Following "music no-nos" - does it matter what it means...?

I've just been reading the thread about music no-nos and have been thinking about some of the comments about certain songs being inappropriate for weddings.

Now, I find this an intriguing argument because I am obsessive about lyrics and can't listen to a song without going "But what does it mean?". Mr Jam, on the other hand, sings along to all manner of stuff without having the faintest idea what he's singing about, and he insists that that doesn't affect his enjoyment of the song at all. (I think it depends on why you like the song in the first place - if I like dancing to a song I'm not too worried about whether I can relate to it or not, whereas the ones that really resonate with me emotionally have to do so because of my interpretation of their meaning.)

I am inclined to think that while the meaning of your first dance song ought really to have some kind of significance, what you play during the rest of the wedding ought just to be about whether you like it or not, regardless of what it means (we had all manner of thoroughly "wrong" songs at some point during our wedding, and I don't think anyone thought "goodness me, how inappropriate"). I've always seen the first dance song as some sort of "statement", though, so really, I suppose it ought to say something suitable, for want of a better word.

On the other hand - and it is a big "on the other hand" - I can't help thinking that it's more authentic to pick a song that's inappropriate but that the two of you have some connection with than it is to pick one that you heard once on the radio and thought "ooh, that's a good song for a first dance". While every so often someone will announce their first-dance song and I'll think "good grief, have you actually listened to it?", just as often someone will say that they've just heard a song and the words are perfect for a wedding so that's what they're having, and I do wonder whether, really, that's what it's all about.

Personally I've always thought of the first dance song as one you have some kind of history with, or that you liked before you ever thought of it being a first dance song, rather than one that just fits the bill. If I went to a wedding and heard a first dance song about heartbreak and misery but knew the couple were really big fans of that band or had always loved that song, I'd find that far more moving than I would if they'd picked a song just for its wedding-friendliness. My brother and his wife, for example, had When You Say Nothing At All, which is a lovely sentiment - but I know for a fact he can't stand Ronan Keating, so I found the whole thing kind of unconvincing.

Does anyone have any idea what I'm on about here? Am I talking out of my bottom again? Any thoughts? (Incidentally, we went for a sort of compromise, and picked the most appropriate song by a band we'd both always really liked - which I suspect is what a lot of people do!)


  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Posts: 1,227

    I do like the idea of the lyrics of the song meaning something to me and H2B. We have chosen Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode and we think this is appropriate to us because we don't necessarily need to say anything to one another but we can still be totally relaxed and comfortable with one another.

    Plus when we first got chatting over email he said he liked Depeche Mode (he's a lifelong fan) and I said I liked the song Enjoy the Silence but hadn't heard much of their other stuff and he replied with "Wow, can't believe you like DM, marry me now!" image

    Which at the time was a joke and yet here we are.....

  • Mrs Banana Jam - I know exactly what you mean. I'd much rather have my first dance to an "inappropriate" song that menas something to me and my husband than to fake sentiment with a traditional first dance song.

    We're going to have a Kiss song, either I Was Made For Loving You or Lovegun. The lyrics aren't your typical love song lyrics but they're songs that mean a lot to me and my bloke. Not only that but it'll be a bit of a giggle for us and our friends as I don't want it to be too serious!
  • mrsj36mrsj36 Posts: 2,340
    At a guess we had loads of inappropriate songs as, like Mr Jam, I don't really listen to lyrics that much! For me, it was more important to like the song than what it was about.

    We did just go with a fun song - Love Shack - as the first dance as the songs that we really loved apparently weren't too appropriate (Wild Roses by Nick Cave and Kylie for instance).
  • Mrs Banana Jam i completely understand what your saying. Our first dance song is the only one i'm fussed about. I happen to like most stuff by bucksfizz, 'come on eileen' would be in my top 20, and we were toying with the idea of the latter part of our wedding celebrations being an abba only affair (only cos the first part is a ceilidh)

    The only song that matters to me is the first dance song, i want it to tell everyone how much we mean to each other, i want it the meaning to be perfect. Unfortunately, any songs we have that we could class as 'our song' are about people splitting up, or about people dying, or are trashy pop songs that are just not bloody suitable!

