The Wedding Singer: Whoa-Oh, Listen to the Lyrics…

Whoa-oh, listen to the lyrics…

Sung to the tune of The Doobie Brothers’ “Listen to the Music.” You hear it? No? OK, moving on. 

I should start out this entire blog by saying that I, myself, am guilty of this. So I’m not here just to attack everyone else. But maybe I’ll do that first and then I’ll share my own experience.

I find that people don’t really listen to and interpret lyrics properly. This is especially important and prevalent in settings like weddings and funerals, but it happens all the time. 

Sometimes, it’s just funny. Like when a couple wants to slow dance to my song “Fall Out,” not realizing at all that it is not meant to celebrate your romance.

I laugh when I think of certain songs and how no one is paying attention to what they’re really saying. Like “All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You” by Heart. Think about what that song is really about! 

In a nutshell:
A woman can’t get pregnant by her husband. So she picks up a drifter, has a one-night stand, gets pregnant, has a baby. Bumps into the SAME drifter years later, and the drifter recognizes her.
Because of her kid. Because the kid looks just like him.

Go on, listen to it. I’ll be waiting.

It’s such a great song with such a ridiculous premise. Maybe I’m far too logical but when I think about choosing the father of a potential offspring, drifters are not at the top of my list. I’m not so vain that I would hope for supermodel genetics. That’s not the biggest priority. I mean they would have to be good-looking enough to want to fuck, no? Let’s also hope that the drifter has showered in the last 24 hours? Or that he’s not mentally ill?

There’s just a lot to unpack in that song and I’m limited with my words here, so I’ll move on.

One of the most misunderstood songs has to be Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” This is hands down one of the greatest songs of all time. But it should not ever be played at a wedding or a funeral. Hard stop.

Are some verses appropriate? Sure. Overall.

Not to be reductive, but the song is about boning.

I have been asked to perform this song at weddings and at funerals. I am not so proud I won’t attempt to talk the person out of it. But only to an extent, because, well, not my circus, not my monkeys. It’s just not appropriate when it comes to songs for the wedding day. 

I think people, for the most part, hit the mark. The most important thing is that the song means something to them. So if that’s the case, as it was at my wedding, no harm, no foul.

I think some of the cringiest moments happen with the parent dances. More often, the father-daughter dance than anything else.

There is a country song called “I Loved Her First.” Which, if that is suggested by your bride-to-be, should be the biggest red flag you could ever receive as a wedding gift. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a dad that I don’t understand that connection. Or I don’t respect the father-daughter relationship. Maybe it’s because I missed out on an overprotective father. I don’t know. Nevertheless, it’s very hard to listen to, or worse, SING, those lyrics without a little bit of puke making its way to the mouth.

Obviously, music is VERY important to me so I can never understand when a couple asks me for suggestions for songs to walk down the aisle to or to have their first dance with. I suppose for me that should be something you should already know! And it’s not that I mind offering suggestions, but it’s really hard to choose something so intimate for people I’ve only talked to a handful of times on the phone. Because I am a consummate professional, I’m happy to help the couple with this. One instance, though, made me rage a bit. The first time I was ever asked for a suggestion, I felt very awkward. I said “think of some artists that you both really enjoy,” and she couldn’t. I suggested she Google some good first dance songs and even sent her an article to read. She didn’t. I then said, “Honestly, it’s hard to choose such a special song for people I don’t know that well!” She insisted. I send three songs that I have done for first dances. “I hate Ed Sheeran!” THEN FUCKING PICK YOUR OWN SONG! 

So. My wedding. My truth. Sigh. 

There’s a song I have always loved and the way the song made me feel was a feeling that I wanted when walking down the aisle. It made me feel free and calm and happy. Admittedly, I had not ever really dissected the lyrics but I had a slight hint it might not be about love everlasting. Luckily for me, I was able to see this band perform months later and got VIP tickets from my incredible husband so that I could go to a pre-show meet and greet with the band. Chris Thile of Punch Brothers barely got out the words “who’s first” when my arm nearly flew off my body into the air. I asked that they play “Missy”; a song I had always desperately wanted to hear live and hadn’t in the dozen or so times I’ve seen them perform. My eyes filled with tears as they played. After, Thile said “any questions?” and the same arm flew up. There was no ignoring it. I told him I walked down the aisle to it and wanted to hear, from him, what the song meant. He smiled but was clearly uncomfortable. One of the other band members was laughing. I already had my answer. Thile took a very long walk around the block with his explanation. He talked about how the whole goal of a songwriter is to produce something that can be so meaningful to someone else, whatever that meaning may be. He spent about five minutes in his explanation soothing me with his words as one would gently pet a cat with their hand. He was killing time as best he could before basically saying that the song is about infidelity.  

So I slept with him.

1 Comment
  1. Michael Hallisey says

    How about “Every Breath You Take” by The Police? Kinda creepy.

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