Master Mix: What our playlists say to and for us

I made a mix CD recently while on a self-proclaimed mental health day excursion thing. I re-visited all the heavy hitters: Job-lot for the desk calendar, Wakefield mall for some lifelong dream cheapo treasure, staples to replace something I already had, but didn’t need, yet.

The Cd is comprised of songs I jotted down in the notepad app of my phone from January 2012, to December 2013- TWO years! Oddly enough only 11 songs made the official list, 3 of which were additions chosen from a playlist I had become enamored with during that very week, and the final song was one that spoke to me on too many levels that whether it was in the notepad or not, it had to make the list.

For one reason or another, I am finding it impossible to sleep tonight and something about that playlist or Cd as it was always meant to be keeps popping in my brain the more I try to force sleep. I will list it here, without the artist names, and perhaps that might shed some light as to why even the titles hold as much significance as the order in which they are presented. Keep in mind, the order in which they appear is the same order in which I “discovered” or rather they appeared to me in real life. They are as follows:

“This Time” “I Will” “Paint it Black” “So Contagious” “Stairway to heaven”

“Leave out all the rest” “All My Loving” “Decode” “Story of my Life” “Gold Lion”

“Last Night at the Jetty”

Two songs I wanted to add are by Coldplay, but I did not, as the note that was attached to their entries instructed me to play the songs on an actual instrument; one on piano and the other on guitar. The rest needed to be played, or easily accessible. And so now they are.

The more I look at the song the more my mind thinks of ways to attach meaning to them in some Robert Langdon sort of attempt at cracking a Riddle of the Tom Marvolo fashion. (Always a Potter reference 🙂

What I must accept is that there is nothing to add to these songs.

  1. The artists who produced them already have a true and designated meaning.
  2. The way in which they sparked my interest on the day or night they did that caused me to make a note of their existence also holds a single true designated meaning.
  3. And yes there is a third reason, despite all of the above, finally compiling them together, with each song so unlike the one that plays before it in so many ways, they fit perfectly, and resonate with me now more than ever.




The truth is I only remember how I first came about one of the songs. The first song on the list:

“This Time” by John Legend.

 It is the only R&B track on the Cd.

It played at the final wedding scene of what happened to be the series finale of a semi-popular show called “The Game” that aired on the CW network, formerly known as UPN.

The mildly comedic show followed the lives of a rising star in the NFL, Derwin, his girlfriend Melanie who was attending Johns Hopkins medical school, and they’re inner circle. Without excruciating detail, the show took place in LA, characters were exaggerated but the characters of Derwin and Melanie were likable enough to last a few seasons. Towards the end, Derwin and ‘Mel’ break things off, Derwin dates another woman, gets her pregnant but somehow he and Melanie make it through and become engaged. Yikes. I personally found it impossible to root for that relationship or any character as I almost felt personally betrayed and disgusted. Frankly I give much kudos to any fictional character or entertainment that can evoke as much emotion from me now as when I first saw Vince Vaughn play Norman Bates in Psycho YEARS ago. I was thoroughly convinced he needed to be committed until I saw him in Dodge ball, but I digress.

      Somehow I found myself sitting through the season finale, and epic wedding that I thoroughly opposed. Then something changed as John Legend’s soulful piano melody  gave way to the warm rasp of his voice. It was not until the chorus played, and along with the presumable montage of the rise and fall, but perseverance of “Derlanie” (yep I went Brangelina on that one) that my heart actually melted. These are the words to the chorus:


This time I want it all / This time I want it all / I’m showing you all the cards

Giving you all my heart /  This time I’ll take the chance /  This time I’ll be a man / I can be all you need / This time it’s all of me



All I know now is that song spoke or sang volumes a lot, and it would take forever to find online when I had the sudden urge to listen even though I had forgotten the words. I had originally stored it as “John Legend the game finale song” and frankly two years before I officially downloaded it without an iTunes purchase or anything. It went straight to Cd.


      I hear this song and I see the wedding, that faced so many obstacles and that in my mind should not have happened because either the man didn’t deserve a second chance, or the girl was too smart and deserved better, or her dress was dumb, or the timing was bad (Derwin’s Baby’s mother was in labor and baby was born that same day- really CW?) or a million other things, but it didn’t matter, because of the very title of the song, THIS TIME. This time they were sure, and wanted it all, and this time, this moment, this day, this man along with this woman is and always were meant to be. It was so pure, that in spite of her haircut and dress, Melanie was an angel walking down the aisle and Derwin was the happiest man on earth, in love and humbled by her beauty and grace. Anyone watching and listening to that song would have felt the same as he did because it’s a true testament to what everyone deserves yet can only wait for their own time to receive.


Hearing that song and having that memory, granted of a fictional show, with characters played by under recognized actors, but a memory none the less, makes me feel like I’m close. Or rather, like its real, a real occurrence, real phenomena, and a real thing. That a man can realize when this time comes, this woman, and this love, that he will be sure, “more than sure” as John states it at the song’s bridge. Followed by a confidently stretched, “I’ll show you.”  Experiencing the two stimuli paired together prompted such a strong conviction of the above named ideals that I’m likely to assume by some pseudo-pavlovian conditioning response that anyone who suggests I listen to it, is somehow in love with me, or in love with someone. It pains me to think that the prospect of anyone falling in love with me has the same likelihood of another season of the Game airing, but as days, months and years go by, I’ve grown accustomed to merely looking at the world as just that. Something to look at, which is one thing I hate to be for anyone who is not at least honest about it. But indeed, that has become my stance on it: something to look at, observe, and dip a toe into when the waters seem clear, harmless, and warm enough. But the experience is only as rewarding as the one I described here. In that I allowed a combination of what I saw, and heard, unravel my former cynical perception and had the chance to witness something so beautiful that I would spent the time, “This Time,” to write about it now, 2 years later.-(That and I couldn’t sleep)


There are ten other songs on in the mix,  and only the final song holds as much if not more weight that than all of them combined, including the first. That is because, I would not have learned about the song had I not taken the time to learn about the artist from someone, who at the time made me feel like “This time… I’m more than sure” and everything in between.


 “I’ll show you”

~ Cheers!