20 thoughts on “Pop Culture Poll: Wedding Music

  1. You left off my real answer, which is, “Why should I care what songs are played at other people’s wedding receptions?” It’s one thing if I am one of the principals in the wedding, but otherwise, de gustibus non disputandum. (Not to mention that it might be the DJ’s bright idea–though why a DJ would pick that song I have no clue since it’s not particularly danceable.)

  2. Actually, off the same Meat Loaf album, “Two out of three ain’t bad” might be considered at least contrary to other things that were said at the wedding…

    At least parts of the lyrics of Leonard Cohen’s “Everybody Knows” would raise some eyebrows, while his “Dance me to the End of Love” would be absolutely fitting!

  3. Beats “Strok’in” by Clarence Carter I guess, but not by much.

    PBDL is one of those songs that is best the first time you hear it and benefits greatly from massive consumption of alcohol, but becomes more tedious with every playing. “Freebird” is another; mitigated by lashings of talented guitar work. Meatloaf seems to me to be a loser garage band that was rescued from obscurity by an alien wearing a black lace trimmed red corset and fishnet stockings, who proceeds to slay the singer with an ice axe. This scene often elicits applause from people who have hear Meatloaf one too many times.

    On the other hand “Strokin” is shorter, doesn’t require attention to a back story, and has a catchy beat. And if you don’t pay much attention the really offensive part slips by unnoticed.

  4. Oh, there are dozens of less appropriate songs out there, but if you multiply the impropriety factor by the length of the song, it might be difficult to beat “PbtDL” without venturing into opera (and even then, Brunhilde’s immolation aria might end up merely tying due to a slightly lower impropriety factor). You play Jimmy Soul and the song barely lasts long enough for anyone to notice.

    One does worry about what “personal significance to the couple” could potentially mean with a song like this, though.

  5. Actually, off the same Meat Loaf album, “Two out of three ain’t bad” might be considered at least contrary to other things that were said at the wedding…

    At one wedding reception I attended the DJ played Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. Which is a perfectly fine song on the merits (and was among the bride’s favorites), except that it is a contender for the ultimate breakup song. Not the most auspicious thing to play at a wedding reception. I don’t think it ultimately mattered; the couple in question are still together, mumble years later.

    Come to think of it, the “praying for the end of time” section at the end of PBDL isn’t really all that appropriate, either, and for a similar reason. But that’s not my call.

  6. If you’re playing it at a wedding, it’s important to have the groom and 3 ushers (or perhaps VIP guests if there aren’t enough ushers) claim a “base” and slam a drink when their base is reached in the Phil Rizzuto portion of the song.

    Of course, if your wedding reception’s gone that far, there are bound to be many interesting and inappropriate stories transpiring.

  7. “big dumb sex” by soundgarden off of their album “louder than love” might cause some head turning. that song was the reason the album got a parental advisory sticker on it.

  8. “Paradise” is absolutely the wrong song to use at a wedding; my ghu, the lyrics… Then again, I’ve heard “Every Breath You Take” by the Police as a wedding choice which also boggled me for total inappropriateness of sentiment.

    — Steve

  9. One does worry about what “personal significance to the couple” could potentially mean with a song like this, though.

    Captain C at #7 and #8 may in fact be familiar with the specific Wednesday night events in which the song became significant for the person I was talking to, prompting this poll.

    Come to think of it, the “praying for the end of time” section at the end of PBDL isn’t really all that appropriate, either, and for a similar reason. But that’s not my call.

    That’s the section I was thinking of as un-wedding-ish.

    As indicated above, it makes sense in context for the people involved, but struck me as something likely to leave the DJ scratching his head.

    (Out official first dance was to a Del Amitri song, but the other memorable dance at our wedding was the Afghan Whigs covering “Lost in the Supermarket” by the Clash, so I’m not opposed to unusual wedding music choices that are personally meaningful…)

  10. Actually, it has been kind of traditional amongst my college friends to play that song at their wedding receptions. Because we are inappropriate, that way.

  11. For those with classic R&B tastes, “Work With Me Annie” (and its many sequels, among them “Annie Had a Baby”) and “Sixty Minute Man” might be fun.

  12. Captain C at #7 and #8 may in fact be familiar with the specific Wednesday night events in which the song became significant for the person I was talking to, prompting this poll.Oh, I’d assumed I prompted this (I’m honored, I think…) so I’m aware of the significance in *this* case. I just feared what readers voting for that option might be envisioning.

    (It’s not at all wedding-appropriate, but as long as it’s not for the first dance, or heaven forbid the ceremony, I’m not much bothered about how wedding-appropriate songs during the reception are. Especially for after last call. Now we just need to decide on a !@# first dance song.)

  13. There’s an inexplicable fondness in some circles for playing Tom Jones singing “Delilah” at weddings; it’s about a man killing his wife for being unfaithful….

  14. Also, if it’s a shotgun wedding, PbtDL might be mandatory.

    If it’s a shotgun wedding, Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” or the Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” are probably better choices. At least people can dance to those two songs. The relationship implied in the former song is something best not thought about at a wedding reception, though.

    Then again, I’ve heard “Every Breath You Take” by the Police as a wedding choice which also boggled me for total inappropriateness of sentiment.

    If both bride and groom are of a certain age–roughly speaking, born between 1961 and 1975–then they probably remember this song as a hit without having thought about what the lyrics are suggesting. The reinterpretation of this song as a stalker’s anthem came several years later.

  15. That “reinterpretation” of the Police song is from Sting, who ought to know. There are a lot of hit songs with lyrics that are disturbing if you listen to them; Dave Barry argued years ago that this doesn’t matter, because teenagers (the target audience for new music) aren’t listening to the lyrics anyway.

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