Valentine’s Day is coming up, and it’s the most important day of the year for lovebirds. This day will totally set the tone for the rest of your relationship. Mess up February 14? Well, I don’t want to be a pessimist, but it’s very likely all downhill from here.
For music lovers, a great way to show your affection is through a perfectly curated batch of songs. As Rob Sheffield so eloquently pointed out, “love is a mixtape.” The slightly more modern take would be that love is a playlist, although it doesn’t have the same ~romance~ to it. On the other hand, cassettes are on the rise. Okay, scrap what I just said about playlists because if your honey doesn’t take the time to google how to make a mixtape, drive to Goodwill to buy an old stereo with a cassette player, and painstakingly craft a tape that will win your heart forever, they aren’t worth it. Just dump them, honestly.
However, making and giving the mixtape isn’t enough! It’s what each song says that really matters. As everyone well knows, there is a hidden meaning to everything. Did your crush just decide to put “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” on this tape because it’s a fun song you’ve mentioned enjoying OR are they subtly trying to hint at the fact that Lesley Gore also sang “It’s My Party” and they want you to know that they, like the infamous Johnny, are STEPPING OUT ON YOU AT YOUR OWN BIRTHDAY PARTY?? Love is a battlefield, am I right?
Luckily for you, I am here with a couple of love songs your babe will likely put on your Valentine’s mixtape and what they REALLY mean. You’re welcome.
“I Really Like You” Carly Rae Jepsen
This song is RIFE with double meanings. Sure, your beloved could be telling you that they “really really really really really really like you,” OR they could be trying to tell you that they really like Tom Hanks. It’s a total toss-up. Definitely ask for a follow-up explanation. That being said, if you’ve been dating for more than two days and they haven’t told you they love you yet, then what’s the point?? Dump them.
“At Last” Etta James
Classic. I’ve got to hand it to your crush for keeping it traditional, going with a foolproof love song to woo your heart. Then again, maybe it’s a little too predictable…Quick, think of your crush. Do they have boring tendencies? Are they adventurous? Do they never want to go out for Indian food even though you LOVE Indian food? This could be a bad sign. Maybe they’re a bit too by-the-book. Maybe they’ll end up stifling you creatively and emotionally. Better dump them.
“Love Is Strange” Mickey & Sylvia
Who could resist this masterpiece from the classic film, Dirty Dancing? It’s fun, danceable and the spoken-word bit is setting the two of you up for a cute couple moment where you’re both mouthing the words—I need this to happen. But how do you know this love is real? If they want to bring Dirty Dancing into this relationship, they had better be prepared to really show up. That’s right. The true test of love is to be able to do the jump/lift at the end of the movie. Sure, Baby and Johnny had weeks to practice in a lake, but true love should be enough for you two to pull this off. If they don’t catch you, then I’m sorry, it’s over.
“Your Song” Elton John
Yes, a simple, understated tune. Who needs those grandiose confessions? If this song shows up on your mixtape, you can be sure that your crush is easy-going and sincere. But wait a minute, “excuse me forgetting, but these things I do // see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue.” IS THIS ACCEPTABLE? Any worthy love should be able to describe your eye color in vivid detail. I’m talking, the minute distinction you make between brown and hazel (of course your eyes are hazel, is everyone blind??). I’m talking the difference between the shades 00 32 FF and 00 37 FF. If they say your eyes are just “blue” or worse, if they can’t even REMEMBER. It’s done.
“If I Didn’t Care” Amy Adams & Lee Pace (originally sung by The Ink Spots)
If this version of this song ends up on your Valentine’s mixtape, it can only be because your crush remembered you singing it one time after you’d seen Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day because it was on Netflix and you had read the book some years earlier because it was mentioned on a list of 1,000 books to read before you die which you saw at the Central Library in Indianapolis and you only really enjoyed the movie because Lee Pace was in it and you’ve never really gotten over the fact that they canceled Pushing Daisies and him singing just makes you weepy. If this is the case, you should probably drop them because they know way too much about you at this point.
It is my sincerest hope that this analysis has brought clarity and insight into your relationship. In the off-chance these songs aren’t on your Valentine’s mixtape, feel free to DM me to discuss your options. Happy Valentine’s Day. Don’t overthink it.