When I was a Freshman in college, in the bleak town of Ephraim, Utah, my roommates and I decided that each year we were in school, we would make a mix dedicated to love; a mix that would remind us of memories of the past year. That initial mix was called The Soft Sounds of Snow, aptly named for the college we were attending. It contained a wide variety of songs, and was, at first, meant to be a three-disc set saluting three different genres of love songs: kinky, classic, and contemporary. When we came to the realization that we didn't have the time (nor the resources - none of us owned a computer with disc-burning capacities), we decided to create one mix with the best of all three worlds. The content is almost laughable, now eight years into the future: Cupid by 112; The Distance by Evan and Jaron; Drowning by the Backstreet Boys; All My Life by K-Ci and JoJo. Each song had its own significance and place in our lives. We loved that CD - and even listening to it now makes me nostalgic for those carefree days when I would stay out until 4am, sleep all day, and DIDN'T have to work.
The tradition continued with alternative versions: Cache In (our first effort in Logan) and Half Cache (as I only stayed for one semester that next year). The track lists are equally as amusing, very accurately reflecting the music of the time, and genres painting a picture of the lives we were leading. As life continued moving, so evolved my taste in music.
This year when Nick asked me what songs I was putting on my Love Mix, I was stunned to tell him that I hadn't made one - and shockingly so! Immediately I went to work trying to compile lyrics and melodies to articulate my comprehension of love at this moment in time. The process wasn't easy. I have a healing heart, and a cynical one, at that. It still beats, but not to the tune of a "love song." You won't hear my heart pitter-patting to Unforgettable or Unchained Melody. Though I love those songs, my heart won't yet allow me to recognize that sentiment as love. Instead, the sad and cynical chambers of my heart have taken over: an underlying tone in the songs thusfar occupying the playlist "Brokenhearted." A sub-sample, if you will:
Light Years Away by MoZella: "It's almost like you had it planned. It's like you smiled and shook my hand and said, 'Hey, I'm about to screw you over bigtime.' But I don't blame you anymore, that's too much pain to store. It left me hefted, inside my head. And I think that I cried for days but now that seems light years away and I'm never goin' back to who I was."
Heal Over by KT Tunstall: "Isn't very difficult to see why you are the way you are. Doesn't take a genius to realize that sometimes life is hard. It's gonna take time but you just have to wait. You're gonna be fine, but in the mean time. I'm over hear lady, let me wipe your tears away. Come a little nearer baby, 'cause you'll heal over, someday."
How to Say Goodbye by Paul Tiernan: "He loved to say goodbye, and always counted out the time until he was free, to get up and leave to learn how to breathe again."
There are a few songs, however, exhibiting a sense of hope. Songs that were added despite the current state of the thumper in my chest:
Inevitable by Anberlin: "I wanna break every clock. The hands of time will never move again. We could stay in this moment for the rest of our lives. Is it over now? I wanna be your last first kiss that you'll ever have."
Somebody by Depeche Mode: "I want somebody to share, share the rest of my life. Share my innermost thoughts, know my intimate details...I want somebody who cares for me passionately, with every thought and with every breath, someone who'll stand by my side and give me support, and in return, she'll get my support...and when I'm asleep, I want somebody who will put their arms around and kiss me tenderly"
There are a few covers that I deemed worthy for the occasion (with surprisingly upbeat, romantic undertones): Coldplay's Yellow, as performed by Jem; Mariah Carey's Always Be My Baby, as performed by David Cook; and Don Henley's The Heart of the Matter as performed by India Arie.
So, there you have it - a small cross section of the 27 songs comprising the 2009 "Brokenhearted" Love Mix. I know I'm capable of better, but until my healing heart boasts it's umpteenth batch of scar tissue, this effort will have to make due.