    I've found a few songs that are perfect (in my opinion) but my h2b wants the song we choose to remind us of us. So, i'm trying to slip these songs in everywhere i can, when we're away our silly wee trips at 3AM to find ice cream, and when we're having a roasty toasty bubble bath or on our drives up north. Sadly after months of trying, h2b is still none the wiser.....
  • SkipulaSkipula Posts: 1,763
    Mrs BJ, do you just mean inappropriate lyrics or the meaning behind them? I wonder how many couples had Lou Reed's Perfect Day and if they knew it was about heroin.
  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    Well, there's another can of worms altogether, Skipula - is the important thing what the song was originally written about, or the way you interpret it?

    I remember looking up some song or another to find out what it was really about, and the lyricist said that what they wrote it about didn't matter - it was up to the listener to make their own mind up. While I find that way of looking at it really interesting, whenever someone says that I always want to say "Yeah, but really, what did you mean?". I'm not very good at working things out for myself - I'm more interested in what someone actually meant when they wrote it than all the possible ways of looking at it.

    I definitely think that knowing the real origin can completely change the way you look at the song - I remember when someone on here said that The Drugs Don't Work was really about the singer's mum dying of cancer, and I can't listen to it any more!

    There's a website I love going on called, where you can find all sorts of different interpretations of song lyrics. What's quite funny is when a bunch of people read far, far too much into a song and then someone posts the lyricist's own explanation and it's something really literal and prosaic.

    None of which answers your question at all, Skipula, because to be honest, I'm not sure which I meant! I think what I was originally talking about was the kind of song that can be fairly easily interpreted by just a casual listen and still seems inappropriate. I'm hoping someone will be able to come up with a good example for me, because I can't think of one...

  • SkipulaSkipula Posts: 1,763
    It wasn't really a question, more of a ponder (blame Naocat!).

    We just can't make up our minds about our first dance so it's turned into a game - we hear a (usually) inappropriate song, turn to each other and say in unison, "first dance?". I posted this on the first dance topic and Dustymoth and her h2b play that game too!

    Our latest was Alex Harvey doing Next (h2b wants to do a tango) but since it mentions a mobile army whorehouse and gonorrhea we thought better of it. This is Dustymoth's latest

  • cressydec08cressydec08 Posts: 1,474
    I'm all for songs that are different - friends of mine did Oops Upside Your Head - because sappy love songs aren't for them.

    It's just personally, I find it odd that anyone would want a song about death or breaking up as their first dance song, it just doesn't seem right. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) is a popular first dance song, despite it being a break up song, and it just doesn't seem appropriate to me. If a couple love Green Day, they could rock out to Basket Case, like my cousin and her husband did.

    I know my opinion is probably not a popular one, but I just have this obsession with meanings, I'm like it over names. I like names that have nice meanings to them as opposed to not-so-nice meanings or have a bad association.

    It's just how my brain works. I can't help it.
  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    Oooh no, I'm the same, Cressy - I think the meaning is terribly important. That's why I'm so confused about this issue (and why picking a first dance song was so difficult for us!). I just feel that picking a song that you don't even like that much just because the words sound weddingy (and I do think a lot of people do it) seems a bit inauthentic somehow. I think you're pretty lucky if your favourite songs all have nice, weddingy sentiments - for a start, there are a lot more songs about heartbreak than there are about unmitigated happiness anyway!

    I do agree about Good Riddance, incidentally - I kind of feel like it's too "final" for a first dance song. I think songs about relationship difficulties are one thing, but ones that suggest it's definitely, definitely over are perhaps a bit too far. I also think that if a lot of your favourite songs are a bit wrong for a first dance, then you can bung them in somewhere else - we had all our not-right-for-a-first-dance-but-we-love-it songs on during the wedding breakfast.

