Dillon Withers says:

    Haha new Suf upload time to cry :^)

  7. unplacid says:

    Wow, who’d figure Sufjan would make a song about skating?

  8. renats says:

    Who knew ice skating would make me cry. Thanks sufjan.

  9. Malcolm Cooke says:

    Eb version is far superior

  10. Brad Kasteler says:

    Sufjan sent this song to the director of the new movie coming out with Margot Robbie, but he hasn’t decided yet if he’s going to put it in the movie. HOPEFULLY HE DOES.

  11. usernamemaybe says:

    It is a tragic and fascinating and complex human story, I’m not surprised Sufjan found interest in it

    • letusbelennon says:


    • JordyOnPC says:

      Could you elaborate? I’ve never heard of her.

    • usernamemaybe says:

      @jordyonpc figure skating is a very demanding and competitive sport, I’ve always been fascinated with it so I was familiar with the infamous Nancy Kerrigan attack but never thought much about what this woman (Tonya Harding)might have gone through and her background. In 94 Tonya’s people hired a man to sabotage her main copetitor Nancy Kerrigan by breaking her leg. The man managed to hurt her but not much, Nancy recovered and managed to finish second in the Olympics while Tonya ended up 7th. The case became a huge media circus, as you can imagine. Sufjan lyrics are brutally honest and redeeming and compassionate, as always

  12. Brian Murray says:

    How is it that everything this man does is awe-inspiringly good?

    • 24paljim says:

      I know. I don’t even like Harding; scary woman. Breaking your competitors leg, mind you at least she didn’t have Kerrigan killed, so I suppose that’s something. I’m worried Sufjan thinks of Harding as his hero though.

    • Chris Thomas says:

      Brian Murray God gifts us all, differently, but gifts none the same!

  13. lerey homero says:

    Tonya and sufjan both ice princess that deserve better

  14. Chef Assassin says:

    Sufjan can sing about anything at all and make it beautiful.

  15. Atrijit Das says:

    This felt like I was watching a David Dean Burkhart upload from two years ago

  16. Bobby Bermuda says:

    Sufjan needs to keep doing portrait songs. This and John Wayne Gacy prove it.

    • mancini2468 says:

      AGREE. Who else could write a song about JWG…and NOT serve as his judge? It’s because Sufjan understands kindness and grace…and that on his ‘worst days’…he’s essentially no better. Wow.

  17. Tafu says:

    Ha Sufjan is such a great artist. I saw the title and was like, “well this is an odd choice and kinda dumb.” And then I remembered he wrote a beatiful and tender song about John Wayne Gacy and am unsurprised at how good this is and how much I like it.

  18. schmoyoho says:

    this song is so beautiful and peaceful, yet after listening i have the urge to go bust someone’s kneecap

    10/10, will listen again 👏👏👏⛸

  19. Chris Shmitz says:

    Sufjan is reminding us what popular music can do, reminding us that art can tackle any topic it wishes, delivering even a poignant five-minute “biopic” of a disgraced American figure skating champion because why not. Pop music is not supposed to do portraiture, but who made them rules? The Tonya Harding story challenges us all to look hard at our own sexism and classism.

    Is Tonya a piece of tomboyish trailer trash in mama’s homemade skating outfits, selling her own sex tapes years down the line? Is she a cheater? What did she know about the attack on Nancy Kerrigan? Is she as Sufjan says “a shiny American star?”

    The video that accompanies the song shows Tonya Harding’s face after a stunning, near-perfect performance. She looks like she saw Lazarus rise from the dead. Her expression says: no way that amazing feat of beauty and athleticism came from me. But, yes; yes it did.

    Indie pop giant Sufjan Stevens is on a hot streak. His tunefully depressed “Carrie and Lowell” album is attracting album-of-the-decade type praise. “The Greatest Gift” added terrific new songs like “The City of Roses,” “The Hidden River of My Life,” and “Willowa Lake,” the latter so complex melodically and lyrically no one in popular music could match it. Then there’s the pair of songs from the film “Call Me by Your Name,” especially the whispery, gorgeous “The Mystery of Love.” Now here’s this moving, thought-provoking five minutes with Tonya Harding.

    Here’s what Sufjan is doing and what the age of YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora allow him to do: releasing songs apart from albums, mercurially, whenever the spirit moves him. Artists love freedom, and Sufjan has more than most. Remarkable.

  20. Alina Nguyen says:

    “Her mother was married six times; she grew up in a trailer home, was called trailer trash, called a white nigger. Abused child, abused wife. Her insides must look like a broken glass. But she keeps smiling and keeps skating.” – Jesse Jackson, as quoted in Newsweek magazine, in January 1994, speaking in defense of Tonya Harding.

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