Morning Mixtape: ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’

“(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life” sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warren from the soundtrack to the popular film “Dirty Dancing” was the No. 1 song on this day in 1987. I love a good pop ballad. I eschew a lot of emotionally manipulative entertainment, but I have a soft spot for a lot of syrupy love songs. And I love the movie “Dirty Dancing.” The title is somewhat misleading. The dancing is pretty tame, even by the standards of the time. But the idea of young people having a sexual interest in one another makes our Puritanical society lose its sense from time to time. I find “Dirty Dancing,” and this song in particular, to be truly enjoyable. It’s one of the rare movies I can watch with my parents and we all agree it’s good entertainment. I often reminisce about mixers at my junior high and high school as a boy in Winterset. I remember these events fondly. I was so nervous around girls. I hid it with humor. But when a slow song, or a romantic song came on, it was OK to ask a girl to dance. Dancing involved touching. It wasn’t sex — or even sexy. It was a gentle exploration into relationships. I remember it with such warmth because I danced with a lot of nice girls, most of whom I had a terrible crush on and none of whom ever dated me. Yet we had this dance, this single moment in which we were children on the verge of being adults regarding each other as something more than classmates. I’m probably making too much of it. But it felt good at the time and songs like this remind me of that feeling.

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