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Take a spin around the river or dance floor with the Maine Ice Disco

Enjoy a list of songs specially chosen to enhance the experience of watching the circular ice sheets that have formed on bodies of water across Maine.

WESTBROOK, Maine — For all of the people who feel compelled to stand by the banks of a river and watch as its swirling currents carve out a wheel of ice, wouldn't this natural wonder be even better if it was set to the music of Jethro Tull?

That's one of the bands in a playlist inspired by the Maine ice disk phenomenon. We call the collection of music the Maine Ice Disco. An icy or freezing vibe was essential for any song to make the cut. Of course, it all begins with "Ice, Ice Baby" by Vanilla Ice. Here is the full 15-track listing:

  • Ice, Ice Baby -- Vanilla Ice
  • Ice Station Zebra -- Jack White
  • Fire and Ice -- Pat Benatar
  • Ice Cold Ice -- Husker Du
  • Frozen -- Madonna
  • Freeze Part IV of "Fear" -- Rush
  • Running on Ice -- Billy Joel
  • Trapped Under Ice -- Metallica
  • Freeze-Frame -- J. Geils Band
  • The Thin Ice -- Pink Floyd
  • Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out -- Bruce Springsteen
  • Frozen Heart -- "Frozen" Soundtrack
  • Skating Away (On the Thin Ice of the New Day) -- Jethro Tull
  • Underneath the Ice -- Simple Minds
  • Cold as Ice -- Foreigner

Maine's began its descent into disk-mania in January 2019 when a circular ice sheet formed on the Presumpscot River in Westbrook. Video of the spinning ice disk went viral, and soon visitors were traveling long distances to see it in person.

City leaders welcomed the tourism boost at a typically quiet time of year. They fed into the public interest with social media posts and a dedicated webcam. But as with anything made of ice, it couldn't last forever. And with the arrival of spring, the ice disk was a memory.

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As summer gave way to fall, expectations began rising for a new ice disk. And by the third week into 2020, cold temperatures began once again to exert their influence on the river.

The city revived its ice disk publicity machine with new tweets and pictures. But the images weren't quite as impressive as before. Instead of a perfect circle, the new disk was more of a blob. Some special ingredient was missing, preventing it from regaining its former shapeliness. But c'mon...isn't that a problem for everybody after the holidays?

Seeing all the attention Westbrook got, several aspiring heirs to the ice disk throne have come forward. A disk formed on the Kennebec River in Skowhegan last week. But instead of spinning, it's more of a drifter.

Milford offered a different twist for disk devotees. Rather than one big disk, the water flowing through that town produced dozens of diskettes.

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The sequels and spin-offs of the disk saga beg comparison to Star Wars with its endless new episodes. And as with that sprawling story from a galaxy far, far away, music is the glue that ties it all together. John Williams had no part in the Maine Ice Disco. But we hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless. 

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