Mix Tapes [and Saturday’s soundtrack]

When I was eight years old, I had a fascination with mix tapes. Tapes, then, were at the end of their life. We were in the midst of CDs and then little MP3 players. The world of music was changing quickly. But for a tiny sliver of time in 1998, I created what would be the first of many playlists played in my room. Dad made sure we discovered music. I swear he can name any album and band that has ever existed, and he could [and can] turn any conversation into a song lyric of the past. He’d play Blackbird on his guitar, and I knew the lyrics to Pink Houses by Mellencamp before any of the Backstreet Boys songs my friends were listening to. Because he called me Bop, [And because I might have had a poster of them on my bedroom wall] Dad gave me Hanson’s MmmBop album on cassette tape, and I recollect wanting to keep the plastic case from cracking. Newsboys, Hanson, and Jaci Velasquez. Those were my go tos. In fact, I took a punch to the gut the day I realized I would never be Jaci [Mostly due to the fact that I am not hispanic]. Mom and I, riding in our old, clay colored Camry would listen to Oldies 96.3, and I can remember dancing to Lesley Gore’s It’s My Party in the front seat. The Songs of the past blurred with the songs my friends played on their Walkmans. Brittany Spears. Christina Aguilera. Jump 5. Shania Twain. The Beatles. These were the background to my childhood. I owned, at the time,  a small purple boom box that would record the radio and CDs on to casette tapes. And with my beanie babies lined up in a row from an afternoon of teaching Edgar Allen Poe, [Around that time, I began sitting in on Mom’s living room English tutoring sessions] I’d create little mixes for my plush, little animals to enjoy.

mixtapes

It’s really no surprise that Mix CDs [don’t you agree that mix tapes just sounds better?] are one of the small things in life that give me immense joy. Mix CDs and Wildflowers and Wool Socks. I’m convinced there’s nothing better. For the greater part of my life, my dear friend Molly has supplied me with an array of new artists and songs. We went through a hip hop and country phase for a bit of high school, and while I’m eternally grateful to no longer be listening to The Black Eyed Peas, I can’t say I still don’t love a good Rascal Flatts Song. Now, she leaves little surprises in my mailbox–beautiful compilations of melody and sound. I love the way she shares her love for music. Emma and Emily have also always mailed me mix CDs, and I love them because the songs that show up on those mixes reflect who they are as individuals. Emma’s are full of feeling and meaning and melancholy. Emily’s make me want to laugh and roll the windows down. And isn’t that the neat thing about music? The songs that we love are a part of us. Perhaps the lyrics speak to something we have felt or hoped for. Something we’ve gone through. Perhaps it’s the song we danced to with the boy we had a crush on in high school [Yellow by Coldplay will always be this for me]. Maybe it’s music that motivates you or challenges you or maybe it just makes you want to dance. [I’m currently obsessed with TSwift’s Shake It Off, simply because it’s the perfect song to dance to in my jammers.] Over the last year, I met a wonderful friend through my time as an AmeriCorps Member. This past September, for my birthday, she made me a mixed CD of all of her favorite songs. And it is so fun to listen to each of them one by one, wondering what it is that she loves about that song. That melody. Those lyrics. It’s cozy today and finally feeling like October. I’m all curled up with my kitty-cat Winki, my favorite fox thermals finally out of the drawer. And I decided, today, to share with you my Saturday Soundtrack. My mix tape. My music for today. Each song means a little something to me, and each song seemed like the perfect little addition to this breezy, sunny Saturday. They’re the songs I’ll be listening to as I do laundry and scrub the bathroom and drive into Nashville later. These songs make me feel something. And also make me smile. And remember. And love. Take a listen. Today’s playlist:

  1. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant……Billy Joel
  2. Oceans…………………………………….Coasts
  3. Pink Houses……………………………….John Mellencamp
  4. Vienna………………………………………Billy Joel
  5. Mango Tree………………………………..Angus & Julia Stone
  6. Thunderclatter……………………………..WildCub
  7. 5 Years Time……………………………….Noah & The Whale
  8. I Want You to Want Me……………………Cheap Trick
  9. Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright……………..Bob Dylan
  10. Small Bump…………………………………Ed Sheeran
  11. I Run to You…………………………………Lady Antebellum
  12. Hello My Old Heart…………………………The Oh Hello’s
  13. Wide Open Spaces…………………………Dixie Chicks
  14. Jackson………………………………………Johnny Cash
  15. How Do I Feel (The Burrito Song)………..HOKU
  16. Classy Girls………………………………….The Lumineers
  17. When I’m Sixty-Four………………………..The Beatles
  18. I Like To Be Me With Me When I’m With You….Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  19. I and Love and You…………………………Avett Brothers
  20. Rivers and Roads…………………………..The Head and The Heart
  21. Moon River…………………………………..Audrey Hepburn (as seen in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

You can listen to it on Spotify here!

Oh, and for anyone wondering how D.C. was? It was fantastic. Maybe I’ll write about it one day. And how you can bus from Nashville to D.C. and explore a fantastic city for under $100. But for now, I’m going to enjoy fall and this music and the idea that maybe you and I are listening to the same songs today.

Have Thoughts? Please share!

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