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Ilene Meyer was a self-trained oil painter whose works combined realism and fantasy. At the age of seven she contributed work to a time capsule at Alki Point, Seattle. She made her career as an oil painter in the 1970s with her first solo exhibition in 1979.
Her early work was based on the fruit and flowers she used as models, with real and imagined animals joining these as time progressed. Her work became popular in the fantasy art world, gracing the cover of books by James K. Morrow, Philip K. Dick, Marion Zimmer Bradley and other science fiction and fantasy authors. F.X. Schmid produced puzzles based on her paintings. She also became more popular in Japan than in her home country.
"Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day" was first released as on the War Child album in 1974. After the success of the album's lead-off single, "Bungle in the Jungle", in the US, "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day" was released as a follow-up in the US and Germany in 1975. The B-side of the single was "Sealion". It did not chart in Germany or on the Billboard charts in America, though it did reach number 75 on the Cashbox charts in the US.
"Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day" was written by Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who dubbed it his "first climate change song" due to its lyrics about the then-current concern over global cooling. He later explained,
This was my first song talking about the issue of ecology and, in this specific case, climate change. Back in those days, scientists believed that we were heading towards a period of global cooling, that we could be heading towards a new ice age. And in fact, they realized that in fact, no, we're heading toward a period of global warming. So my song became kind of redundant. But the idea was sound. And I still have a fondness for it today, because it is talking with optimism about facing the changing world and a changing climate to which we have to adapt, bravely and optimistically. And it feels very apt and appropriate for today.
Like other songs on War Child, "Skating Away on the Thin Ice of the New Day" was initially written as part of the "Chateau D'isaster Tapes", an early version of A Passion Play. An early version appears on the 2014 re-release of A Passion Play as a bonus track.