    What I do think is odd is when someone hasn't even realised how negative the meaning of a song actually is. I remember someone on here saying they were having Who Am I by Will Young because "the words are perfect" - could a song about not being able to commit to someone be any less "perfect"? To some extent it perhaps goes back to Skipula's point - what matters most, the actual intended meaning or your own interpretation of it? I can think of loads of songs that have pretty negative meanings that nevertheless make me awfully happy - even knowing that they're depressing - just because I love them. (But that still wouldn't make them right for a first dance! Oooh, it's a tricky one...)
  • We are having The Time Warp from Rocky Horro as our first dance. It has a meaning to us as we danced to it when we were first together but noone knew at the time that we were.
  • faerierynfaerieryn Posts: 273
    I know what you mean about song lyrics. I found someone on here asking about the song "Conte Partiro" (Time to say goodbye) by Sarah Brightman. The lyrics to that song are all about saying goodbye to a dead loved one! I've chosen "Kathy's song" by Simon and Garfunkel in an instrumental version because that is the song I was named afterwards. We're having our first dance as "Street map" by Athlete because we went to see a concert soon after we started seeing each other when no one really knew we were going out- it was the first time we were actually able to be squishy with each other in public. The lyrics are about always counting on someone- My other half was my best friend for five years before we started dating and it really means a lot. We were thinking about leaving the church to Paradise City by Guns n roses but I don't think the church would be too happy about it!
  • saf28saf28 Posts: 645
    Hmm its a tricky one. I see where you're all coming from because I most definitely think about song lyrics when I'm doing lots of exercise - I especially like doing circuit training to things like 'Stronger' and 'you get what you give' because I feel like the lyrics are telling me to push myself harder. So I guess I'm quite cheesy in that respect! However, as a couple, we didn't have a 'special song' to use as a first dance song. We'd been learning ballroom dancing and so needed something that was of the right tempo for a waltz/foxtrot/quickstep. I happened to be listening to the radio while I was working and Jack Johnson's 'Better Together' came on - and the lycrics sort of sprang out at me as being really appropriate. And then we checked the tempo and it was ok for a foxtrot. So I guess that has now become our song, which I thought was a nice way of getting a song for 'us' (and more satisfying when it was used on Strictly Come Dancing and Matt Di Angelo didn't finish his dance as it meant we thought our version was better!!).

    In terms of inaapropriateness - I was at a wedding about 2 years ago and the DJ was awful - he was playing things like 'D.I.V.O.R.C.E.' without the song even being requested!!


  • laura217uklaura217uk Posts: 745
    I'm glad I'm not the only one to "really" think about this.

    I wanted to include Muse Unintended, as it was the first song that became "Our" song when I heard it, as my h2b was in the middle of a divorce when we met and he'd pretty much dedicated it to me.. however he veto'ed it, (I tried to find an instrumental to use during the ceremony but to no avail!)

    Then, he assumed that Lonestar "amazed" would be our first dance song, as I had played it to him and told him I thought it was the most heartfelt meaningful song that I loved - I looked up the lyrics and everything as I couldnt believe how simple it was in summing things up.

    I still love the song, but its such a typical first dance song, one our friends used this month as their first dance too and I don't want to use it as it would be less special (does that make sense) so instead, we're thinking of sticking to Muse, but having "feeling good" - again because of the lyrics, which have a lot of different interpretations but we're taking them literally, but also because it was the first band he took me to see live - so it has meaning more than it just sounding good. Plus I like to think its a little unique and unexpected!

    How we dance to it will be another thing entirely though!

    So I think how the song makes you feel, memories or links it has to shared history (or starting your shared history as Mr and mrs even!) and how you interpret the meaning are all equally important.

    Would hate to be told afterwards that the meaning was something not very nice though... image
  • SkipulaSkipula Posts: 1,763
    I love Unintended and we had a similar situation to yours. I've checked out the instrumental versions of Muse songs but they're just so inferior to the original that they make me wince! Maybe we could get Lula to play it on the harp.
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Interesting thread! We picked our first dance song because it had long been ???????our song??????? - we'd both always loved the song and on a drunken night out we heard it and joked that it should be ours, and that kind of stuck. There are some very appropriate lyrics in it - ???????Today is the greatest day I've ever known...???????, and a few not-so-suitable ones in there too, but the song meant a lot to us so we weren't too worried about the rest of the lyrics, because it wasn't an overtly unsuitable song and the overall meaning of it was happy and appropriate.

    I think it's important that the song means something to the couple, rather than a song that's an obvious candidate for a first dance (I never fail to be amazed by the fact that the same three songs crop up on all the first dance threads all over the forum). I personally wouldn't have picked a first dance song that had overtly inappropriate lyrics for a wedding, because I would want it to vaguely reflect the meaning of the day, but I think that ultimately the meaning of the song to the couple matters more than its appropriateness for a wedding. But maybe I only think this because we were lucky to have a song that meant something to us that just happened to be vaguely appropriate for a wedding...?

