The new preferred phrase for describing the combination of ice, rain, and snow that occasionally bedevils the Midwest during the winter is “wintry mix.” You might hear a cheerful, overly tanned weather forecaster say something like this: “Tomorrow we’re expecting to see wintry mix during the morning rush hour, so get ready for a long, ugly commute that will get your day off to an especially nerve-wracking start.” Apparently “sleet” or “freezing rain” are no longer in vogue.
I was thinking about how much I hate the “wintry mix” as I was slogging through slushy, slippery sidewalks on my way to work the other day when I suddenly realized that “wintry mix” could have an alternative meaning — i.e., a mix of songs about crappy winter weather, rather than the dreaded, appalling weather condition itself. So, for the rest of the dismal, cold, wet walk I mentally assembled the start of a “wintry mix” playlist:
Cold As Ice — Foreigner
Tenth Avenue Freeze Out — Bruce Springsteen
Ain’t No Sunshine — Bill Withers
Blue Wind — Jeff Beck
Ice Cold Daydream — Shuggie Otis
In The Cold Cold Night — The White Stripes
Ice Ice Baby — Vanilla Ice
Shiver — Coldplay
Beyond The Gray Sky — 311
Winterlong — Neil Young and Crazy Horse
The Sun Doesn’t Like You — Norah Jones
I’m sure I’m missing some songs, but the whole exercise made my trip through the “wintry mix” and the gray skies a little more tolerable.