Mistress Of The Mix: Swoon


The smell of my lover's cologne. On him, not on anyone else. The sound of his special ringtone when he's finally gotten off of work after 10 hours. His hand on my hip as he leans in to kiss my neck. The voicemail I've saved from 2008 that says, "I love you more than all the raindrops in Oregon." The taste of Wild Blueberry Twist gum that he was fond of when we went on our 2nd date - rafting down the Rogue River on the 4th of July. That moment in the middle of the night when he wakes up momentarily, to search for my hand so he can hold it. The feel of his tongue running along my lip. The memory of the first time he kissed me, at a ninth grade dance, just before the Vice Principal came up behind him and cleared his throat. These are the things (the things I don't mind sharing with you, that is) that make me swoon.

Not literally, of course. Swooning, in the traditional sense, means to faint or become completely enraptured by ecstatic joy. For me, swooning is more like a giant sigh while butterflies do somersaults inside my stomach. Swooning is the way I feel when I'm in the first stages of falling in love. When I'm completely smitten and can't seem to stop smiling from the moment I wake up in the morning to his "Good morning baby, I love you" text message. And still today I find myself feeling all giddy, whether it's with anticipation, knowing that my lover will be here any minute, or from a sweet memory from four years ago.

That swoon, that deep breath that relaxes every muscle I have, is what lets me know that I don't just love him. I'm in love with him.

There is one other thing that still makes me swoon, and that's music. Of course. You know me well enough by now to know that was coming, right? But admit it. You're the same way. I know you are. When you're falling in love, just like when you're going through heartbreak, you relate emotionally to every single song on the radio. Your senses are at Defcon 4. Suddenly, the lyrics that were pretty meaningless last week now make perfect sense and seem as if they were written specifically for you. You know what I'm talking about, don't you?

And you know that I have a playlist to swoon by. You knew that I'd pull it out of my hidey hole to share it with you on the most sacred of all lover's holidays. I am, of course, because I would never dream of disappointing you.

This is my very special playlist of music I like to play when there's nobody in the house but us. Because who knows what might transpire. It's the music that reminds me of those first few months together again after we hadn't seen each other for more than 25 years. Sometimes I become that 14 year old girl all over again, charmed by the long haired wrestler who playfully tugged at my shorts instead of the flag during a flag football tournament in gym class.

The funny thing about this playlist though, is that not all of these songs are about falling in love. Some have nothing to do with happy, warm feelings or joy and everlasting harmony. But each one of these songs strikes a chord inside my body that brings me incredible peace and warmth or they got me a little hot and bothered and...well, I don't know any other way to say than this: These songs make me swoon. Doesn't matter what the lyrics are about. It's the way they make me feel when I hear them.

I hope you find a song or two in this playlist that brings you close to that feeling, and I'd love to know one or two of the songs in your own internal playlist that bring on your butterflies or put you solidly in the mood.

And lastly, if you've got a lover, please take a moment to reflect on how you felt when you were first smitten, and don't let Valentine's Day go by without reminding your sweetheart why you fell in love. Maybe you can do it all over again - with a little mood music.

I've got one more thing to say, as an addendum of sorts. I'm writing this after reading the column to my lover, just to make sure he was completely okay with me letting the world know that this tattooed, rough-around-the-edges construction worker with a missing tooth doesn't mind me telling the whole world that I can reduce him to tears (albeit happy ones) just by talking about a song that reminds me of him.

I didn't always have Eddie. Four years ago I was divorced and pissed off. I felt like I had so much love to share and I wanted to be with someone. Or at least I wanted to have fun with someone. Even that seemed like too much to ask for. Dating was like beating my head against a brick wall sometimes.

Maybe that's where you are right now. Wishing you had someone to swoon about. Maybe you've been hurt before, or lost someone or things just ended badly. Perhaps you've taken a few hesitant steps out there into the dating world, fallen on your face a time or two, and now you're resolved to spending the rest of your life alone because you don't want to get hurt again. Don't want to get cheated on. Don't want to be lied to. Don't want to end up neglected, lonelier with someone than without.

Please, don't do this. Don't give up.

