My wife and I have an agreement with each other about and surrounding our wedding. She won the day with the vows she wrote me and I won the other day with the engagement. Her vows highlighted and weaved a list of one-liners throughout that were songs from mixtapes (mix-CD’s always sounds wrong to me, but they were CD’s) that I had made her over the course of our dating relationship and engagement. It was beautiful and still moves me reading it even now; showing me how much she loves me by repeating words to me that used to describe how I felt (feel) about her.
The best example of how random some of these songs are is by MxPx, a 90’s punk rock band from Bremerton, Washington that I loved while growing up with a song called “Do your feet hurt?” It’s a song that contains one of the best classic pick-up lines I’ve ever heard: “do your feet hurt…because you’ve been running through my mind all day.”
Hokey and cheesy; yes. Right up my alley; yes as well.
The remainder of the songs run the gambit ranging from country to jazz to, well, punk rock. It’s really a great collection and we made a “summarized” version as a wedding favor for our guests. Frankly, whenever a song from one of the mixtapes I made her comes on, it instantaneously rips me back to the days when I gave it to her, anxiously anticipating what songs would stand out to her and what she would ask me about. It was a fun prompt to allow me to explain my growing love to her and the way music breathes inspiration into my life.
I haven’t continued the practice post our wedding because I made her a special version of the disc that we gave our guests…I sang a song to her that reflected the more practical commitments I felt I was making at our wedding.
That I would be a shoulder for her to cry on…
I would sacrifice myself for her…
I’ll continue to better myself for her…
I’ll always be her biggest fan.
I’m not certain she’s ever put that much thought into the lyrics of that chorus as we’ve never talked about it in detail, but the music is hung on our wall as a backdrop for some photos of our wedding and engagement that remind me every day when I grab my wallet and phones that I’ll be everything for her. It’s normally viewed (and I certainly saw it this way too initially when it came out) as a cute, little expression of pop music romance. Something arbitrarily attributed to the girl or boy you’re dating in high school…it took on a personified meaning when I met my wife. It gave the words meaning. She gives the words meaning…and I don’t just mean the lyrics. The words of the music; the notation…she gives that life. The least I can do is make meager collections of it for her to listen to what she does to me.
In fact, it reminds me of a song with no lyrics that she ended up walking down the aisle to that, when I first heard it long before meeting her, I knew that one day, my wife would walk towards me and I’d hear those hesitant single piano notes as she rounded the corner and I saw my entire future become my reality. The dream become tangible. My insufficiencies become irrelevant. My hopes fulfilled. My loneliness shattered. This is the soundtrack that played as my life changed forever and the world was never to be the same. Love expressed in music.
“Mixed tapes are the love notes to the soul, right?”