Welp, Sufjan Stevens Just Released a Song About Tragic Cultural Icon Tonya Harding

Fresh off the release of his two gorgeous
original songs
for Call Me By Your Name, weepy
music man Sufjan Stevens has released a brand new track for the
film I, Tonya, and—hmm, wait…I’m receiving word that
this song, entitled “Tonya Harding,” is not actually related to
the film I, Tonya at all. Their shared release week is
merely a coincidence.

The song, which you can hear above (or on Spotify, where he
dropped
two versions
), is a sparkling and ethereal elegy for
Harding’s career and reputation that laments her tragic
downfall—one that, despite the extent of her involvement, is
inextricably linked to lifetime of abuse, poverty, and the
savage court of public opinion. “They’ll build you a castle,”
Stevens sings, “then destroy it when they’re done.”

The song begins:

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

While his lyrics are often painfully on the nose (“while this
world is a bitch, girl, don’t end up in a ditch, girl),
Stevens’s earnestness is undeniable. He even published an

accompanying essay
detailing his decades-long work crafting
the song.

“At the end of the day, Tonya Harding was just an ordinary
woman with extraordinary talent and a tireless work ethic who
set out to do her very best,” he
writes
. “She did that and more. I hope the same can be said
of us all.”

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