“Dust in the Wind” had one brief, shining moment in the sun as a trending topic on Twitter Thursday night, thanks to the Winter Olympics.
Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan, a three-time world champion making his last trip to the Olympics, skated to the 1977 Kansas song during his short program.
People who had never seen that program seemed confused and took to Twitter to grumble.
Quite a few found the song a bit, well, dusty — not just a throwback but all the way back.
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And sad. It was too sad for the Olympics, people said.
Plus, he should have picked “Carry On Wayward Son,” they snarked.
The song choice got a little love.
But “Dust in the Wind” took a pounding.
This is the first Olympics where singles and pairs figure skaters are allowed to perform to music with lyrics, a blatant move to seduce new fans to a sport that needed them.
After Canadian figure skaters Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford skated in Pyeongchang to Utah singer-songwriter April Meservy’s cover of the hit U2 song “With or Without You,” the song climbed the iTunes charts.
“So what’s a sport to do when nobody wants to watch another seventh-place American skate to an instrumental medley of Phantom of the Opera for the hundredth time?” wrote Rebecca Jennings for SB Nation. “ADD SOME DAD ROCK, BABY! (one million air horns).
“This means Pyeongchang will be the first Olympics in which, alongside the usual dosages of Swan Lake, you will also be treated to the music of British pop star Ed Sheeran and a truly bizarre big band cover of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall.’”
Chan chose “Dust in the Wind,” from the “Point of Know Return” album, because of its emotional pull, he said in one interview.
“There are few songs of the last forty years that have had the impact on listeners that ‘Dust in the Wind’ has had,” says The Pop Song Professor. “For one thing, it’s deeper than most songs.
“Anyone who throws it up next to any Justin Bieber song … is going to understand immediately that ‘Dust in the Wind’ is a song about something (even though it’s oddly about nothing). It has meaning.”
From a skating perspective, Chan told Sportsnet, the lyrics “really do, I think, reach across a further range of people and makes them understand what you’re trying to emote when you’re on the ice.
“If you really read the lyrics and you listen to it, it goes along the lines of what I believe in now. The whole mental perspective of reminding myself that skating and the Olympics is a bit of a fleeting moment. Enjoy it, but also don’t put too much weight into it.
“We’re all made of bones and we all come from the earth and whatnot and we all go back to the earth and we’re all dust in the wind kind of situation, so …
“It can get really philosophical if you want, but it made so much sense, and it kind of came off, it was a really easy piece, surprisingly, to even edit and choreograph, too.”
Unfortunately for 27-year-old Chan, the song turned out to be oddly prophetic.
His last quest for gold turned to dust.
He started strong but fell on the tricky triple axel, a jump that has long bedeviled him.
He landed in sixth place, 21 points behind front-runner Yuzuru Hanyu, who iced his competition.
On Saturday night, in the long program, Chan will skate for the last time on Olympic ice to Jeff Buckley’s rendition of “Hallelujah.”
“Look, skating is just a small part of my life now, and the Olympic Games, too,” he told Sportsnet after his disappointing short program.
“I think we forget that just because of five rings, it’s not going to determine the rest of our lives, and we have amazing skates, we have bad skates …
“It’s a really hard environment. So to counter that I just have to be like, ‘You know what? It is what it is. I have 40 to 50 years to prove I’m better at something else.’”