For many, the Valentine’s Day mixtape is a staple gift: personal, hand-crafted and filled with the potential for its recipient to read your own amorous feelings into lyrics that someone else wrote. However, when constructing your Val-Day mixtapes be cautious. While this particular gift can be the ultimate indie romanticism, it can also be a dangerous pitfall. Plenty of Valentine’s Day compact disc offerings are marred by iffy song choices, perhaps either having an unpleasant context or back story, or featuring a lyric which changes the song from a passionate gesture into an extremely harsh indictment. Of course, if you have the right partner, it could be funny to slam on a completely inappropriate tune on as a joke (I recommend Cannibal Corpse’s charming ‘Necropedophile’), but if your other half lacks a sense of humour or is obsessed by the sanctity of the 14th of February it might be a good idea to avoid the following songs:
Where The Wild Roses Grow / Nick Cave, feat. Kylie Minogue
Australian rock and pop royalty meet on a song that initially sounds like a swooning romance about two lovers meeting on the riverbank ‘where the wild roses grow.’ Never trust Nick Cave though – despite recently crooning dark love songs, in the Eighties he was lead screamer in a band of art punk vagabonds called The Birthday Party, who mostly sang about getting drunk on the Pope’s blood and releasing bats. This song ends with Cave bludgeoning Kylie to death with a rock – an unpleasant notion on a Valentine’s Day mixtape for anyone who isn’t an über-goth.
Anyone Else But You / The Moldy Peaches
If you’re a twee, cardigan wearing be-fringed indie boy you’ll be very familiar with this song having repeatedly masturbated to surprise Oscar-winning flick ‘Juno’. It seems almost too perfect for cutesy mixtape use. It is – the song that so sweetly ends the film with a utopian scene of teenage indie love does not feature the crucial line ‘You shook a little turd out of the bottom of your pants’ that is so crudely present on the original version. The Peaches’ mischievous sense of humour and love of crack cocaine probably caused them to want to fuck up the charm of the track and thus forever ruin its hopes for mixtape employment. Turds, then – not in any way cute.
Girls, Girls, Girls / Mötley Crüe
Unless your object of affection is a boy or a girl who wears full leather and denim 24/7, has no idea what sexism is, rides a chopper, stinks of hairspray to the level where it’s impossible to survive their presence without a chemical suit and is on the committee of Pole Exercise Society it is inadvisable to slam this rifftastic stripper anthem on your mixtape. Forcing women to take off their clothes while you fill their orifices full of dollar has never been romantic.
Lemon Incest / Serge Gainsbourg
Serge Gainsbourg is a definite Valentine’s Day man – the French sex lizard penned some of the most erotic love songs the world has ever heard. His most famous song ‘Je t’aime… moi non plus’ features some of the most authentic female orgasm noises this side of Guns ‘n Roses’ ‘Rocket Queen’ and is rightly hailed as a gem of sixties erotic soft funk – perfect for a mixtape. However, make sure you don’t accidentally pop on ‘Lemon Incest’ – an ode to sexual familial love Serge controversially performed with his daughter Charlotte. Incest is not very romantic at the best of times.
I Love You Love Me Love / Gary Glitter
We all love a bit of glammed up pop rock, and in this song Gaz professes his love in a rollicking party-time manner. Perfect for the start of a glam rock mixtape you might say. Well, it was, until in the early years of the milennium Mr. Glitter began to think that ‘teaching English’ to Vietnamese girls with his penis was a good idea. Basically, mixtapes should steer away from Gary at all costs, especially when your girlfriend has only just turned sixteen.
Rusted Guns of Milan / Art Brut
If you’re a cool, plaid shirt toting earnest indie kid with a girlfriend sporting a hip bob and a predilection for coats with a leopard print lining you might make your mixtape a bit more angular. Who better to explain the intricacies of your love than choppy, ‘ironic’ indie stalwarts Art Brut? This features some lovely observations: ‘You’re lying there / And you’re beautiful’. She’ll love it. But wait a sec, this song’s not about joys of indie sex – it’s about not being able to sustain an erection. ‘It doesn’t mean I don’t love you / One more try with me above you’, Eddie Argos yells, along with ‘Don’t tell your friends!’ Unless you have a history of erectile dysfunction and you want to remind your partner, I think this song’s off the list.
Roxanne / The Police
So your girlfriend was born in the eighties and she’s called Roxanne. Hey, why not find a song with her name in! It’ll be so personal and romantic. She’s think it’s, like, your feelings about her and stuff! Well, unless you want to accuse your spouse of being a prostitute it’s probably best to avoid this famous ballad by the awful Sting. The only possible way you could incorporate it into Valentine’s Day would be to put it to its much-loved use in a drinking game, drinking every time the tantric goon wails ‘Rooooxanne! This could be a good way to get your partner pleasantly inebriated so you can whip out the ball-gag without complaint.