Would you rather be lonely for the rest of your life, never taking a chance because you're afraid of something that may or may not happen?

So what if you end up in a relationship that doesn't last the test of time. At least you had some happiness, some good company, maybe some good sex. At least a couple of nice dinners and interesting conversation. Maybe you'll be lied to again. And it'll hurt. But it's not on you, it's on them.

What's the harm in putting yourself out there?

That old saying about how "It's better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all?" It's true.

So get out there. Give it all you've got. Worry about getting hurt when it actually happens. Don't let it stop you from having a fulfilling life.

Flirt. Get smitten. Love. And here's the most important thing of all: Be the best person you can be. Because when you fall in love, it's not because someone else 'made' you fall in love with them. It's because you love who you are when you're with that person. You're falling in love with YOU. So be that person every day, whether you have someone else encouraging you along or not. Because when you're the best person you can be, it's extraordinarily attractive. Who could possibly help but to fall in love with you? But you gotta put yourself out there.

Run along now, fall in love.

1. L'Amour - Rouge Rouge It's all about l'amour!
2. Venus As A Boy - Corinne Bailey Rae Every time I hear that phrase, "His wicked sense of humor invites exciting sex," I smile in that knowing, I totally get what your layin' down kind of way.
3. Destiny - Zero 7 
4. La Femme D'Argent - Air
5. The Hustle - G. Love
6. Moonlight Kiss - Bap Kennedy Who doesn't swoon when they hear this song? 
7. Better Man - James Morrison If someday we toss aside our concerns about how two Alphas could possibly live together and get hitched, this would make a great first dance.  
8. Like A Star - Corinne Bailey Rae Another great line comes from this song..."I don't argue like this with anyone else but you." Maybe it's because I've never tried this hard to make something work.
9. She Loves & She Confesses - The Dowland Project This 16th century song by John Dowland is a bit of a fish out of water on this playlist, but it's also the one that literally makes me close my eyes and sigh deeply every time I hear it. I guess people have been loving each other this passionately way back in  the days before Gone With The Wind.
10. I Want Someone Badly - Jeff Buckley
11. Love'll Set Me Free - Michael Franti Lover, remember that day we had a picnic on the beach, watching the surfers, and listening to Franti? Just thinking about that day gives me palpitations.
12. In This Twilight - Nine Inch Nails This is a very special piano version of this song that reminds of our first trip to Maui, driving on the road to Hana through the jungle. You remember. When you said you wanted to swim naked under a waterfall.
13. Moon Song - Bob Schneider
14. Stone Me - G. Love I can't explain why this song elicits such a loving, sexy feeling in me, because it's about a guy who is not very happy with his girlfriend. 
15. Further The Sky - Gabe Dixon with Mindy Smith
16. God Put A Smile Upon Your Face - Coldplay In our house, Coldplay is referred to as "Sunday morning making pancakes music."
17. Feelin' Love - Paula Cole One of the hottest, sexiest songs of all time, hands down.
18. The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson Back when we started falling in love again, I gave my lover his own special ringtone in honor of the fact "I love the way you call me baby."
19. So Nice - Bebel Gilberto
20. Feeling Good - Nina Simone
21. Say Hey I Love You - Michael Franti Eventually my Ingrid Michaelson ringtone disappeared, and  this became my sweetheart's special ringtone. Just for him, when he's calling to tell me he loves me.
22. Booty Call - G. Love I may be sharing this song with you, but I'm not gonna tell you why!
23. You Shook Me All Night Long - Ac/Dc I don't expect the rest of the songs on this playlist to make sense to anyone listening to it except for me and my lover...or any of our friends from 9th grade who were around us the first time we dated back in 1980. 
24. Another One Bites The Dust - Queen I still remember when he sang this song to me during gym class the day he asked me to the winter dance.
25. School's Out For Summer - Alice Cooper I think he had about 3 record albums. This was one of them, and it's the song I remember hearing play over and over again when I'd go to his house after school.
26. David Gates - Goodbye Girl My family moved away after we'd been dating for a few months. I didn't think I'd ever see my boyfriend ever again. I remember crying, listening to this song on the radio, and making a cassette tape to give to him. I can make him cry at the drop of a hat now if I play this song for him.

