The first song that I absolutely knew had to be played at our wedding was actually the Father/Daughter dance song -
Tiny Dancer by Elton John.
When I was a little girl, my daddy used to hold me in his arms, stretch out one of my arms in his own, and dance while singing this song to me. Some of my earliest memories include kindergarten Laura, teeth freshly brushed and wearing pajama footies, being serenaded to and dancing with my dad to Tiny Dancer just before bedtime. In fact, the early times being told to "count the headlights on the highway" may be one reason I feel such a connection to songs now while driving at night. My dad has been through a lot these past few years, and my relationship with him is constantly hitting bumps along the way, but I come close to tears every time I hear this song, thinking about the moment my daddy and I will be able to dance to it one more time.
The next song I was absolutely sure about playing for our wedding was -
By My Side by Tyrone Wells.
I couldn't find the song on youtube, but you can listen to it here.
Tyrone Wells is an Orange County musician who's father actually used to be the pastor of my home church. I learned about his music when he and his old band, Skypark, used to come and play. I have owned his first solo album that contains this song for years, but never really heard the song until David and I started talking about marriage. Then, the lyrics really spoke to me -
But, you can take it because you can make it beautiful.
Will you stand beside me the rest of my life?
May I hold you every night?
I want to know when I turn out the light - you'll be near me, by my side.
This heart belongs to you.
This heart would never know what to do in a world without you.
Some of the images of a broken heart and life are pretty raw and make this song not the typical "wedding happy" type song, but I love the meaning behind it all. This song really opened my eyes to the reality of marriage - a true partnership where each part is living for the other. The chorus really made the "every night" part real to me to - I would be with David forever, and I was so excited about that. I don't know when this song will play - perhaps towards the end of the ceremony somewhere, but I know I want people to be able to hear it.
The next music choice that communicates David and I perfectly is the piano renditions of Radiohead songs by
Here he is playing Karma Police. (If you can find a recording of him playing Airbag, give it a listen. It's amazing!)
David and I both share a great love for Radiohead. We both call the band our favorite and finally had the chance to see them live together last year. In fact, Radiohead played a part in bringing us together. David's sister Sarah is one of my very best friends from high school (and now my maid of honor!) and one day out of boredom, David decided to peruse her Myspace friends. When he saw that one of his little sisters friends (yours truly) was a fan of Radiohead, he added me. I remember getting his friend request and saying to my mom, "Sarah's waaay older brother just added me on myspace. Weird." Some time after that we started chatting online and the rest is history.
Anyway, yes, we love Radiohead, but their songs aren't quite the best wedding music. Many of the lyrics are pretty negative about love and while they're some of our favorite songs, they're not really the kind of thing we want playing at our wedding. The solution was pretty easy - play Radiohead songs without the lyrics! David introduced me to Christopher O'Riley and we have both of his albums where he plays Radiohead songs. The beautiful piano renditions are very clearly Radiohead songs to fans, but to people who may not know any better, they sound like phenomenal classical music pieces. We plan on playing these songs during dinner, and we couldn't be more excited about it.
Did you have any songs planned to play at your wedding before there was even a wedding? Why are they meaningful to you? Do you think my choices so far will fit our wedding and the times they're being played?
Stay tuned for more song picks and some I'm not quite sure about!