Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

The Wedding Song

Katie is posting about the wedding already. This… this unnerves me.

She posted a bunch of details (http://katieadb.wordpress.com/), but I’m still stuck on the first dance.

I keep telling myself we’ve got time before a decision has to be made, and that’s true enough. But I also need to go to dance lessons, so… the first dance at our wedding needs to be to a cool song. Katie is rolling out name after name of bullshit country music, and part of the problem is that our music tastes only overlap in one place: The Boss. A consistent classic.

So while we both love Bruce Springsteen, our tastes fall either side of him. I like metal, melodeath, darkwave, industrial… She likes country music and a bunch of stuff that I can’t even identify, let alone quantify. All I know is that when she’s playing music, I can’t hear any keyboards; the drummers seem to fear going fast; and most confusing of all, the guitars aren’t even plugged in.

You have guys singing slowly about losing girls in the war, and American weirdos going on about Jesus. I think they might even be Republicans.

So, y’know, fuck that.

Of course, the obvious choice would be to choose a Springsteen song, but most of those are monumentally depressing. I mean, have you heard The RiverGlory Days? Hell, even Dancing in the Dark? This is a summer wedding in the Irish countryside, not a funeral for the American Dream. Of course, it being in Ireland, you can guarantee it’ll be absolutely pissing down with rain. But I digress.

We agreed to make a list of 5, and move on from there.

Here’s mine, and whatever happens, all of these better get played on the big day or I’m calling it off, for real. That’s the compromise for me not having any Metallica, In Flames or Monster Magnet on the list. Leaving them off was a true trial.

Pete Townshend – Let My Love Open the Door.

  • One of my favourite songs, and definitely one for the reception. Maybe not first dance material, though.

The Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight

  • One of the bestest and emotionalest songs ever written ever, by anyone, ever, in all of history, ever.

The Wedding Present – (Come Up and See Me) Make Me Smile

  • It’s just wicked-cool. Shut up.

Mumford & Sons – The Cave

  • We both heard this for the first time when we were in the car driving back from the airport after Black Library Live. Not only is it a great song, but it has fiddly-violinny stuff in the background of the later choruses that may appease the Irish natives.

Take That – Rule the World

  • Now Take That are in their 30s and free of the irritating one, they do some really killer songs. And this was the theme to a great fillum, Stardust. (The book was better. Ahem.)

See? Not a single Metallica, Monster Magnet or In Flames song on there. This is me behaving. This is progress.

February 24, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. In terms of first dance material(and hell, you can even get a bit of symbolism going!)–I’m rather partial to the first song.

    If y’know, you’re wanting opinions that is. Hadn’t heard most of these(Smashing Pumpkins and Pete Townshend the only two I had)before, much appreciating the musical exposure.

    Comment by Nick Risley | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. Wedding songs are tricky. For some reason I’ve been obsessed with the idea of playing Love will tear us apart by Joy Division in case I’ll ever get married. Tonight Tonight is fukken pretty. I always liked that song. Anyway, good luck with it, I hope you’ll be able to agree on something.

    (And yes, the book was indeed better.)

    Comment by Z | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. Smashing Pumpkins, man. That’s the way to go.

    Comment by Steveman | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. I am pleasantly surprised. These are all pretty good. I would rule out two however, not because their bad songs but just because i don’t think their first-dancey. I’d rule out another one because although I love it and it’s just the kind of music I like I don’t think it has the right air either. Of the last two, both are definite options, but one was already on my own list. We might have found it 🙂

    Comment by Katie | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. I was going to reply on here, but I already replied on FaceFrak. Besides, I was worried this place would list me as ‘Anonymous’ or some other soul stealing jazz.

    Anyway, forget what I said before. Just go for ‘Let My Love Open the Door’ like a real man.

    Comment by Nik | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  6. How about I’m On Fire?

    Not me, personally, but the Bruce Springsteen song? The Bat For Lashes version is good, too:

    Might still be a little maudlin.

    I’d say the Wedding Present is the best of these ones. Cheerful song and there is a wedding connection in the band name. Although, yeah… That Take That song is great. But I didn’t say that, you know, if anyone asks.

