I found an old CD I had burned in college. It contains mp3's that I included in the first mix tape I ever made for her. The CD is labeled in faint letters written directly onto the disc's surface: "These are her songs."
I haven't listened to the CD since. Until now.
I'm playing it at work, and though no one else realizes it, I'm reclaiming each tune as my own. Peeling away the old memories like band stickers on my windshield. Starting over. She'd understand. She probably has had to do the same thing.
Here's the tracklist. Be kind.
1) "About My Love", Shaded Red
2) "Buddy Holly" (acoustic), Weezer
3) "Scarborough Fair", Simon and Garfunkel
4) "Love Song", The Cure
5) "Mysterious Ways", U2
6) "Southside", Moby/Gwen
7) "As I Lay Me Down", Sophie B. Hawkins
8) "Beloved One", Ben Harper
9) "Top of the World", The Juliana Theory
10) "Punchdrunk Lovesick Singalong", Radiohead
11) "Not Fire, Not Ice", Ben Harper
12) "How Deep is the Ocean", Diana Krall
13) "At My Most Beautiful", REM
14) "Head over Feet", Alanis Morrissette
15) "Shaping Space", Kevin Max
16) "This is Your Song", Elton John
The crass pop-ness of some of the tracks is a bit embarrassing. So is the uber-cheesiness of songs like "Southside" or the Alanis track. And yes, the Elton John. We were big into "Moulin Rouge," and the soundtrack version of the song wasn't satisfactory (Ewan McGregor notwithstanding).
There is a song missing from this list that I know I included on the mix tape. The last song on the tape, to be exact. Just as well. As much as I can "reclaim" these songs, I won't take back that one.
Because it was our song. And so it shall remain.