Now, if you were born around 1994 and on, you have probably never heard of the mix tape. What it is, for those that are not in the know, is a cassette tape that looks like this:
Typically, one would make a mix tape of all the songs they loved so that they could listen to them all in one place. One would have to record their songs from the radio (hoping the DJ didn’t talk over any of the song so you got a clean dubbing), or from another cassette tape (because back in the day, you had to buy the WHOLE THING and not just your favorite tracks). I had a ton of these mix tapes floating around my bedroom, backpacks and car.
The ones that really stuck with me are the ones that my then boyfriend would make for me when he was overseas in Japan. He and I would mail each other cassette tapes that we talked to one another on, and inserted songs that reminded us of the other person. It was the most romantic thing that I had in my short nineteen to twenty years of life. Now, in the age of digital downloads, the romantic mix tape has fallen to the wayside.
This past weekend, my husband and I had a rare afternoon alone. While laughing and driving in the car from one consignment shop to the next, a song came on the radio that reminded me of a mix tape he once made for me. I said, “You should make me a mix playlist like the mix tapes you used to make for me”. Well, he did.
The human brain is an amazing organ. I am always astounded by how vivid some memories are when I smell a certain smell, eat a certain food or hear a certain song. Some songs bring to mind pain, while others bring a smile and a happy tear to my eyes. There are times, (and I am sure I am not alone), that I cannot remember why I walked into a room, but I can remember every single word of “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson, and who I cried over when I used to listen to it! Amazing!
Today, I am listening to the digital “mix tape” that my husband made for me, and I thought I would choose a few songs from it, as they played randomly on the list, and write about my memory of that song with him. Here we go:
“Rump Shaker” – Wreckx N Effect
Well, this song takes me back to the night club we used to go to in Canada. We could drink at the age of nineteen in Canada, and being fortunate enough to live fifteen minutes from the border, friends and I would hop in a car and go dance and drink. Though I cannot remember the name of the club, I remember everything about the inside. Dan and I actually danced to this song at that club. Also, it is one of those dirty, 1990’s songs filled with innuendo and lust. Yes, this was a good choice for the mix!
“Lean On Me” – Bill Withers
This song could have a dual meaning. First of all, he and I sang in our high school chorus, which is hilarious when I think about it today, because we cannot carry a tune in a bucket! But, we did, and we rocked those letterman cardigans too! I remember swaying back and forth and singing with the chorus in high school. It certainly is a classic! The second meaning is for the obvious, he is always there for me. =)
“I’ll Remember” – Madonna
Wow, this one is a good choice too! This song was our song for before he actually left for the service. We were (and still are) best friends, but him leaving was like pulling the rug from beneath me. It was a heartbreaking time for me, but we had this song. Madonna sings,
“I’ll remember the strength that you gave me, now that I’m standing on my own”
Those were poignant lyrics for me at the time. We were going to be without our safety nets. At eighteen years old, that was a big deal and it certainly was a difficult feat.
“Bring the Noise” – Public Enemy & Anthrax Mix
This was the perfect mix of the two of us, and it was awesome to sing together, loudly. In high school, I listened to all types of music (and still do), while he and his friends were all about metal and hard rock. When this little ditty came to be, it was a wonderful sound for us! Head banging and rapping together. So fun!
That is all I will feature, but I will say that the adventure of this “mix tape” has warmed my heart on this damp, dreary Wednesday.
Do you have a mix tape memory? Any specific song you can recall that brings back memories for you?