Music, Maestro!

I love music. Or more specifically, I love songs. When a song moves me, it embeds somewhere deep within my sub-conscious and stays there forever.  I also love singing, and although I don’t do it much any more, it used to be a big part of my life.  Singing + a moving song = a happy Sama.  I’m not a ‘music fan’- I’ve never bought a music magazine in my life and I don’t ‘do’ gigs. Generally I like commercial pop, although if I come across an artist or band that stirs something within me, I will buy their album. Therefore the soundtrack of my life is extremely eclectic, ranging from The Backstreet Boys and Britney, through to Ben Folds, Ingrid Michaelson and Anthony and The Johnsons.  Oh and musicals- I’m very partial to a musical.

‘Seasons of Love’ from ‘Rent’- my favourite musical of all time.  Listen to this song and tell me it doesn’t put a smile on your face…

Paul does not like songs, he hates musicals and he definitely does not like singing. He has a very specific and endearingly odd soundtrack to his life which comprises garage and house ‘choons’, classical music (his favourite piece being Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony) and… George Michael.

So when it comes to the soundtrack of our life… together… well, we don’t really have one.  Which does make the wedding music a little difficult to put together.

I was always going to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  My mum had a cassette tape with it on when I was a child (a cassette tape, folks, that’s how long ago it was) which I would, without fail, insist was played during every car journey.  It was, and remains to this day an incredibly beautiful piece of music, and with a string quartet playing it so wonderfully as in the clip below, it really is perfect to walk down the aisle to.  Then ‘Don’t Tell The Bride’ started…and ‘Four Weddings’… and ‘Wedding House’… not to mention the entire back catalogue of Wedding TV… and suddenly every single Tom, Dick and Harry was walking down to the aisle to it, which, I’m sad to say, has put me right off.  Serves me right for watching so many wedding programmes, I suppose.

I thought I wanted people to feel moved when I walked down the aisle, to reflect the momentousness of the occasion. So over the last couple of years I’ve been writing a mental list of ‘potential aisle songs’ which have included Adele’s ‘Make You Feel My Love’, Ingrid Michaelson’s version of ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’, and, of course, that version of ‘Everybody’s Free’ from Baz Lurhman’s Romeo and Juliet.

*** I bloody love this film.  On an entirely un-related note, I hated Claire Danes when this came out; I thought she was gormless, mis-cast and not pretty enough for the role.  Having massively got in to ‘Homeland’, I’ve realised what a flipping fantastic (and beautiful) actress she is, and just from watching this clip alone, can put my initial negativity down to pure jealousy.  She’s perfect in it.  He’s perfect in it.  They’re perfect together…. sigh.***

However, now that we are engaged and the reality is setting in, I’m starting to have a change of heart.  Paul is going to be extremely nervous and I know that he is concerned about welling up and potentially shedding an actual tear during the ceremony, which he categorically does not want to do.  Hell, I’m going to be nervous!  I’m going to be walking in to a room filled with people from various walks and corners of our lives, many of whom have never been in the same room before, some of whom haven’t spoken to each other for years due to all sorts of reasons…. I don’t want people to cry; I want people to relax, to laugh and to generally feel the love.  So I am, at the moment, favouring an a capella version of ‘Chapel of Love’ by The Dixie Cups, sang by… I don’t know yet. Friends? A small choir? A barbershop quartet?

Something as gentle and sweet as these guys would just be perfect.  Do listen all the way through- it’s a really lovely version. Shame they’re all the way in Iceland…

Speaking of barbershop quartets- I love them.  And surprisingly, Paul does too.  Ok, ‘love’ is a strong word, but he enjoys them- especially if they’re singing something humourous and a little bit naughty.  Buoyed by the fact we both like something, I am very keen to hire one to surprise and entertain our guests before and after the ceremony.  Or at least some sort of 3/4 part harmony group.  Anyone got any recommendations? I’ve struggled to find much of a selection on t’internet thus far…

What we have settled on, thank goodness, is the band for the evening.  Paul wasn’t so fussed (he’s brought out in hives at the thought of dancing full stop, whether it’s to a band or a DJ), but for me, a band can make a good wedding great.  Following nights of research, a call-out on Twitter and many, many emails, we/I (I took Paul’s apathy as a Yes) have booked the highly-recommended Flood The Floor– a young, enthusiastic, (hot), all-male five piece group from London, who have fantastic reviews and can do a damn good version of ‘Boom, Shake The Room’.  (No, they really can- YouTube it.)  To say I am excited about this part of the evening is an understatement, to say the least.

Which brings us neatly to the end of the wedding day; the musical finale, if you will.  The song which usually has everyone up on their feet, crowding round the happy couple, singing loudly and drunkenly swaying…

I mentioned in this  post that Paul and I are not having a first dance- he was terrified and I was indifferent, so we’ve chopped it.  Judge us as you will, but we’ve made a decision and we’re sticking to it.  But I am keen on a last dance, with Paul, surrounded by our loved ones all dancing too.  And for me, there’s only one song that could possibly do this moment justice…

Anyone know of a little film called Strictly Ballroom?

It is my all-time favourite film ever, ever, ever- with a stonking soundtrack to boot. ‘Love Is In The Air’ by John Paul Young is my happy song, and I adore the final part of the film where Fran and Scott are having a little snog and the camera slowly pans out to see the dancefloor packed with couples swaying and dancing and smiling.

Unfortunately there were no clips on YouTube of this part of the film, but you can enjoy the song anyway…

Cheesy? Hell yeah.

Happening? Most definitely.

I would love to hear about the music you’re having (or had) on your wedding day.  Anyone else share a love for Strictly Ballroom? (And Rent The Musical, come to think of it.  If so, we need to be friends :))  And if anyone has any suggestions for a small and affordable harmony group to sing for a few hours during the day- please send them my way!  All recommendations gratefully received.

I’m going to be singing ‘Love Is In The Air’ all day now…

Sama xxx

p.s. If you’re reading this at work, or on the bus, or anywhere that prevents you from watching the clips, do pop back later on.  I guarantee they will make you smile.

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