The Tape

It’s hard to believe that our kid will grow up in a world without the Walkman and mixed tapes.  Somehow I feel like there won’t be a resurgence of interest in cassette tapes the way there is currently for vinyl.  Nope, I think our kid will never know the feeling of jamming your pinky finger into a cassette to help wind up the  tape.

When I was a kid, we had the greatest mixed tape ever.  Remember mixed tapes?  They were a work of art.   Somehow, we had the best mixed tape.  A friend of my parents had made it and we “borrowed it” for several years.  To this day, every time someone in my family hears one of the songs from “The Tape” we have to say, “This was on The Tape” (yes, you have to refer to it as though it has capital letters).

I’ve considered many times making a CD version of The Tape as a gift for my mom, but somehow it’s just not the same.  There was something extra-special about mixed tapes, something about waiting for the tape to flip over so you could hear that song you just knew was coming on side B.  You just don’t get that same effect with a CD.

A few years ago, I did start keeping track of what songs I remember being on The Tape in case I ever did want to recreate it.  Here’s the list as best as I can remember it, but it’s just not the same because I can’t nail down the accurate order, which is half the fun of a mixed tape.

I loved the line “the bases are loaded and Casey’s at bat” because I felt like I was in on some major reference.

You know, honestly before compiling this list, I never realized how many  Steve Miller Band songs were on the tape.  Usually, I prefer for mixed tapes/CDs not to repeat artists, but it works here.

This song still reminds me of my brother, and I insisted on dancing with him to it at my wedding, although he may or may not remember doing so.

This was always my least favourite song on The Tape, and still would be my least favourite.  I’m not a huge Nirvana fan.

I actually can’t remember if this was on The Tape or another mixed tape.  Regardless, it should be because it’s awesome.  I love this song.  I also just figured out in the last year or so what it’s actually about.  It’s funny how you can hear a song over and over again without really listening to the lyrics.

“Some people call me Maurice – woo woo…”

True story – I took a Post World War II Popular Music course in university and we studied this song, but the Joni Mitchell version.  I had no idea that there was any version other than Nazareth.

I always loved singing along with this song because it was like a licence to swear, even if it was only “hell”.

This is probably the song I hear the most that takes me right back to The Tape.  I don’t hear it very often, so maybe that’s why – it lives almost exclusively on The Tape for me.  “It’s half past four and I’m shifting gears…”

Again with the Steve Miller Band! 

I was never totally sure of the lyrics on this song when I was younger.  Now of course it makes much more sense.

I always liked the line about “There ain’t a shovel big enough in the world that can move it”.

Ah yes, a classic.

Songs don’t get much better than this for driving along on a summer day.

I’m not totally sure that this was on The Tape either, but I think it might have been.  Maybe it was on another tape though, I’m not sure. 

So there you go, there’s my childhood in a playlist.  Sure, we had other tapes (I clearly remember listening to a lot of Queen, Sass Jordan, INXS, Robert Plant, Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi in the car as well) but there was only one The Tape.


2 thoughts on “The Tape

  1. When we were kids it seemed like we had only one tape that we listened to in the car: Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits.

    Somehow, from repeated listenings, I came to love those songs. The funny part is I love the songs on that tape, but I don't care for any of his other music.

    I bought the CD and all those memories of car trips came flooding back . . . I still know the words to Reuben James and Coward of the Country and The Gambler by heart.


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