The Swimming Song

Album: Attempted Mustache (1973)
  • After the success of Loudon Wainwright III's "Dead Skunk," Columbia Records was eager for another "silly animal song" to appeal to the public. Much to their disappointment, the singer offered what he considered an even better, yet animal-free, song called "The Swimming Song" for his new album, Attempted Mustache.

    Although it didn't prove to be a bigger hit than "Dead Skunk," the nostalgic song still remains one of Wainwright's favorites. Fans agree, even if their interpretations can go a little off-base (is it about alcoholism, drug addiction, falling in love, sex? Is it about growing old or dying young?). According to Wainwright, it's just a simple song about - you guessed it - swimming.

    "I was just thinking about swimming, but you know I mentioned, 'I'm a self-destructive fool.' For me, it's just about the joy of swimming," he told the A.V. Club.

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