Formerly 'Rambling with a cantankerous old mule"
Yes, yes, okay, I’m at it again! If you’ve known me for any length of time you will know of my penchant for making mixtapes for women I’m interested in. And you also probably know that I’m leaving for Canada soon.
(If you don’t know me that well, please take a moment to read the history of my mixtapes here. )
As you will also know, my mixtapes aren’t always as successful in practice as they are in my head. I made my last ever mixtape for a certain Canadian lass around seven years ago at this time of year. I had sat with a friend late into the night picking out the perfect songs, he assuring me that his wife absolutely loved this one or laughed at that one … I designed an album cover, uploaded the entire mix to the Internet for the absent love of my life (as she was in Canada and I was in South Africa) and then … it all crashed and burned.
We pursued the relationship for a while thereafter, but I always had this nagging question about whether my “love mix” had done more harm than good to the young, fragile romance.
In retrospect, the fact that I compiled it in winter was possibly not a good idea. Perhaps I should have waited for spring – with prancing lambs, butterflies and new blooming life to inspire me. It wasn’t exactly upbeat, I see now, with artists like Sade, Eric Clapton, Madeleine Peyroux and Van Morrison featured a few times. Sting’s Every breath you take and I’d Like by Freshly Ground are kind of disturbing when one actually listens to the lyrics too.
The classic I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) by the Proclaimers, Charles Aznavour’s fun Formidable and Diana Krall’s uber-gooey Let’s fall in love had no hope of swinging the mood in the right direction, it seems. But I just couldn’t bring myself to admit that it wasn’t perfect!
A few years later I decided to see if its lack of success was because of my cheesy choice in music, or because the recipient just didn’t “get it”. The timing was perfect: I was travelling from Antananarivo to the west coast of Madagascar in a bakkie (pickup) with three friends of the female persuasion. They were completely captive to my whims and so I popped my “love mix” into the CD player and asked them whether it would fly. One tried throwing herself out of the vehicle while scratching at her ears and pleading, “make it stop, please just make it stop!” The other two’s peals of laughter seemed to become more and more hysterical with each song played, tears coursing down their cheeks. Way before the end I turned it off and sulked.
If nothing else, I’m stubborn though. I let the mix lie for a while and then tried it out on some people with whom I was having supper recently. “Perhaps like good wine, it would have matured and become sweeter with age,” I thought to myself.
Again, with each song played, the teenager in the room just looked at me more and more aghast. “No wonder you’re still not married,” she eventually blurted. “These are terrible! You can’t put any more women through this. Please destroy it!” Because teenagers know everything, I listened. And decided to put the whole idea of mixtapes to bed. For good.
Then, a few days ago my friend Kim (in Madagascar) posted on my Facebook wall: “For your Canada mix tape – should you meet ‘the one’!”
And immediately the friend who helped me the last time responded, “Not Canada and mix tapes again … (But then again) obviously the previous error was only in the mix of the mix tape. With the correct combination I am sure (there’s hope) …”
What do you think? Should I try to resuscitate the “love mix”? My taste in romantic music is obviously horrible. So, what suggestions do you have; what are sure-fire winners for the ladies? The future of my next romance hangs on it!