While creating an Ultimate ’90s Playlist, I got to thinking about my past crushes and relationships. Probably because of the influence of TV and movies, I tend to associate specific songs with each person. Like how on Friends, “With or Without You” was used for Ross and Rachel.
My playlist is roughly in chronological order. Roughly. Share yours in the comments!
1. “I Love You,” Sarah McLachlan
I had two big crushes in high school; they lasted for years. I don’t know if either person ever figured it out (I suspect the boy might have but not the girl). I was waaaaaay too chicken to ask either person out, so I just listened to Sarah and pined.
2. “Airport Song,” Guster
My first actual relationship, which wasn’t until college, was a mess on every front. I don’t regret it per se (every experience has made me who I am now, etc. etc.), but I also wish I could have done without it. Sadly, I can’t even really associate any happy songs with it, only the claustrophobic “Airport Song.”
3. “O Baby,” Siouxsie and the Banshees
My next relationship was even more of a disaster, but also the first time I was in love. I was blind to what was to come, but I strangely don’t regret it the way I do my first relationship.
4. “Arm’s Length,” Mary Prankster
Mary Prankster is hard and gritty and all of her songs are excellent for those facing a breakup.
5. “If Your Kisses Can’t Hold the Man You Love,” Rasputina
Some perspective was helpful, though.
6. Run Lola Run soundtrack
Why this soundtrack for my next boyfriend? I think that sense of escape from the previous one. The illusion of choice, chance, and change. Also, it’s a really good soundtrack. I had some Napster bootleg remix that I loved, with the line “Do not listen, do not wait, do not listen, it’s not too late.” So that was a hopeful view of dating. I mean, looking back now, I was only 21, so jeez, take a chill pill, but at the time, I had been so devastated, you know?
7. “Hung Up,” Madonna
He wasn’t a bad guy, we just had widely different ideas about life. I wanted him to change, he didn’t want to change. He wanted me to change, I didn’t want to.
8. “The Sky is Broken,” Moby
The second time I fell in love was even more all-consuming than the first and ended as a black hole and a supernova. She was fire and ice and so was I.
9. “The Engine Driver,” The Decemberists
She and I listened to this while driving down a long, dark midwestern road and I hoped that road would never end even while desperately wanting to see the bright city in the distance.
10. “This Modern Love,” Bloc Party
I had given up on relationships for a while. Dating while in grad school was nuts. I even got told, “It’s not you, it’s me.”
11. “1234,” Feist
Then I met my future husband, and it was all over.
12. “Dheere Jalna [Burn Slowly],” Paheli Soundtrack
The recessional at our wedding.
13. “Galaxies,” Laura Veirs
Our first dance.