Mix Tapes I Have Loved

mix tape 1I was rummaging through a box of old stuff and of all the useless things, I found two shoe boxes of cassette tapes. I don’t even have a machine to play cassettes anymore so it was long past time to let most of them go, but I such a great time looking over my handful of old mix tapes I couldn’t bear to part with them.

Mix tapes used to be a big thing in our family. My oldest sibling is seven years older than I am, so he was off to college before I hit my teens. He used to send me mix tapes for birthdays and Christmas. My youngest sister, in turn, is nine years younger than I am, so I was off to college before she hit her teens. I used to send her mix tapes, or bring them home on visits. Somewhere in there, my other sisters got involved, and anytime we were stuck for a gift to send, we’d create a mix tape and send it along.mix tape 3

Eventually mixing tapes turned into burning CDs (so much easier!) and now we’re all old and set in our ways and we barely send music at all. It’s too bad–maybe next Christmas I’ll try to revive the tradition.

This is verging on an Ungoth Confession, but if you can make out the songlists you’ll notice my taste was and still is all over the place. Partly, I was gearing the tapes toward my sisters and not myself, and partly I’m just like that. I listen to all the things. Just not on cassette anymore.

This last photo is pretty much my favorite Christmas album ever, put together by one of my sisters and her ex, Mike. I listen to it just a silly amount every year.

christmas cd 1.jpg

In case you can’t read the list off my crappy photo, here it is:

  1. Sleigh Ride–The Ronettes
  2. No Christmas for Me–Zee Avi
  3. Please Be Patient–Feist
  4. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas–Aimee Mann
  5. Christmas is Going to the Dogs–Eels
  6. Winter–Kristin Hersh
  7. I Saw Three Ships–Sufjan Stevens
  8. Goyim Friends–The LeeVees
  9. We ThreeKings–Reverend Horton Heat
  10. There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In–Elvis Costello, Feist, John Legend, Stephen Colbert
  11. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town–Bruce Springsteen
  12. Silver Bells–William Hung
  13. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)–Darlene Love
  14. Maybe This Christmas–Ron Sexsmith
  15. Angel in the Snow–Elliot Smith
  16. Here Comes Santa Clause–Elvis Presley
  17. Snow Song–Judd & Maggie
  18. We Wish You a Merry Christmas–John Denver & the Muppets
  19. 25th December–Everything But the Girl
  20. I Know You’ve Come to Take my Toys Away–The Mountain Goats
  21. Joy to the World–The Klezmonauts
  22. My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)–Regina Spektor

5 thoughts on “Mix Tapes I Have Loved

  1. I love that tradition!
    My brother is 6 years older than me, so he was on college when I was a teen and he used to bring me burned cds as well! And when I was like 10 years old, one of my “chores” before going on vacation was to record some tapes with singles from the radio that I liked, so I could hear them on my walkman during the roadtrip to the beach – so I didn’t have to hear my parents “lame music”. It’s almost sad that now every sound is just a spotify away from people!
    Back then it was so hard to get to know other that the mainstream music or worse, we spent months trying to now who was the artist that sang that song we heard one time and can’t recall the lyrics ahahah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s cool that you have a similar tradition, and I agree that as convenient as the internet is for music, there used to be this nice feeling of accomplishment when you found a great song or made the perfect mix that just isn’t there anymore. I have a friend who shares Spotify lists for holidays, but it just isn’t the same.


  2. This makes me so happy and nostalgic! I missed out on mix tapes but got into burning CD’s in the mid 90’s and are still doing it, especially when going on road trips, we love to sing in the car. I remember trading burned CD’s with friends and think I still might have a few somewhere.
    When I was 14 I had this big, secret crush on a guy who loved Sum 41 and gave me a lot of burned CD’s with them on. I never told him about the crush since he was in love with a friend of mine but I know I have saved the CD’s with all of the early songs from the band, it just makes me happy and a little sentimental to listen to them now.

    Liked by 1 person

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