Your Song is on The Knot’s list of the 50 best first dance songs. This was Elton John’s first big hit, and to this day, it is still considered one of his best.
Sir Elton recorded it when his vocal chops were at their best, as you can hear below in this remastered recording:
Elton’s tender melody is a perfect match for Bernie Taupin’s lyrics, which includes this classic line:
“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words,
how wonderful life is while you’re in this world.”
Imagine dancing your first wedding dance to this incredible song. Ah … but the question is, to whom’s version of this song should you dance?
As with any classic song, other great artists flock to it with their own unique interpretations.
Remember our earlier blogpost, “Fabulous Cover Songs that Blew Away the Original?” Sometimes the upstarts exceed their masters.
For example, the English singer, Ellie Goulding, knocks Your Song out of the park with this haunting rendition:
Ms. Goulding reharmonizes the verses to give her own, unique stamp of approval to Sir Elton’s and Bernie’s masterpiece.
One of rock’s biggest super stars, Lady Gaga, takes it in a different direction with her husky vocals:
Millennials with a penchant for classic rock may find themselves drawn to Three Dog Night’s 1970s cover of Your Song.
Not to be outdone, movie director, Baz Luhrmann, incorporated Your Song into the movie, Moulin Rouge, with over-the-top audacity, as you can see below:
You just can’t look away as Ewan McGregor woos Nicole Kidman in this vibrant cover of a classic song.
Which version is best? That’s your call, because this is your wedding. DJ Brian Anderson can play any version you prefer. We offer the flexibility, the professional flair, and the state-of-the-art technology to create a magic moment that declares, “this is your song.”
I love a good song. Why do you think I started DJ Brian Anderson? A good song makes people happy, or moves them in some sort of profound way. That’s why we’ve written a number of blogposts on favorite songs for a first dance. In today’s post, let’s take a look at some lesser-known, untraditional first dance songs.
Untraditional first dance songs
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes recorded a song called “Man of Fire” with these lyrics:
I’m a man on fire
Walking down your street
With one guitar
And two dancing feet
Only one desire
That’s left in me
I want the whole damn world
To come and dance with me.
This is a folk-rock song that warms up a crowd and gets them itching to hit the dance floor:
Ben Folds wrote a tender love song you may not know called “The Luckiest.” It’s a lovely song defined by Folds’ strong piano playing and wistful vocals.
The a cappella octet, VOCES8, gave “The Luckiest” the a cappella treatment. Wow! These British vocal stylists take Folds’ lyrics to a new level with a sumptuous arrangement by Jim Clements. Check it out, this is really worth a listen:
The a cappella treatment isn’t for everyone.
But then again, that’s what defines untraditional first dance songs. They’re not for everyone. But it might be right for you.
Folds’ doesn’t get hung up on a rhyme scheme in his lyrics:
I don’t get many things right the first time,
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns the stumbles,
And falls brought me here
And where was I before the day
That I first saw your lovely face,
Now I see it every day
And I know
That I am, I am, I am, the luckiest
But the message of a flawed man finding love is timelessly appealing.
Looking for a more uptempo untraditional first dance song? Johnny Stimson wrote a real catchy tune called “A Million Years” with fun lyrics like these:
My, my I’m singing to the open sky
Oh my dear I’m hoping you can hear
And all my life your the only one I’m thinking of
And I will love you for, a million years
Yes, there are timeless classic songs that will always be favorites for the first dance at weddings. But sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box and consider some untraditional first dance songs.
DJ Brian Anderson has a library of thousands (and thousands!) of the best songs ever written. Want your wedding reception to rock? Check us out!
Tradition is the glue that holds our world together. Right? Wrong … at least according to modern couples who increasingly distance themselves from the customs that so defined traditional weddings.
“Fiddler on the Roof” extolled the virtues of tradition
The virtues of tradition are gloriously proclaimed in the classic song, “Tradition,” (above) which opens the Broadway musical, “Fiddler on the Roof.” Watch the character, Tevye, make the case for tradition, including arranged marriages (below)! Needless to say, Millennials aren’t buying any of it.
The Knot studied these changing wedding traditions, and you’ll find them pretty interesting. For example, nine out of ten couples have jettisoned traditional seating arrangements at wedding ceremonies. They don’t care about a “bride’s side” or a “groom’s side”. Ushers are allowed to seat guests in a more balanced, comfortable way.
