Musical Legacies

All the boys I’ve loved before have left their marks on me—sometimes in the form of emotional scarring, sometimes in the form of broken belt loops (but that’s a story for another day), and quite often in the form of a musical legacy.

Shane, romantic that he was, sent me a mix tape.

I realize I’m dating myself here, but mix tapes used to be the absolute height of dating demonstrations of love. There was a lot of planning that had to go into the appropriate mix tape. You had to make it something that showed yourself, something that the person you were wooing would be impressed by, and something that got across your feelings about that person. I, personally, was not great at mix tapes. I would generally just start willy nilly picking stuff and when I ran out of room on the tape, I was done.

But Shane’s tape was a work of art. He picked a huge variety of music, from instrumental soundtracks to The Moody Blues. In the liner, he wrote commentary on each song in his fancy handwriting. He put “It’s All About Soul” by Billy Joel on the tape and, in the liner notes, told me that it was the song that made him think of me. I wasn’t sure what to think at first—Billy Joel is a little notorious for back-handed compliments. In the end, though, it became one of my favorite songs… still is, actually. I bought Billy Joel’s greatest hits in large part because my Internet boyfriend from high school put him on a mix tape for me once.

Luke made his own contributions. He was actually in a “band” in high school. But, from what I gather, the “band” mostly just messed around and screamed unintelligible lyrics from time to time before dissolving into fits of mirth.

But, he learned “Crash” by the Dave Matthews Band, and played it and sang it for me. This was a big deal. Luke did not sing for anybody, except to entertain small children and to scream unintelligible lyrics from time to time. He waited until it was just him and me and his guitar, and it was one of the sweetest things he ever did for me. I can’t really tolerate much Dave Matthews Band, but “Crash” is still one of my favorite songs, like, ever.

Matt was a strange one. He was into Irish metal. You read that right. I never could quite get into it, despite the concerts he dragged me—uh, invited me to. He did, however, leave me with a lasting love for The Corrs, who don’t sing Irish metal, but are Irish at least.

My favorite song by The Corrs? “I Never Really Loved You Anyway.” I think Matt may have gotten the short end of the stick on his musical legacy.

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