    I don't think the songs that are played during the rest of the evening need to be appropriate for a wedding though - for me it was more meaningful that the songs were ones we liked and that people enjoy dancing to, regardless of their meaning, rather than playing a whole load of songs that have the ???????right??????? meaning for a wedding. To me it was important to make it ???????our??????? wedding rather than ???????a??????? wedding, where everything has to be all perfectly about love and weddings. I know that's a very personal thing though and that we all see it differently. I saw the wedding disco as an opportunity for us all to have fun, as opposed to yet another opportunity to reflect the obvious point of the day. It wasn't just about love, but it was about fun and happiness too, and there are a whole load of songs that aren't perfect love songs that make people happy.

    I'm always confused about the importance of music and lyrics and can never really quite make my mind up. I do agree somewhat with Mr Jam's view of things in that the lyrics and meaning of a song aren't always the most important things to me. That's not to say that I don't care about the lyrics and meaning behind a song, because these are the things that will elevate a song to something that means a lot to me or that elicits some kind of emotional response, but it's the music and tone of a song that grab me first.

    I think the way the music and lyrics interact with one another is very important too though. Mrs Jam has already mentioned The Drugs Don't Work, and the fact that it's about his dad's death obviously makes it incredibly sad and tragic. The music behind the words reflects that perfectly too though - the melancholy strings and guitar etc. - it all adds to the overall sadness of the song and brings out the meaning of it a bit further, for me anyway. You can just hear the sorrow in the music before you even get to the singing. Now take a song like Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart - the lyrics and meaning are obviously not happy or positive, but the tone of the music is quite the opposite and gives it an initial upbeat and positive sound. If you're out in a club or something and this song comes on, it makes people happy and they don't really care that much about its meaning, whereas if the music was just as sad and negative as the lyrics, the song would be completely different. I won't harp on any longer about Joy Division though!

    The intended and interpreted meaning of songs is very interesting. Personally, I do think you can take your own meaning from a song, regardless of the meaning it was written with, and I think that's a great thing. Skipula mentioned Perfect Day, which is a great example of this - yes, it was written about heroin, but I think it's fine for people to take their own meaning from it and interpret it as a happy love song. I am really interested in the original meaning of a song, and I love knowing what the person meant when they wrote it, but it's sometimes nice to be able to relate to it in my own different way too. I'm trying to think of a good example, but I can't right now. It can all get rather funny though - one day I had a look on the Bloc Party forum, and they've got a song that has the line ???????Stop being so American??????? in it, and this American girl had taken great offence to that and said she would no longer listen to Bloc Party. Some people tried to tell her that the singer meant that people should try to be themselves, rather than meaning that there was something wrong with being American, but she interpreted the whole song as an anti-American and anti-George Bush rant and refused to listen to them ever again. The thread had been going on for over a whole year and got really silly in places, but it was a fascinating example of meaning and how it can be interpreted.

    Sorry, I didn't mean to go on for so long! I don't think I've actually made any real points or said anything new, but I like waffling about music!

  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Oooh I think Muse would make a brilliant first dance song Laura! Starlight is a good one too!
  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    Oh, The Drugs Don't Work was about his dad, not his mum! And that was only a few weeks back I heard that. Sorry!

    I do agree that it's how the song sounds that grabs you first, but I also think that sometimes, without listening to the words at all you're only getting half the song. I don't mind not really understanding a song, or understanding it but not really being able to relate to it - neither of those things would render me incapable of liking a song if I liked the way it sounded - but I can't really imagine not even considering what it might mean. I think I'm on my own here though, because most people I say "Do you think this is about..." to will then tell me they've never thought about it! And obviously, it does depend hugely on the song and whether the lyrics are meant to mean anything in the first place, as clearly a lot of the time there's not much you can read into them (don't get me going on Coldplay and Yellow again...).

    I think that stamping your own meaning onto a song is inevitable, whether you know what it's really about or not. And having thought about it, perhaps I do like it when the meaning is a little ambiguous. Claire, you'll appreciate this - I was looking up the meaning of "Tunnels" by Arcade Fire yesterday (for those of you who don't know it, it's a song about your neighbourhood being buried in snow, and digging a tunnel to your neighbour's window and running away with them), and no-one could make up their minds whether the snow was real or metaphorical. And I really like both interpretations - the actual possibility of digging tunnels through the snow, and the idea of just forgetting the world and everything that's happening around you.

