It might sounds silly, but I love Valentine’s Day almost as much as I love Halloween. I’d say it comes in at a close second. My closest friends and family have felt the effects of my love for this Hallmark holiday since 2016.
That year, and every year since, I have created a Valentine’s Day mixed tape with my current favorite love songs and mailed out at least a dozen in padded envelopes. I’ll never forget the first time I started doing this. I was going to a homeschool Valentine’s Day party at a park in Georgia and let the other parents know I was going to be bringing some Valentines for the adults too. I found out later they had had a fun time considering all the possibilities of what I meant by “adult Valentine!” In subsequent years I continued with the tradition, since it had been such a hit.
This year I don’t have a lot of new songs to make up a new mixed tape, and I’m also about to have a baby any day now! So I didn’t mail out mixed tapes this year. Instead, I decided to make up a Youtube playlist of my all-time favorite Valentine mixed-tape songs from the past 3 years! These are the best of the best so it ought to be an enjoyable list.
- Only Love, by Deepend
This is my new favorite song, and does not appear on any previous Valentines’ mixed tape. But I couldn’t very well put just one song on a mixed tape! So here it is. When I first heard this song on Sirius XM’s Chill station, I immediately turned up the volume and set it to my Favorites. I think a lot of us can relate to the depth of love Deepend describes – forget “driv[ing] across town in the middle of the night,” this is the kind of love that makes us do genuinely crazy things like start our whole lives over again on the other side of the world, have a bazillion babies, or live with a mother-in-law.
2. Tell Me You Love Me, by Galantis and Throttle
Few songs focus on that bing-bang split-second hair-raising moment when we are nothing but twitterpated. This song does, and for that I love it dearly. This is one of those songs you can get up and dance to, or if you’re like me just sing along loudly and badly while no one’s listening in the car.
3. Give Love, by Andy Grammer ft. Lunchmoney Lewis
You may remember this song from my Peace, Love & Changing the World playlist I sent out on the International Day of Peace in September 2017. This song is a sincere reminder to simply love everyone we come into contact with in the world. I love including all the diverse brands and flavors of love in my conceptualization of Valentine’s Day, so this song is a perfect addition to this best of the best Valentines’ mixed tape. Everyone deserves our love.
4. You and I, by Ingrid Michaelson
This has been the theme song of my marriage since our early years. From the modern millennial perspective, my husband José and I married when we were still kids – just 22 and 23. We still had dreams of striking it rich in some magical land where rivers flowed with gold. We still put expensive houses and cars and private jets on our vision boards and believed that if we worked hard enough, of course all our irrational dreams would come true. The illusion has since been shattered by the vicissitudes of Life, but I still treasure this song as a reminder of our precious roots. This music video also reminds me of the stick figure “vision board” I drew in my notebook pregnant in Korea when José wasn’t part of my life and I was dreaming that he would be. I drew us with our little girl, a house, a pet, and an airplane in the background. Of course all of it came true. The rest of the song might have blown out the window, but José Mojica I do still want to make a bazillion babies with you!
5. Better Than I Used to Be, by Matt Kearney and Afsheen
Matt Kearney knocks it out of the park as usual with a stunning song that graced the Chill station for many moons. Life may knock us down with shit we can’t control, but our vision and inspiration do hold power, and when two people in love hold a common vision strong and true between them, I do believe that power comes to us twofold.
6. Lava, from Disney’s “Lava”
This story made me cry the first time I saw the Short in theaters. Then I cried again when I bought and downloaded the song and heard it again. I think I cried the first half dozen times I listened to it, even while I was out jogging! What a sight I must have been. This story is strangely beautiful in an exotic way you just weren’t expecting. If you haven’t seen the Short definitely watch it and the song will make a lot more sense.
7. Say You Won’t Let Go, by James Arthur
You probably heard this one all over the radio in 2018. It was a popular song and still is. James Arthur moves our hearts to that pitter-patter pace with his declarations of love for his beloved. To me this song is like a super warm, furry blanket fresh out of the dryer on a cold day. Oh to be loved like that! Those of us who are are truly blessed. I am one who can count myself amongst the beloved, so yes, I cried my eyes out the first several times I heard this song too.
8. This, by Darius Rucker
We’ve all had times when a series of unfortunate events leads us to the door of heaven. I couldn’t get a state-side job, then didn’t get my visa on time, missed any job orientation, and need up flying to Korea a week late, but guess who I met on the plane? … José Mojica! This song is a great reminder to take life in stride and understand that everything happens for a reason, even if we don’t “get” it til several years later.
9. Love Story, by Taylor Swift
I am including this track only because my Grandma adored it most of all on the very first mixed tape I mailed out in 2016. It doesn’t hold any deep meaning for me, but it sure is a classic, and one that millennials will remember as part of the time of our coming-of-age for many years to come.
10. Thinking Out Loud, by Ed Sheeran
Another classic of our generation paints a picture of love everlasting – a love story that endures and transcends time, bringing us to a beautiful place of magical memories and fairy tale happy endings.
11. Sweet Pea, by Amos Lee
An oldie but goodie appears on all of my mixed tapes. Love never dies, it simply ripens with age. As years go by, our love for all our loved ones deepens and grows. Each year I am blessed to remain on this earth I think of it, of how amazing it is, that Love seems able to grow in our hearts exponentially and infinitely. I now believe that Love, in actuality, has no end.
12. Why Don’t We Just Dance, by Josh Turner
I first fell in love with this song while I was hooked on the country station while we were living in El Paso, Texas. in 2014. Not only is Turner’s voice deliciously sexy, but I love the message that we need absolutely nothing at all in order to love, and revel in our love. It’s the country song version of the super-millennial song Kings and Queens. More validation that our entire generation is broke as fuck.
13. Milan (The Coming Together), by Ricky Kej
On these mixed tapes I like to intersperse songs with lyrics with songs without. Because love can be conveyed without any words at all. This particular track is part of a Kama Sutra-inspired series and represents, you guessed it, the coming together. I love the creativity behind this; the idea that sex can be encapsulated in a song.
14. That’s Amore, by Dean Martin
I’ll never forget listening to this song in our Georgia house while we ate raviolis! It added more flavor to our meal than the parmesan cheese we sprinkled on top. It’s such a fun song, kids love it, it’s a classic, what’s not to love?
For more millennial musings on love, check out my February magazine article for Align Body & Soul.
Well, that’s amore, and that’s all for now folks! Go have too much wine and enjoy 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at Gold Millennial ❤