Several days ago I asked A a very innocent question.
“What’s our song?”
Cue tomb-like silence.
Apparently he has no idea what would qualify as music to define our relationship, but I cannot stop thinking about it. Not only was this seemingly impossible query looming over our heads, but I have been inundated with everything weddings for the past year. From family members to practically all of my friends and especially the royal nuptials–it has been inescapable.
So here are a few of my favorite romantic songs for a major occasion, or just to suggest when your partner is as eloquent as mine.
And if you’re nauseated by the thought of love songs, stay tuned to the end for songs actually played at wedding ceremonies that are obtusely, hilariously inappropritate.
1. “More” — Bobby Darin*
There are billions of songs from crooners that communicate love in such a blissful, no fuss way–it’s refreshing! This song has gems like, “I know I’ve never lived before/And my heart is very sure/No one else could love you more.” It’s a rollicking song that is pure romance — perfect for every audience and any event.
Songs like it: “The Way You Look Tonight” — Frank Sinatra, “L-O-V-E” — Nat King Cole
2. “First Day of My Life” — Bright Eyes
While many of front man Conor Oberst’s lyrics are convoluted and whiny, I cannot get enough of this song. The opening line, “This is the first day of my life/Swear I was born right in the doorway” seems to sum up the moment a bride arrives at the beginning of her aisle. For me, I listened to it every day I was away from A and in Europe last year. Very simple, humble and sweet — the lyrics and the video. If you haven’t watched it yet, do so immediately … with some Klennexes nearby.
Songs like it: “The Luckiest” — Ben Folds, “Brand New Colony” — The Postal Service
3. “Then” — Brad Paisley
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT LISTEN TO COUNTRY. However a few summers ago while I was interning and working at a local supper club, I heard this ditty during a particularly slow shift. The restaurant only played country music, which was mostly awful, but this song is astoundingly beautiful with its honest and relatable lyrics: “I don’t see how I am ever gonna love you more./But I’ve said that before/ …. And I thought I loved you then.” No beer or trucks needed. Whenever I’m scanning through the stations and have to endure the twangier variety, I always hope this is playing.
Songs like it: I HAVE NO IDEA. Suggestions?
4. “Learning How to Smile” — Everclear
I typically enjoy music that is unobtrusive and soothing. However there are times I reach for the many shoutier CDs, copied by my one and only from my brother’s massive collection. A little Bouncing Souls or Social Distortion is needed now and then. Probably not first dance material, but these gruff groups can provide some of the most illuminating views on love. This song strikes a nice balance between raucous and relaxing–referring to phone sex and eternal love in the same tune. It’s a simple story about confused people figuring out their unpredictable lives together. Lines like:
“Yes I know there is no finish line I know this never ends
I’m just learning how to fall and climb back up again
I know there’s nothing perfect I know there’s nothing new
I’m just learning how to live together me and you
You know I live for the day when you say baby lets just run away”
are perfect for those just starting out, are feeling abandoned by the unlucky realities of life or listeners who find their greatest strengths in those they are learning with.
Songs like it: “Faithless” — Social Distortion, “International You Day” — No Use for a Name
And if you are completely nauseated by all of these love songs, here are three tunes actually chosen for the most romantic day in these couples’ lives.
1. “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — Meatloaf
This song should be avoided at your wedding for several obviously vital reasons. A) It is too long for your drunk relatives to remain upright for. B) It is too wordy for your drunk relatives to beller along to. C) It has the very romantic theme of an overeager teenage boy and a wistful teenage girl who find themselves in a compromised position in their car: barely 17 and barely dressed, if you will. The sweet conclusion of “I’m praying for the end of time/It’s all that I can do/Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you!” should be enough to merit a nixing from any wedding playlist, but oddly I was bopping next to a relative while they cooed those very lyrics to their newly minted beloved.
2. “Tears in Heaven” — Eric Clapton
Please. There are many slow songs out there. Choose one that isn’t dedicated to dead babies.
3. “Kate” (or Cait) — Johnny Cash
A poignant song about a man who discovers his cheating partner … and kills her — only to blame the dead “Kate” for his death row fate. Quite morbid, and I must admit not heard at any receptions yet … except if it ever happens to me. Then the memorable line I have been hearing since childhood would be even more adequate: “As sure as your name’s Kate you put me here!”
Suggestions? Think I’m out of my mind? I want to hear it … no pun intended.
*thank you to StraussBogart, iammusic, xMusiqChikx, MaidenVenus101, katieanne4eva , Super Dictionar, and 50s Johnny for uploading videos to share on YouTube so I can share them with you!