The Beijing Winter Olympics aren’t until 2022, but that doesn’t mean the host city isn’t already busy taking care of the many details that go into throwing the Olympic Games. Such as commissioning an official theme song.
You probably didn’t even know the Olympics had theme songs, but they do and they range from the awesome (like Giorgio Moroder’s disco synth anthem for the ’88 Olympics in South Korea) to terrible (like “Celine Dion’s Power of the Dream” for the ’96 Atlanta Olympics).
I gotta hand it to Beijing, though … their 2022 theme “The Ice and Snow Dance” is pretty catchy. It seems like the kind of earworm that could burrow its way into the psyche of the world until everyone is humming it against their will. That may be because it sounds suspiciously like another massive hit: the song “Let It Go” from Disney’s 2013 megahit Frozen.
If you haven’t already heard that song a million times, congratulations on not having kids. Now listen to it here:
And compare it to composer Zhao Zhao’s “The Ice and Snow Dance”:
Reactions to the song on China’s Internet have been almost universally negative, with people calling it an embarrassing rip-off. While the Beijing theme song doesn’t go so far as to lift the chorus from “Let It Go,” the key piano parts and intro chords are practically identical, and the song shares the same melodic progressions and tempo.
Neither composer Zhao Zhao or the Beijing Olympic Committee have responded to the furor, although a spokesperson for the 2022 Olympics did suggest “people fax her their complaints so she can respond when she has authorization to do so.”
What do you think? Rip-off? Homage? Or are we just so shell shocked by the never-ending Frozen soundtrack that we’re hearing similarities where there are none?