I heard the song Every Breath You Take by the Police on the radio today. It reminded me of an interview with Sting I once read about how people who don’t understand what the song is really about have used it as a wedding song.
Have you ever been to a wedding, heard a song, and thought, “What were they thinking?” I can remember going to an aunt’s wedding where, during the ceremony, a soloist sang “We’ve Only Just Begun.” The problem? The bride was in her late 40s, the groom in his 50s…and it was his FIFTH marriage. It did cause a few giggles right in the church…of course, then I felt bad for her. I HOPE she didn’t notice.
I don’t remember anyone choosing an inappropriate significant song (eg first dance, ceremony etc.) Hwever, I was at a wedding where the DJ had no discretion when it came to songs he played at the reception. I remember TLC “No Scrubs”, and Kate Perry “Hot n cold”. Was a very weird mix. Baaaadddd choice of DJ!
No. I have attended weddings where there was music that people online say is inappropriate under any circumstances. But the guests in attendance had nothing bad to say about it, even in private. What some people fail to realize is that if you want danceable music, you’re going to have to make exceptions with questionable lyrics. If someone chooses to play “Hot And Cold” by Katy Perry for example, they are in no way suggesting that you actually live your life that way. It’s entertainment, pure and simple. If you screen every single song to make sure it fits your idea of love and marriage, you’re better off not having any dancing but just hire an instrumental group. It’s unrealistic and impossible to be that nitpicky and your guests be able to enjoy the music. No matter what you choose, someone will be offended. They simply don’t have to dance to songs they have objections to.
I was a bit surprised when non-censored versions of songs were played at a reception. I mean it doesn’t bug me at all when i’m listening to music on my own. But it was kinda weird to be dancing with grandparents to it! Simple mistake i’m sure 🙂
I still smile thinking about my 60-something year old aunts dancing to Low by Flo Rida at my cousin’s reception. Not that it’s inappropriate, but it was a bit unexpected to see them all going all the way down to the floor and back up. I can only hope I can still do that at their age!
I think In My Life by the Beatles is an inappropriate song for parent dances – I find it creepy. You just got married to someone else and you are for all intents and purposes telling your guests that in your life, there’s someone else you loved most, and it’s your mom. I don’t know, I just don’t get it. Same with brown eyed girl for father/daughter dance – I love the song and wish I could use it, but references to ‘behind the stadium’ are just weird.
There are songs that are very popular for father/daughter dances that are too intimate for such a dance, and that is inappropriate because it is describing feelings that a father and daughter should not have for each other. In addition, several popular first dance songs are really breakup songs, but since they have ‘love’ in the title, people insist that they are really love songs and refuse to believe anything else. Those situations would be considered inappropriate as far as music is concerned. The other examples described by pp’s are not. There’s nothing wrong with certain songs being played but apart from the first dance and father/daughter dance, it’s fair game as long as your guests are enjoying themselves and no one is taking themselves seriously. On the same token, I could see how some of the above listed songs (Hot and Cold or Low for example) would be viewed as inappropriate if you were having a dance reception in a religious setting – and yes many Christians do dance because the Bible says God is happy with it – because there wouldn’t be anything left of the song once it’s edited down and they go against Christian principles, but that doesn’t mean that a church reception is limited to Christian music only, nor do all Christians listen to only Christian music. Not saying that situation applies to the OP but it may to someone else. Either way, you have to take your guests into account and ask yourself if they would be offended in any way by the music played. If they wouldn’t, feel free to play whatever.
I think that using The Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ in any of the significant songs is really unsettling. Hello, have you listened to the lyrics? Not like it sounds particularly jubilant either, but if you pay ANY attention to what’s being sung, it’s depressing and dark and about a love that can’t be had for some reason, or some fantasy of a love that never was, or SOMETHING. It’s clearly NOT about a happy couple joining to spend the rest of their life together blissfully…
For the spotlight dances, very few if any guests are paying attention, much less analyzing the lyrics. If you like the song, then use it, otherwise don’t. If you boycott every single song due to its lyrics, you won’t have many choices left to dance to.
If you like Brown Eyed Girl, I found a good a capella version of it. Type BOCA 2009 Brown Eyed Girl into iTunes – they slowed it down too to make it more of a slow dance. If we use it, I will cut out the third verse, which I don’t think is really applicable either.
Maybe guests aren’t “analyzing” the lyrics as the dance is going on, but if they catch an inapropriate phrase being sung, or, if it’s a popular song that most people know the lyrics to and thus know it is clearly not situation-appropriate, it can be really uncomfortable/awkward/unnerving/whatever.
I was at a wedding where the soloist was singing The Hawaiian Wedding Song (look it up on youtube…it’s an oldie and very pretty). The woman singing sang up to a high part of the song, started coughing, looked at the congregation, said “Sorry!” And sat down. I couldn’t believe it! It was a rural wedding in a grange hall, but still…