For DJs: Happy Lyric Love Poetry For Weddings

Appendix A: Ten Happy songs for weddings

   I have often been struck by how difficult it is to find great love songs that are happy rather than tragic love songs, and so good for playing at weddings. This is very strange, since a good half of all lyric songs are love songs. The bulk of the great lyric love songs are tear jerkers, like Yesterday, things one would not play at a wedding. For wedding celebrations, it is the function of music to bring recognition of the meaning of what is occurring, and the universal elements of family life. The trick is that the sorrows and false love involved in the themes of most music, and almost all of the blues, are banished from the ceremonies, leaving surprisingly little, even of the beginning or conception of love. Yet some of the gemstones are happy songs. My father is the wedding DJ C. J. Mac, and I went along on a few jobs with him, and considered taking up the trade myself, but could never be reconciled to the lowest common denominator songs that are able to get enough people dancing. So I thought I would collect songs that might make up part of the program of music for weddings. The music might be ordered according to the moments of love. In practice, my contribution is always limited to telling the DJ to “Play Louie Louie!”

The ceremony:

The Wedding Song                                     Paul Stokey

The Reception

Fast dance songs that can be played at weddings and have anything to do with what is occurring are so rare that these are marked with an *

Conception (Of love, not the consummation, idiot!)

The First time Ever I Saw Your Face         McCall / Roberta Flack

Jenifer Juniper                                             Donovan

Pretty Woman*                                            Roy Orbison

She’s a Rainbow                                         The Rolling Stones

I Can’t Explain*                                           The Who

Twilight Time                                             The Platters

Louie Louie*                                               The Kingsmen


We’ve Only Just Begun                                 Carpenters

Wouldn’t it Be Nice                                       Beech Boys

Golden Lady*                                              Stevie Wonder

Close to You                                                 Carpenters

Unchained melody

For Emily Wherever I can Find Her             Simon and Garfunkle


I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You       Elvis

You are So Beautiful                                 Leon Russell

Stay / Be My Wife/ Golden Years*                                David Bowie

Hush                                                           Herman’s Hermits

In My Life                                                   The Beatles

Something                                                   The Beatles

And I love Her                                             The Beatles

Songbird                                                       Nicks/ Fleetwood Mac

#9 Dream                                                     Lennon

Evergreen                                                     Streisand

My Sweet Lady,                                                            John Denver

Post-Consummation: Domesticity and Drudgery

Our House                                                   Nash     / CSNY

Crazy On You *                                             Heart

After the Lovin. I’m still in Love with You     Sinatra

If I were a Carpenter                                   Tim Hardin

Anne’s Song                                                 John Denver

When a man loves a woman                         Percy Sledge

Bridge over Troubled Water                         Simon and Garfunkel

The Long and Winding Road                                 McCartney / Beatles


Thank You                                                   Led Zeppelin

Happy Man                                                 Chicago

God only knows                                           Brian Wilson

Color My World                                           Chicago

What a Wonderful World                             Louis Armstrong

Filial and philosophical Meaning

Soul love                                              David Bowie

Ob bla di bla da*                                   The Beatles

Old Man                                                 Neil Young

Father and son/O very Young                                      Cat Stevens

Cats in the Cradle                                   Jim Croce

What Love is                                         Don White

  Why this should be so, that dance songs pertaining to marriage are rare, is a good question. But because dance music that pertains to marriage is also surprisingly rare, in a genuine DJ situation, I would mix in some unrelated songs that are both good and danceable, like “Superstition,” some Rasta from Bob Marley (No Woman, No Cry, for sarcasm!), some funk from Sly Stone, “Dance to the Music” and “Different Strokes,” “Play that Funky Music” by Black Cherry, and some early rock like “Twist and Shout,” and Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll.” Talking Heads is danceable, as is The Ramones. Polka, such as “In Heaven There Ain’t No Beer” and “She’s too Fat for Me” is of course essential. “Love Shack” by the B-52″s might be pertinent and danceable. These rather than “YMCA,” “Old Time Rock and Roll,” “Celebrate,” and “We are Family,” as are usually played. I would hope the lowest common denominator would have an experience with the music of my weddings, not something that could be found anywhere or at every wedding.

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