At the reception itself, many couples are moving away from a bouquet or garter toss.
It’s no surprise that couples are more likely to be co-habitating than ever before. In 2010, 44% of couples lived together at the time they got married. By 2018, the number was up to 54%.
Couples back away from identifying as brides or grooms
In fact, the Knot says these couples view themselves more as a ‘couple’ than a ‘bride’ or ‘groom.’ As a result, for 26% of couples, mixed gender wedding parties replace traditional wedding showers.
What modern couples want to create, The Knot learned, is a unique wedding experience that is fun. That’s why DJ Brian Anderson may be the perfect fit for your upcoming wedding. We’ll customize entertainment options to your personality to create a unique wedding experience that is ridiculously fun!
We can blend DJ talent, music, lighting, and photo booth in unique ways to honor … or bend … traditional weddings! It’s your call. Your wedding day is all about YOU and DJ Brian Anderson knows how to help you create new traditions.
Check us out without obligation.
Engaged? Answer these four questions to see what really matters to you when planning your wedding reception. Do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a romantic one?
Or do you prefer a fun wedding reception to an elegant reception?
Do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a down-to-earth reception?
Or do you prefer a fun wedding reception to a classic reception?
The Knot tracks these kind of trends. Their latest wedding study revealed a shift in the type of wedding reception couples want on their big day. Here are the top 5 descriptors in order:
- Romantic (27%)
- Fun (25%)
- Elegant (22%)
- Down-to-earth (22%)
- Classic (20%)
As recently as 2015, only 19% of couples wanted a “fun” reception, so you can see that a fun wedding reception is really gaining traction.
But here’s the question: are you forced to sacrifice ‘romance’ or ‘elegance’ to have a fun wedding reception? No, not if you choose DJ Brian Anderson to provide customized DJ entertainment at your affair.
Several variables influence the mood, including the music, the lighting, and the level of interaction a DJ has with your guests. There’s no law that says it’s all or none.
In other words, part of your reception can be romantic and elegant. And as the party of heats up, we can let our hair down and ratchet up the interaction and fun.
Create a unique guest experience
Even more, we offer add-ons like photo booth to create a unique guest experience. In fact, 40% of wedding couples go with extra guest entertainment, like photo booth, compared to just eleven percent in 2009.
Your wedding reception doesn’t have to be all romance OR all fun OR all elegance. It can be ALL of the above! And with DJ Brian Anderson, you’ll enjoy customized entertainment tailored to your dreams and the guest experience you desire.
As far as DJ Brian Anderson is concerned, every wedding reception should be a fun wedding reception. With us, it will be!
Last week’s blogpost talked about a bad cover song that ruined the first dance for a bride. Sometimes, though, a great artist builds on the legacy of the original version of a song and surpasses it with a fabulous cover song of his or her own.
As a wedding DJ, DJ Brian Anderson gets requests all the time for songs that aren’t performed by the original artist. We can play any version you want.
You know how subjective this can all be. Some brides and grooms, or their parents, simply love the original artist, and nothing can touch that version.
But then they hear a younger artists breathe new life into a masterpiece, leaving them awestruck that maybe, just maybe, that’s a little better than Sinatra or Elton John performed it.
A few fabulous cover songs
Speaking of Elton John, let’s look at a few fabulous cover songs that surpassed the original. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was one of Sir Elton’s greatest hits, both artistically and commercially. It’s a tough song to sing because of its broad range, so not many artists cover it.
Sara Bareilles took on the challenge and simply made the song her own. Her re-harmonized piano chords are haunting, and her vocal stylings simply soar, releasing all the emotion packed into Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. Even Elton John was blown away by her interpretation of his soft rock ballad! This is a simply fabulous cover song of a masterpiece:
And speaking of Sinatra, one of his all-time biggest hits was Cole Porter’s “I’ve got you under my skin.” With a virtuosic arrangement by Nelson Riddle coupled with the ‘Chairman of the Board’s’ impeccable vocal phrasings, no one could touch Sinatra’s version. That is, until Diana Krall came along.
