Walking On Thin Ice

Album: Onobox (1981)
Charted: 35 58
Play Video


  • Ono's fraught lyrics on this disco New Waver talk of the unpredictability of life and death and watching your every step before concluding, "when our hearts return to ashes, it will be just a story...." In our interview with Yoko she explained: "It's a song that came to me music notes and lyrics together."
  • John Lennon supplied lead guitar work to accompany Yoko's steely shrieks, and the pair concluded the recording of the song on December 8, 1980. The song's lyrical content proved to be tragically prophetic as it was to be his final creative act. It was upon John and Yoko's return from the recording studio to their The Dakota home that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman.
  • The version included on 1992's Onobox features a new intro where John Lennon can be heard remarking "I think you just cut your first number one, Yoko." His prediction proved to be correct, though Yoko had to wait. In 2003 the Japanese artist achieved pole position on the Hot Dance Club Play chart for the first time with a maxi-single of the song with remixes by dance artists including the Pet Shop Boys and Felix Da Housecat. Having turned 70 less than a month earlier, Yoko became the oldest person to top the chart, a record she broke each time she subsequently topped the dance tally.
  • There's a part in the middle of the song that sounds like Yoko is saying "ay ay ay ay." But in reality, it is "ai ai ai ai" - "ai" means "love" in Japanese.
  • The song returned to #1 on Dance/Club Play Songs in 2013 after Yoko commissioned a series of new remixes from Dave Aude, Emjae and Ralphi Rosario. It marked the third time an artist has taken a song to the dance chart summit summit twice: Jennifer Holliday ruled with "No Frills Love" in 1986 and 1996 and Jody Watley doubled up with "Looking For A New Love" in 1987 and again in 2005.

Comments: 3

  • Jamal from Portland OrI don't know if she is encouraging to walk on thin ice or if it is a reference to something else or maybe she had done it befo but it is not safe to walk on ice I can tell you here in the port we don't do it, you could fall in the water and get hypothermia
  • AnonymousDid she get paid for that?
  • Caio from BrazilI wanted to know the model of her glasses. It is very funny.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"

Jonathan Edwards - "Sunshine"They're Playing My Song

"How much does it cost? I'll buy it?" Another songwriter told Jonathan to change these lyrics. Good thing he ignored this advice.

80s Video Director Jay Dubin

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

In The Cards

In The CardsSong Writing

Songwriters have used cards and card games to make sense of heartache, togetherness, and even Gonorrhea.

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"

Marc Campbell - "88 Lines About 44 Women"They're Playing My Song

The Nails lead singer Marc Campbell talks about those 44 women he sings about over a stock Casio keyboard track. He's married to one of them now - you might be surprised which.