Thursday, June 25, 2009

RE: 8 Wedding Songs to Skip

If you must get married, why must you have a wedding? So that a bunch of people you don't like can get together and eat your food and leave you crummy gifts, and copulate in the coat closet?

So who the hell cares what song you play at the wedding? Well, some jerk at MSN, that's who. She wrote an article about 8 Wedding Songs to Skip. Among the insights:

3. "Stayin' Alive" — Bee Gees
Why to Skip It: There aren't too many people who know more than one line and one dance move to this song — leave "Stayin' Alive" to the Saturday Night Fever reruns.

4. "Every Breath You Take" — The Police
Why to Skip It: The Police are legendary, but the tune is a little high school dance-ish, and the line "Every move you make ... I'll be watching you" is a little stalker-ish.

If you must get married, and you must have a wedding, then pick whatever song you want. Who cares if some jerk from MSN doesn't think your song is "well known" enough, or it's "a little stalker-ish." Your wedding day is by definition already ruined. The song choice is the least of your problems.

That said, how about some choices for songs that people should use at their weddings?

Here are some of my choices:

"Let's Live Together" by Robbie Fulks.

This is a lovely paean to what used to be called "living in sin," i.e., shacking up without going to the trouble of making it legal, by a great "insurgent" country artist who deserves to have his songs played at more weddings. It's true he's got some more romantic songs, really, "Push Right Over" is probably more appropriate to a wedding, but this song has the great lines

Yeah, let's live together: these ain't the cave times
I'm not a hunter-gatherer, or a backwater Baptist
I want your lovin', I don't want babies
So let's live together, sweetheart.

that serve as a nice reminder of what you could have, if only you didn't walk down that aisle.

"Gaucho" by Steely Dan.

This is a sort of pre-emptive strike. The spouse will cheat anyway, so why not choose a song about infidelity? Moreover, why not choose a song with lyrics that are wildly open to interpretation? (I know, Steely Dan has a lot of songs about infidelity with lyrics open to interpretation, that's howcome I like them so much.)

Who is the gaucho amigo
Why is he standing
In your spangled leather poncho
And your elevator shoes
Bodacious cowboys
Such as your friend
Will never be welcome here
High in the Custerdome

"Doctor Wu" might be more "romantic," but imagine my surprise when I heard the whole family singing along (pass out a lyric sheet or something) and putting everything they've got into that "Hiiiighh in the Cuuuusterdooomme!" Best wedding ever.

"I'm Going Out With an 80 Year Old Millionaire" by Kirsty MacColl.

The lovely Kirsty MacColl wrote some painfully romantic songs like "Soho Square" that would probably be more "appropriate" for love in the early stages, before things have gotten far enough along to be ruined by marriage. But "I'm Going Out With an 80 Year Old Millionaire" gets to the heart of why most people engage the marriage contract: finance:

Reporters all ask me if I'd ever switch
But I'd never leave him 'cos he's far too rich
You might want to punch me but you won't dare
'Cos I'm going out with an 80 year old millionaire

80 year old millionaires in the family will get a kick out of this song, too.

"Me Myself I" by Joan Armatrading.

"Kissin' and a Huggin'," "Warm Love," "Heaven," "Love and Affection," "Cool Blue Stole My Heart," "A Woman in Love," on and on. Joan Armatrading has written so many beautiful songs that express the genuine and touching emotional connection that two people can share. However, as good as those songs are, none of them contain what is the greatest line ever written in any song, ever:

It's not that I love myself
I just don't want company

Perfect for the couple who knows that the secret to a long and successful relationship is staying the hell away from each other.

"Let it Blow" by Richard Thompson.

In less than five minutes, the great Richard Thompson covers a relationship from the meeting, to the wedding, to the disinterest, to the impotence, to the cheating, to the divorce, to the meeting the next bride. Imagine the new in-laws singing along with the following lines:

When the bride’s veil lifted, his mind soon drifted
At least that’s what happened before
As she lay on the sand, he said, isn’t it grand?
I bring all of my wives to this spot
Meanwhile his eye did stray to the ample bustier
Of a novelty dancer from Penge

The word "bustier" in a song automatically makes it great, and a must-play at your wedding. Why can't I say that? It's just as logical as that bone-head article at MSN.

"Stupid" by Jeff Porterfield.

This one's a bit "on the nose," because of the title (after all, getting married is stupid), but there's also a wonderful line about the manipulation of one person by another.

You call me up all out of breath
You need me now as more than a friend
I leap up and drop everything so you and I can meet
How bloody dumb and f*cking stupid can I be?

The kids especially are going to love to stomp their feet around the dance floor while this music is playing. You will too- listen and try to resist. You cannot.

Oh, wow I guess that article really irritated me, because I have spent entirely too much time on this blog entry. But if it's helped you, the reader, to get some great ideas for songs to play at your wedding, then I haven't really done my job, because you should not get married at all.