Watching Love Grow Forever
July 23, 2012 § Leave a comment
I haven’t posted in a while, so I thought maybe I could put something from the new issue of Mixtapers Do It Better on here. I wrote this originally in February, and I handed out some typewritten copies of it at the Chicago Zine Fest.
I did a reading on saturday, where I read this piece, and it seemed to go over well. Hope you enjoy!
Watching Love Grow Forever
The Truth About the Song Heard on Every Mixtape
Ian Curtis wrote the song “Ceremony” while in the band Joy Division, and sang it in public three times before he killed himself. New Order, the band after Joy Division, solidified it as a bonafied single that they released twice in 1981.
If you’ve received any odd amount of mixtapes, you know you’ve heard it on one of those tapes.
What’s going on in this song that makes people put it on every single mixtape they’ve made?
It’s full of mystery, obviously.
It’s a song people like to believe only they know about. It’s like a secret they think no one else knows.
When I first saw the movie “Amélie,” afterward, I immediately skipped to the beginning of the movie and watched it all over again. It was a movie ifelt so connected to, something I thought explained my life so well, that I didn’t want to talk about it with my friends. It was my secret. Its pleasures lied within the plastic disc and I felt so intertwined with Amélie’s life, I thought no one else would understand. Talking about it with someone else would make it lose its magic.
Obviously, a lot of people love this movie for this very reason–sensing that someone else understood y ou, without them knowing you. “Ceremony” is a lot like that. When I first heard it, it was as if everything fell into place. My brain switched over to a new wavelength and I thought: “Yes. This is the type of music I like now.”
Lets be honest–when you hear this song, you can’t help but imagine making out with some babe in your bedroom with the windows open on a warm summer night, while Bernard Sumners voice echos out into the neighborhood. I’ll be the first to say it–it’s a sexy song.
It’s the sort of song you imagine as the background music when your life goes flashing before your eyes, moments before your death. You hear it at funerals for people with good musical taste. It’s the first song a couple dances to together at their wedding.
Music fans grow older and produce a new generation of music lovers and this song will still be a classic in everyone’s book.
I asked my friend, John (who put the song on a mixtape for me for the first time a few years ago), to describe what it is about the song that makes it so powerful: “It’s like a really good beginning of a book–you suddenly care about it. They make something curious about the song and then they build on it. It’s in its own way reflective.”
Everyone has moments when listening to a tape when you decide that you like it, and I guarantee that 75% of the time, it occurs when you hear this song.
What’s also nice about the song is that it can fit into many genres, if you’re making a tape with a theme. A love themed tape is definitely where it belongs, but it’s also good for road trips through the mid-west, after getting your heart broken, and on a killer party mix as well.
So, next time you’re making a banger of a tape, don’t forget to pull out the big guns and add the song you can never go wrong with.