While riding the subway one day in 1987 I saw a woman sitting on the seat next to the pole onto which I was holding. In her lap was a notepad on which was written across the top “Songs for Wedding Reception.” The first song listed was Jody Watley’s “Looking for a New Love.” I saw a divorce lawyer in her future.
“Looking for a New Love” is a fine song, and it was a big hit that year, but at your wedding reception? It’s not like the lyrics could be misunderstood. “I’m looking for a new love, baby / A new love / Yeah yeah yeah.”
I could understand if she had written down the title of R.E.M.’s hit from that year, “The One I Love.” A casual listener may hear “This one goes out to the one I love,” missing the description of this person as “a simple prop to occupy my time.” I love this song and the Jody Watley song, but neither will get played at my wedding reception.
In 1997 I was dating Dr. Leon, the Russian dentist. The Cardigans’ “Lovefool” came on the radio and he told me he loves the song. “So do I,” I replied.
“You? But you’re so unromantic? How could you like such a romantic song?”
First of all, I’m very romantic, so up yours Dr. Leon. I wouldn’t play “Looking for a New Love” at my wedding reception. Secondly, “Lovefool” is a romantic song? “Fool me, fool me / Go on and fool me / Love me, love me / Pretend that you love me.” To quote The Magnetic Fields, how fucking romantic.
I don’t know what the subway woman selected as her wedding song. Maybe it was “Every Breath You Take,” a popular choice for that honor. It’s something that amuses the song’s writer, Sting. He wrote it after splitting with his wife, and calls it “a nasty little song, really rather evil. It’s about jealousy and surveillance and ownership.” Mazel tov!
Some other songs that may not be appropriate for your wedding:
“Best of My Love” by Eagles. “You see it your way, and I see it mine, and we both see it slipping away.”
“Cherish” by The Association. “Perish is the word that more than applies / To the hope in my heart each time I realize / That I am not gonna be the one to share your dreams”
“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston or Dolly Parton. “If I should stay, I’ll only be in your way / So I’ll go”
Today Sting turns 63 years old. We kick off our playlist with “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, from their album Synchronicity. It was the band’s fifth and final album. After that record’s success the group, like many of those who had “Every Breath You Take” as their wedding song, split up. Sting was never heard from again.
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