    I also like the fact that you don't have to be able to relate to a song in order to enjoy it. Most of my favourite songs are quite negative and are either sad or angry, and yet I tend to listen to them when I'm feeling happiest - I just sort of enjoy being able to temporarily step into that emotion to enjoy the song, then to step out of it again. Does that make any sense?

    Oh dear, I've gone off first dances altogether now - I'm afraid this is one of my pet ponders...

    (Laura, Feeling Good would make a great first dance! We had to rule out Unintended fairly early on because the very sound of it wasn't simple and happy enough for us, but Invincible was in the running for a long time :\) )
  • Shell19ukShell19uk Posts: 676
    I have to say me H2B have toyed for months now about our first dance & also music for the ceremony (down the aisle, signing the register etc...)

    Yes there were loads of songs that were "appropriate" however they didn't mean anything to us

    We eventually wrote a list each of songs that remind us of us (does that make sense??!!)

    And one song that kept cropping up is a very old school rap/dance song that we both love, it reminds us of some very happy times & also it was a song that we both loved before we met so when we got together it was like "I can't believe you like that" especially as I'm not into rap at all but he was.

    So we more or less decided we would have that. It is very unappropriate & has some colourful language in it but it is our song & people who are coming know us very well & will totally understand our reasons for choosing this.

    I also think it will be a great ice breaker as there are only approx 40 in total to our full wedding so didn't know if people would dance but I think this will set the standard image

    [Modified by: Shell19 on August 27, 2008 12:46 PM]

  • I laugh whenever really innapropriate songs are played at weddings... I mean, there's fun songs and then there's playing songs about breakup, murder or unrequited love etc which just.. aren't appropriate in my mind heh.

    My sister's wedding they played a lot of cheesy pop including Love Shack which was awesome.. but they also played Dominion Road by The Mutton Birds which is about a guy moving on after his girlfriend leaves him for one of his friends! dude! really good song but not really wedding appropriate heh.

    I think you can get away with the slightly more obscure ones (I'm walking down the aisle to a song that could be seen as either really romantic OR about god... so go figure) but when they include obvious lyrics? it just gets a bit.. hmmmm.

    I want to have !(the song formally known as) played though... it's wonderfully appropriate lol.

    I'm a music buff so I suppose meaning is really important to me, mostly because I actually LISTEN to lyrics.

    Iris while a pretty song, is NOT appropriate for a wedding. Listen to the lyrics, it's unrequited love! "I just want you to know who I am!"
  • this is so interesting to read! "our song" is the Arctic Monkeys' version of Love Machine - just because we both totally geek out when we hear it (which isn't very often, we have it on Radio 1's live lounge CD) we just find it so funny, especially as the singer is laughing through it too! However, I'd really like to do a ballroom dance for our first dance, but it aint gonna happen in my dress to that song - I was thinking a Strictly-style quickstep, but I have visions of ripped satin and broken ankles!

    I also like David Gray - The one I love, think that's what it's called anyway, and we know someone who had U2's I still haven't found what I'm looking for as their first dance!! They just loved it! Ooh I also like Snow Patrol Chasing Cars, but it's a bit sad, could do a nice waltz to that though....
  • Fay27Fay27 Posts: 1,323
    We don't really have a song as such so we keep changing our minds about the first dance song but I do listen obsessively to lyrics and I want a song with lyrics that reflect how we feel.

    I went to a friend's wedding a few years ago where they had Careless Whisper for the first dance - I love George Michael and I love that song in particular but it's about a guy cheating on his partner so I found it a really strange choice for a first dance!
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Oh no don't worry Mrs Jam - I think the original post said it was his mum, so you're not going mad! I'm fairly sure it's about his dad though.

    I get myself very tied up in knots about lyrics and stuff, because although I love the music itself, I do love listening to the lyrics and thinking about what they might mean, and I completely agree that to really understand a song on a deeper level, you have to listen to the lyrics and think about them, otherwise you're not really ???????getting??????? the whole thing. There are many songs I like that I either don't have a clue what they mean, or I'm not that keen on the lyrics, but they wouldn't be among my favourite songs or songs that make me feel an emotion deeper than a simple sort of happiness.

