In Which I Try and Tug At Your Hearstrings.

I haven't made a mix tape for a girl in some time. I think the last one was for my wedding, and I didn't do them too often before that because I dated Mindy for something like five years, and mix tapes only work for the first bit (after that, they expect you to actually do things).

But I got this idea today to make a mix for my daughter, who's coming in October (or possibly before). So I spent a while doing it...much longer than I planned.

When I make a mix anymore, I do it on iTunes, and basically listen to the last 15 seconds of a song, then the beginning of the next to check the transition between. This one required a fair amount of tweaking. My criteria was no irony: sincere and beautiful songs, with a bit of whimsy thrown in. I started with 40 tracks, then narrowed it down to a final 19, larger than most of my mixes. The list ended up heavily feminine, with 10 female vocals. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not.

Here's my list:
1. "A Day In the Life" - The Beatles (I figure, on her first drive home, the first song she should hear is the greatest song ever recorded.)

2. "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" - The Four Tops
(Trying to keep with that "greatest songs ever recorded" vibe.)

3. "God Only Knows" - Petra Haden cover
(Ditto above, but taking a contemporary approach. You can download this song guilt-free here.)

4. "To The Moon" - Sara Groves (Not quite sure here, but I liked how it fit, and the brief interlude is nice.)

5. "1234" - Feist

6. "The Beginner" - Miranda Lee Richards

7. "Doo Wop (That Thing)" - Lauryn Hill
(This didn't fit well, what with the dialogue at the end of the song, but I felt it was important, both message-wise and because the song kicks ass.)

8. "Just Like Anyone" - Aimee Mann (Again, liked the brief interlude feeling here.)

9. "Wake Up" - Arcade Fire

10. "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - U2 (And, with these last two, I tip into emergent Christian banality. But at least I'm enjoying the sound.)

11. "Chariot" - Page France

12. "Horsey" - Hem (All little girls want ponies, right? Maybe I have a lot to learn.)

13. "Us" - Regina Spector

14. "I'm An Animal" - Neko Case (My favorite song from the year she will be born.)

15. "No One Knows My Name" - Gillian Welch

16. "Please, Don't Make Me Sing This Song Again" - Various Waterdeep-associated folks, for The Voice Project (This is the best worship album I've heard in a decade. Actually, before then.)

17. "All You Need Is Love" - The Beatles
(It should be noted this and "A Day In the Life" are taken from the soundtrack for the "Love" show. Susan can tell you how awesome that is.)

18. "Sons & Daughters" - The Decemberists
(Which is about heaven.)

19. "Five Stars and Two Thumbs Up" - Danielson (Because this is what I hope God tells my daughter someday, when she is face to face with Him.)


  1. Nice list Jordan. I haven't heard a few of these, I should check them out. I just recently returned to mix-tape (mix-CD just sounds so wrong) making. I made two for a couple friends birthdays, which I think turned out pretty well. We have a couple of the same songs overlapping.

  2. You don't have to wait till she's born, you know. Hook up a small speaker, and place it on your wife's belly. Your kid will appreciate it, plus she'll already be familiar with the tunes on that first drive home.

    And U2 ain't banal.

  3. "Banal" makes it sound worse than it is.

  4. Love it. Your kid is going to have a wonderful taste in music. Hopefully this will discourage her from liking whatever Jonas Brothers/Hannah Montana atrocity is popular in the next 10 years.

  5. I was excited to see that you included Petra Haden. The Rentals are among my favorites, but the song that made me fall in love with her was her rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'."

  6. looks like a good mix. "God only knows" is my all time favorite love song, and this sounds like a good cover of it.

  7. I just realized you're missing Sufjan Stevens. She's definitely missing out, although those are some great songs.