Sunday, June 30, 2013

That song and that dance

For Cat Stevens (and Rod Stewart and Sheryl Crow) the first cut is the deepest. But for a just-married couple, the first dance is the sweetest!

(Ugh, that blog opening is terrible. It's also hilariously cheesy so I'm leaving it.)

The wedding plans are coming along really well and we're trying to focus on the things that will be important to the day but also will be the main things we take away from the day as a couple. The wedding rings are a big one and we haven't made any decisions on those yet. Photos are huge but we're very happy with our photographer and we're confident there will be photos that our family and friends think are amazing and beautiful and that we'll tolerate (we both HATE having our pictures taken).

Another big one for us is our first dance song. While guests may not remember months or years later what we danced to, we sure will and that song will be representative of us as a couple for the rest of our marriage. Needless to say, a lot of thought has gone into picking that first song.

The main obstacle with finding that song comes from our taste in music. Being teenagers in the 90s, the Beau and I came of age and grew up listening to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Joy Division, Garbage and the rest of the grunge scene. We're also both big fans of 80s music, which will help make our reception ultra danceable, but there are few (if any) songs in our preferred playlists that fit the requirements of a first dance song.

Of course, there are SO MANY songs out there that are great for a first dance. If you're a Whitney Houston or Shania Twain fan, you're golden. If you're into the classics, like Louis Armstrong, Etta James or Nat King Cole, there are lots of great choices. And if you're a country music fan, the world is your first-dance oyster.

But what happens if you're like us and every discussion of the first dance song devolves into, "What about 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division?" (Seriously. Every time. And the joke has yet to get old.)

A quick online search provides many, many lists of the best first dance songs though it's clear the authors of some of these lists haven't listened to their song choices. If they had, they would know Every Breath You Take by The Police is all kinds of stalkery and voyeuristic; that Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler is all about no longer being in love; that All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera is incredibly beautiful and full of a love triangle and the unrequited love the Phantom has for Christine; and that Here Without You by 3 Doors Down is completely angsty and not at all about love and marriage and being together.

We have managed to cobble together the beginning of a shortlist and there are a couple solid contenders but we're both very focused on finding a song that we both love; that is by an artist or band we both love (or at least enjoy/respect); and isn't full of lyrics about infidelity or depression or political activism or dark erotic imagery. (While I can't think of examples that fit those descriptors, we have encountered songs that seem great at first until the lyrics reveal their true nature.) We're also running into a tempo problem, where quite a few songs that have lovely lyrics and melodies are just a bit too upbeat for a first dance. And we're discovering that we both really like depressing music.

So what will that magical first song be? I guess you'll have to wait until November 9.

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