Ms. Krall knew that no one could make that song swing better than Ol’ Blue Eyes, so she performs it the exact opposite: nice and slow. Experience a fabulous cover song performed by an artist at the top of her game:
One of the all-time greats
Some songs are so good that they just beg to be sung by scores of different vocal artists. One such song is the beautiful, “I Will Always Love You,” written by Dolly Parton. This song is so good, that Dolly’s vocal version hit #1 on Billboard’s list of Hot Country Songs not once, but twice! Could anyone possibly top Dolly? Yes. Whitney Houston recorded one of the most electrifying songs ever with her take on this classic. She sang it in the 1992 movie, “The Bodyguard.” It’s so good, it is one of the best-selling singles. EVER.
Here is a fabulous cover song for the ages:
Wedding receptions rely on the art of the song to express what you’re feeling on your wedding day. Joy. Love. Peace. Hope. Each bride, each groom is unique. What songs define you and love story?
Music connects us. DJ Brian Anderson will play the version YOU want. Do you have a fabulous cover song you want us to play for your first dance? Don’t worry, we probably already have it … or we’ll get it.
The timelessness of your first dance is defined by this song. Let’s start planning the music for your celebration of a lifetime!
Never had a bride anticipated her first dance more than Julie (I changed the name to protect the innocent). She and her fiancée, Wally, had diligently, even feverishly, worked on their dance technique to pull off the perfect first dance. And then it all fell apart, leaving them victims of a bad cover song.
Their band had never heard of the song Julie requested for her first dance. They said “not to worry” because they were good musicians with a ‘good ear’ for music. They said they’d have it whipped together by Julie’s wedding day, “no problem.”
Sadly, they were mistaken. For starters, the tempo was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally loved was a slow ballad. The band raced through it hoping no one would notice a few missed notes along the way.
The instrumentation was all wrong. The version Julie and Wally knew and loved featured a keyboard and full orchestra. The band had lead, rhythm, and bass guitars and a drummer. They didn’t have a chance at doing justice to the song with Julie’s high set of expectations.
To top it all off, the version Julie listened to all the time featured a female vocalist with a legendary voice. The local band only had a male vocalist with a pretty decent voice, but again, nothing could meet Julie’s expectations except the actual version of the song itself. A bad cover song was simply a disaster.
Don’t be the victim of a bad cover song!
This situation reminds me of a whole lot of very funny Saturday Night Live skits over the years with cast members relishing in performing a very bad cover song.
Here’s an example featuring Bill Murray from years ago:
Now if you were a fan of the classic song, “Up, Up, and Away” popularized by the Fifth Dimension, you’ll be more partial to their version:
Dig those threads!
Bill Murray totally butchers another golden oldie, “Raindrops keep falling on my head,” and he does it with such relish! For those of you who prefer the original from the classic movie, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” you’ll be more partial to this version:
DJ Brian Anderson knows a lot of bands in the area, and there are some good ones. But let’s face it, each band is limited by instrumentation and personnel. On the other hand, with a professional DJ company like ours, you’re going to hear the exact version of the song you know and love. Your first dance will meet and exceed your dreams with us, whether the song is from today or yesteryear.
We not only have the versions of your favorite songs you prefer, we play it on the best equipment with clear, beautiful sound. And we bathe the dance floor with professional lighting effects to enhance the moment even more.
Don’t be a victim of a bad cover song like Julie to whom I referred above. Let DJ Brian Anderson play your music your way. This is your day. You deserve exactly what you want!
Don’t you love the songs written by Herman Hupfeld? Wait … what?! Who the heck is he? He’s simply the guy who wrote one of the most beloved songs in American music history, “As Time Goes By.” This blog ranks it as the #1 first dance song ever, and The Knot has it close behind at #3 on their list.
Some of his hits include the renown “When Yuba Plays the Rhumba on the Tuba,” “Untitled,” and “A Hut in Hoboken.” Actually, I’ve never heard of any of his songs other than As Time Goes By, and that’s fine with me. What a classic!
Casablanca made it famous
What’s interesting is that he wrote the song way back in 1931, and it became a modest hit. But then it was featured in the timeless 1942 cinema classic, “Casablanca,” and the rest is history.
The opening lyrics are memorable:
You must remember this,
a kiss is still a kiss,
a sigh is still a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As Time Goes By.
Here’s the scene that launched the song
Here’s the scene from Casablanca that launched “As Time Goes By” into the realm of the all time greats:
The song drips with romance. That’s why it may just be perfect for your first dance. But you’re faced with a dilemma: which version is right for you? How about a nice jazzy, sophisticated rendition as offered by the late, great Peggy Lee:
Here’s a version I love by Natalie Cole, because it includes the little-sung verse. Well done, