Romancing the Soul – Day 3 – The Romance of the Mix Tape

I’m going to date myself here, but what the heck! 

Back in the late 80s, when I was a teenager, the ultimate in #relationshipgoals was to be given a mix tape by the object of your affections.

One of my friends had a boyfriend who was a prolific tape maker: whenever she received a new one in the post (we were at boarding school) we all gathered round her cassette player to swoon over the latest collection; we all felt more than a little envious too!

In my entire 48 years I have been gifted the grand total of…….. ONE mix tape! 

It was a very precious belonging for many years. My then boyfriend was a punk, and I was a very serious goth, so this tape did not include what could be considered romantic songs by any stretch of the imagination! BUT! It was still off the scale romance. Why? Let me explain…

Back then creating a mix tape took a lot of time, effort and thought. You had to sit with the tape recorder whilst each song played, pausing the recording whilst you lined up the next track – that might’ve been a record in which case it had to be removed from its sleeve, placed on the turn table, and the needle had to be lowered to the beginning of the song to get rid of as much excess crackling as possible, as well as to save precious time on the cassette.

If the song was on a tape that was a whole other level of effort: fast forwarding or rewinding to the right spot meant you had to endure the speeded up, alvin and the chipmonks-esque noise, coming out of your speakers until you hit the moment of quiet which was, hopefully, the start point of the track you wanted!

Of course there was also the time and thought that went into choosing the songs, and deciding what order to put them in. 

Then there was the physical act of writing the track titles and artist’s names on the tiny little piece of card that went into the cassette box. Ah the pleasure of seeing your beloved’s writing, and if you were lucky, a secret message of love they’d tucked away on the inside!

If that kind of dedication isn’t romance then I’m not sure what is.

Nowadays it’s much easier with all the digital technology that we have at our finger tips. We don’t even have to own the songs that we add to a playlist. This definitely has its benefits, but I do feel that teenagers nowadays have lost something that was really very special.

When you’re creating your Soul Soundtrack, keep all of these elements in mind, and enjoy spending time on the process, as you would if you were giving the playlist to a lover.


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