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She's the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can't imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.

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14 Responses »

  1. AW, for the 50's & 60's the "GAME" was the same,

    the "SONG'S" were different and simple, BUT the

    "END RESULT" is truly CLOSE TO HEAVEN! :-)

    MARRIED 50 yrs, (and happily counting) 7/13/12.

  2. Valerie, I LOVE this column! I found myself nodding my head the whole time I was reading it. "The Sea of Love" is OUR song, and we always get up an dance to it when it comes on Pandora. If my husband or I hear it while we're apart, it's much harder to listen to, but brings on all those wonderful feelings. "May I Have This Dance" is the other song that brings up both to tears. We waltzed to this song at our wedding, and stop to waltz to it now, regardless of what we're doing at the time. Just the first couple notes put me "in the zone". Thank you so much for your very cool column. Gonna listen to your play list now.

  3. Thanks to both of you. I realize that while I think a lot of people will be able to relate to the words in today's column, my sweetheart and I are the ones who will relate best to the music because it's more about events within our personal relationship that are connected to the music rather than the lyrics in most of the tunes. Thanks for sharing your songs, Canda. Sea of Love is another song that used to make me swoon too.

  4. Sorry Valerie, in my estimation you forgot the one that puts them all to the back of the list, it's the "Love Remembers" album by George Benson from the early '70's. I don't know, maybe I've been around this love game a little longer than most but I swear by the notes contained in this intimate musical valentine. Which song you ask? The whole album friends, it's just about the right length for a proper "swooning." !

  5. Surely, Edith Piaf needs to be in there.......... maybe with "Non- je ne regrette rien", which always makes me "swoon"..... whatever that means to me. But Val- your story made me remember such good things in my life. With all that goes with it: being in love is a SUPER TRIP and should never be avoided. Regardless of the outcome. I am SSSSSOOOOOOO with you. Now, if only I could remember how to flirt a little better..........

  6. Although I grooved on some of George Benson's music (circa 1979), I'm not really that familiar with this album. Perhaps I need to make a point of it. Same with Edith Piaf. Well, I know who she is, and I've heard some of her music, but perhaps she and I need to become a bit better acquainted, eh? I think if I get enough responses, perhaps I'll throw up a 'listener generated' Valentine's Day playlist. OK readers, do your job, lay 'em on me.

  7. Jack and I listened to Glenn Yarbrough songs all through our dating period in the late 60s. We loved all sorts of folk music, and living in San Francisco, we were able to enjoy great musical events. We have a lot of favorite songs, but the Glenn Yarbrough ones always remind me of the days of a big, brown fuzzy coat and very long goodbye hugs.

  8. If you can find a copy of Jackie Gleason's "Music, Martinis and Memories" album, set aside a half hour together and play it. In our house we call that "back kissing" music.

    Other than that, one of the songs that pretty much says it all for me is Perry Como's version of "It's Impossible."

  9. Mmmmm . . Steve's suggestion of the Jackie Gleason album (waaay before CDs) is so right on. Just remembering that album cover can bring on the need to fan myself. Then there's Il Volo's version of the Charles Aznivoir (sp?) song 'She'. . . . in French: Tous les visages de l'Amour . . . OMG!!!!

    Oh, and BTW . . . . good for you Val! You go, girl!!

  10. I'm a little slow to catching the groove that is the Mistress of the Mix column but I'm so glad I've caught on now. Love your writing Valerie and I love your Swoon Mix. You have an eclectic range and I love it-just like love. Gives me a great idea of a last minute gift for my love. ;-)

  11. Thank you for your playlist! Yes, yes, music brings back memories of love & life!

  12. Willie Jackson's rendition of "Blue Velvet," Oscar Peterson's "Stella by Starlight," Neil Young's "Harvest Moon," Bruce Springsteen's "If I Should Fall Behind," and anything at all by Ella Fitzgerald...

  13. Beautifully put! Clink.....Here's to finding that everlasting L-O-V-E!!!

  14. This article made me **swoon**! Awesome playlist!


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