With my daughter’s wedding approaching this fall, I find myself operating an open musical file where I store wedding songs that fit a certain theme or mood. I love music and I love my daughter, so naturally the two go together in my unjustified, marginless mind. I realize that as the father of the bride I have a very limited say in what goes on the play list. However, be that as it may, regrettably, furthermore and here to… I’d like to make some suggestions. Perhaps my future son-in-law will lobby for my classic choices. He does have exquisite taste in music and women. Maybe my choices will fit your next wedding if not mine.
At my middle daughter’s wedding years back I chose “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” for the traditional father/daughter dance. Of course it was the Van Morrison version. Van and I go way back, all the way to high school, meaning that I listened to his songs when I was in high school not that we attended together. It was memorable obviously since I just shared that memory with you. “There’s a love that’s divine, and it’s yours and it’s mine, like the sun. At the end of the day we should give thanks and pray to the One.” Nice, tender, spiritual, Irish.
Now keep in mind that there will be ballroom dancing at this wedding, so we need dance music. Cha-cha’s, foxtrots, swings, tangos, rumbas, large group dances, etc. The challenge is immense. However, I am going on blog record with song recommendations for each dance style. My service is free to you, though you might pay thousands to a wedding planner for the same advice.
So let’s get this party started, okay? Cha-cha requires a 1-2 cha-cha-cha, 3-4 cha-cha-cha rhythm. Immediately my mind goes to Santana‘s collected works. You can rest assured that if Santana plays it, you can cha-cha to it. “Smooth“ is a good choice, and a nice opening statement/invitation to the smoothies who want to show off their skills.
“And if you said this life ain’t good enough
I would give my world to lift you up
I could change my life to better suit your mood
Because you’re so smooth”
That’s a nice opener that could even be inserted for a second go round later in the evening, when folks are fully lubricated and stretched.
Which brings me to the penultimate foxtrot. Hmmm. “Come and Go With Me” by the Dell Vikings suits the purpose well.
“Well, I love, love you, darlin’
Come and go with me
Come go with me
Way beyond the sea
I need you, darlin’
So come go with me“. Check this link and bop, bop, foxtrot around your living room with your loved one. https://youtu.be/P1eU_lDQaVM
It’s a nice boom boom shuga shuga beat that bops one back into the soft souled fifties. Simple, sweet, naive, and wholesome. It was a 45 rpm in 1956. The B side, according to Wikipedia, was titled, “Don’t Go Near The Water”. So now you know. Like a split personality that record: A. Come To the Sea with Me, B. Go Away. A great primer for the
realities of marriage.
Let’s see, swing. So many choices. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a tie between “In The Mood” and “String Of Pearls”, both by Glenn Miller’s Orchestra. Say no more. Just run them back to back and hand out frozen linen napkins to catch the jubilant sweat.Certainly, we can keep on a swing kick with “Kansas City“ and most any upbeat Elvis song, but I’m crafting the openers here. The big boom of the big band. Fabulous. Fabulous, ladies and gentlemen, don’t you dare sit down cuz we’re just getting started.
Now somewhere in this delightful celebration I want to have a dance that recognizes marriage veterans. The ideal song, I think, is another swing, “Still the One”, by Orleans. The lyrics are simple but sweet.
“We’ve been together since way back when
Sometimes I never want to see you again
But I want you to know, after all these years
You’re still the one I want whisperin’ in my ear
You’re still the one — I want to talk to in bed
Still the one — that turns my head
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one”
Now listen carefully, my little Mango. I have an unusual suggestion for a tango. Leonard Cohen‘s “Dance Me To The End Of Love”. Great song. Starts like some Greek Jewish festival song. It was featured in the Al Pacino movie “Scent of a Woman”. Okay, so even a blind guy can tango. Now that’s what I’m talking about… 4 minutes 38 seconds of lurid passion.
Whew, I was getting carried away with my imagination there. Are you ready to RUMBA? Oh yeah. Let’s go with “Stand By Me”, by Ben E. King. So appropriate for a wedding.
“If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me”.
Oh, cue it up, Mista Dee Jay.
I know the ones I won’t approve… The Electric Slide. The Cupid Shuffle. Cha Cha Slide. Cotton Eye Joe. YMCA. Boot Scootin’ Boogie. The Loco Motion. So, how about a mash up of The Stroll, Shout, and The Hustle? It would be familiar yet challenging to mix the three styles later in the evening. But by then, who cares?
Roll out the barrel. Have a barrel of fun. Do a vertical Irish jig, but God help us, no polkas.
Just before the cops show up, we’d have to hear the Stones blast “Brown Sugar“. We can all hum that on the way to the holding cell. The newlyweds will exit one direction in a limo as their parents are escorted to central booking. Oh, the humanity!