    Sometimes the beauty of the music will make the lyrics speak more to me and will enhance their meaning, which I know is a daft way of looking at it, so perhaps I'm on my own here! For example, Disarm by the Smashing Pumpkins - it's a gorgeous song with very meaningful lyrics, but the music is so beautiful and evocative, and just makes the lyrics seem so much more powerful to me. If the music wasn't so special, I don't think I'd find the lyrics quite as meaningful as I do - I'm just not always able to separate the lyrics from the music.

    I love that about Tunnels - thanks for sharing image ! I don't think I want to know whether it's real or metaphorical, because both interpretations are lovely! Awwww I reeeeally adore that song - it makes me so emotional! This website you go on sounds interesting, I must check it out!

    I know what you mean about listening to angry songs and feeling happy, and I think Muse, and lots of other very rock-y songs are great for this! Strangely, I find them quite motivational too, like if I have to cook dinner but can't be bothered, I'll play those sort of songs and they'll help me along!

  • 007Aims007Aims Posts: 124
    We were finding it difficult to choose between 2 songs - my all time fav. More than words by Extreme, which doesn't have the greatest meaning in the world although you could interpret it nicely if you want or "our song" Chasing cars by snow patrol - we used to listen to this album laying on the sofa chilling on a sunday evening, and that song always struck a cord with us (and still does)

    Eventually chose Snow patrol cause the lyrics are better (and it reminds us of us) even thought i still prefer more than words as a song. (might ask the band to play that as our 2nd dance or last dance of the evening)

  • saf28saf28 Posts: 645
    Oh no don't worry Mrs Jam - I think the original post said it was his mum, so you're not going mad! I'm fairly sure it's about his dad though.

    I'm really bad at knowing things about music - I thought it was about his girlfriend - arghhh!!!
  • mrsj36mrsj36 Posts: 2,340

    Oh dear, I've gone off first dances altogether now - I'm afraid this is one of my pet ponders...

    I must say this is why we sort of went down the p*** take route. We don't 'have' a romantic soppy song. So we found the worst we could then went into the Love Shack to get everyone up and dancing and save ourselves from the awkwardness so many of our friends have said they felt. Our friends are still talking about it now saying how great it was.

    Claire - I couldn't agree more about the disco songs - all were ones we liked and not about love or they lyrics at all. We just wanted everyone to have fun and they did!
  • SwanlakeSwanlake Posts: 1,032
    What a great thread!

    I had a chat with H2B about keeping songs off the list due to meaning and we both decided that as long as our first song wasn't about breaking up or dying, that would be fine. We will probably try and steer clear of any real doom and gloom songs as it is a wedding after all, but won't be too critical of lyrics. We are both huge Cure fans (which is how we met) so many of the songs that we want, if we scrutinzed the lyrics too much, would be on our 'no' list so we are just sticking any real cheese that we both hate on that list as I just cannot bear a lot of music and don't want to be wandering around my wedding reception wondering if it is time to go home yet!

    Our first dance is going to be Mint Car by The Cure - I love it, it is a very happy song (one of their cheesier ones!)







































    I agree that Feeling Good by Muse would be a great song to have! I love Muse and they will definitely be on our playlist!


  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    Sometimes the beauty of the music will make the lyrics speak more to me and will enhance their meaning, which I know is a daft way of looking at it, so perhaps I'm on my own here! For example, Disarm by the Smashing Pumpkins - it's a gorgeous song with very meaningful lyrics, but the music is so beautiful and evocative, and just makes the lyrics seem so much more powerful to me. If the music wasn't so special, I don't think I'd find the lyrics quite as meaningful as I do - I'm just not always able to separate the lyrics from the music.

    Not on your own at all - I absolutely agree with you about this. When I see the words of a song I really like written down I can't read them without hearing the music too, and I forget that if you don't know the music the words probably sound kind of flat, so it's no good quoting them at other people and expecting them to appreciate them in the same way you would if you knew the song. I'm not sure I'm making a lot of sense here, but I'm sure you know what I mean...

    (I've been thinking about the snow in Tunnels, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a bit like American Psycho and the point is that whether it's real or not doesn't matter. I am definitely thinking about this far, far too much...!)

