Sunday, November 07, 2004

Kate and Anna McGarrigle at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, 1975. Photo by David Gahr

Swimming Song
This summer I went swimming
This summer I might have drowned
But I held my breath, kicked my feet
And I moved my arms around,
I moved my arms around

This summer I did the backstroke
And you know that that's not all
I did the breaststroke, the butterfly
And the old Australian crawl
The old Australian crawl

This summer I swam in a public place
And a reservoir to boot
At the latter I was informal
At the former I wore my suit
I wore my swimming suit

This summer I did swan-dives
And jack-knifes for you all
And once when you weren't looking
I did a cannonball
I did a cannonball.

This song is on the 1976 debut album by the French-Canadian sisters Kate and Anna McGarrigle. It was written by Loudon Wainwright, Kate's husband at the time. The album also features two of Anna's most beautiful songs, 'Talk to me of Mendocino' and 'Heart Like a Wheel' (the latter covered by Linda Ronstadt among others), and the whole album still sounds as fresh as it did when it was first released.