    Also, Pete Townshend desperately wanted to be Peter Gabriel at one point didn’t he? Did you know that Pearl Jam have done a version of that song, here’s a fifteen year old live clip:

    Comment by G | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  7. Don’t worry Aaron, once you get that wedding band around your fingers Katie will get to decide what music you like from now on. 😉

    And what is wrong with country music???

    Comment by John the Great | February 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Can I marry you instead? XD

      Comment by Katie | February 24, 2010 | Reply

      • Woo! Marriage! Now there’s something you should know. I might not be the most attentive spouse, but I promise if I ever bring home Gerard Butler I’d share. 😉

        Comment by John the Great | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  8. As a pending victim of the soul sucking, manhood crushing disease that is marriage I feel your pain.

    Personally, aside from the Pumpkins your suggested songs are all a bit poncey, and out of character to the persona expressed in your rambling blog posts (which are a great read by the way).

    The one by mumford & sons was alright I guess, but surely you could slip a bit of Unforgiven or One in their somehow – not all Metallica is thrashing hard.

    You could always fall back on my old favourite, the Beatles or Lennon – lots of lovey dovey in there, and their british to boot.

    Comment by Rogue Pom | February 25, 2010 | Reply

    • =(

      Comment by Katie | February 25, 2010 | Reply

      • It’s not really that upsetting. I love my missus dearly but she is a real ‘Bridezilla’ when it comes to this wedding thing. It doesn’t help when 3 of our mates are also getting married and I have 4 chick-a-dees going on about flower arrangements, dress colours, musical choices etc.

        My view on it is that it is meant to be both of our days (or in your case both yours and ADBs), and that I should have as much enjoyment out of it as her, and it shouldn;t be tailored to please the inlaws etc.

        You guys need to go with what suits both your tastes.

        Comment by Rogue Pom | February 27, 2010 | Reply

  9. why dance lessons? All we did was steadily shift our weight from one foot to other while having a hug, the actual movement around the room happens without you really thinkin about it.
    We agonised over the first dance for weeks but I n the end we decided not to be too precious and just pick one. To this day I feel seriously uncool saying it was a remix of a DJ Sammy cover of a Bryan Adams song but its short, very chilled, a ballad and the lyrics are perfect and to this day when I hear it on some shitty commercial radio station it makes me smile.
    I love weddings.

    Comment by Kane's Dad | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  10. Y’know, being a metal fan, I sometimes slow down with certain songs of Nick Cave. =)

    Especially the duet with Kylie Minogue “Where the wild roses grow” *re-checks the spelling…* is a fun one to dance to I think. It’s not especially depressing, subtle but sick enough for a metal fan and maybe a good one for this situation.. (Heck.. I might try slipping it by my GF when I finally grow the cojones to ask her.. ^_^)

    Comment by Daemon | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  11. But why not just take small local band with some medieval music? I am almost sure it will not make much trouble to find some of them. And maybe guests will like it more?…

    Comment by Aekold | February 25, 2010 | Reply

  12. Go for Take That….but go for Shine instead.

    Comment by Xhalax | February 26, 2010 | Reply

  13. I must admit, it is an amazing mental image you give, of learning to bust out the funk, as if the first dance will be the eternal signifier of your coolness and maturity..
    Have you considered some classic rock-esque stuff?
    Hendrix, Cream, somethting similar?
    Out of the list above I’d have gone for Tonight, Tonight, though my other thought would be for maybe this:

    Comment by Fantomex | February 27, 2010 | Reply

  14. Go for Take That – Rule the World. That song gets me every time. Just don’t let any of your friends switch out the song with AcDc’s Highway to Hell. I swear I’ll never hear the end of that one. Let my love open the door is a great song also.

    Comment by Mal | February 27, 2010 | Reply

  15. Classy cool you say?

    Muse Unintended? If you like I can play it live!

    Comment by Tim Kenyon | February 27, 2010 | Reply

  16. Can’t you even sneak “Nothing Else Matters” in there for Metallica? Hell, Bif Naked did a girly version if it helps?

    And remember – at least you didn’t suggest NIN’s Closer. That should earn you brownie points.

    Comment by Gem | February 28, 2010 | Reply

  17. Have you tried ‘Skyclad’? May possibly cover both tastes to some degree.

    Comment by Tom | March 24, 2010 | Reply

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