    Going back to the context of first dances for a moment, I think how you see this issue depends on the way you feel about the first dance in general. I know a lot of people see it as something you just have to get through, in which case it doesn't matter in the least what you choose, but to us it was an opportunity to pick one song that really reflected our relationship and how we saw it. Music was a big thing to us as it was probably the one thing that we were both equally excited about, and it was really important to us to get the first dance right (whatever else I don't notice at a wedding, I always remember the first dance song - as well as the readings and the flowers). Even though we really agonised over it, I sort of assumed everyone else would forget about it - so when someone said to me six months after the wedding that they thought the choice of song was perfect, that felt like a huge compliment. :\)
  • Claire07ukClaire07uk Posts: 3,482
    Oh I'm so glad you know what I mean! I wasn't sure if I was making any sense at all! Although I do think some song lyrics are very poetic, there is obviously quite a big difference between the two, and you can't really quote lyrics like you can quote a poem - you really need the music to get the full impact. That's why I'm sometimes reluctant to quote song lyrics in case people think "she's a bit of a loon, those lyrics are crap!". To digress even further, I was listening to some of these songs on the way home, and I think that the singer's voice makes a huge difference too - if you can really hear the passion and sincerity in their voice, then I find that the song resonates even more with me. You might be the best singer in the world, but if you don't sound as though you mean what you're singing, it isn't going to work. And I think that's why those songs are some of my favourites as well - because the passion in the singers' voices just shines through, and you know that what they're singing means a huge deal to them. I'm sure that's a completely obvious point, but I felt like a ramble!

    I also don't think that the meaning of the snow matters at all, because both interpretations are lovely, and kind of come back to the same meaning anyway, but I've no idea about American Psycho I'm afraid - it sounds scary and I hate scary films!

    I'm really glad that someone told you they thought your first dance song was perfect, because sometimes such meaningful details can go unnoticed, so I bet it made you really happy to hear that, especially as so much thought went into it!
  • banana_jambanana_jam Posts: 2,215
    To digress even further, I was listening to some of these songs on the way home, and I think that the singer's voice makes a huge difference too - if you can really hear the passion and sincerity in their voice, then I find that the song resonates even more with me.

    Ah yes, good point well made! Which brings me to a few more thoughts:

    1. Is it ever possible to sing a song with absolute sincerity that you didn't write yourself? I suspect it probably is, as long as it's about something you can relate to in some way. But if you're singing from a point of view other than your own, can you still sing it properly sincerely (I think it was WH Auden who said that a poet should only ever write with his own voice if he's really going to mean it: do we agree?), and if so, is there an element of acting involved here as well? (I think there is still a limit to the number of subjects or viewpoints you can sing with any real sincerity in any case. I'd be hard pressed to find a Sugababes song I could sing with real feeling...)

    2. Isn't it fun when you hear a different version of a song - like a cover or something, or hear it done in a different style - and it's like you hear it for the first time? When I really like a song I usually think covers of it are rubbish, but in other cases I don't take much notice of a song in its original form and only really listen to it when I hear it sung differently. I think this is particularly the case with songs you hear all the time - Bohemian Rhapsody is possibly the classic example, because it's become so ubiquitous that you kind of stop listening to it, and it's only when it's shaken up a bit that you hear it again. Does anyone know what I mean...?

    (Claire, just to explain the American Psycho thing (can I go any more off-topic?!) - basically this guy goes round committing a whole bunch of really horrific murders but no-one takes any notice of it, even when he admits to having done them. The thing is that you're never quite sure whether he's actually done any of it at all or whether he's just imagining the whole thing - I think in the film it implies pretty clearly that it's all in his head, but the book is a little more ambiguous. Anyway, the way I've always interpreted it is that it doesn't matter whether it's real or whether he's imagining it, because modern society is so self-obsessed that no-one cares anyway - perhaps he really is doing it, perhaps he's not, but either way no-one would take any notice.

    And I think the snow thing is kiiiind of the same idea, but drawing a parallel between Arcade Fire and American Psycho is wrong on so many levels...! image )
  • Wow, I hadn't really thought about this. I totally agree with the inappropriate song, if it means something to you, then it's appropriate.

    I have to scoot off and find something now....

    It's probably going to be WetWetWet "Goodnight Girl" (h2b says it's reminds him of me)
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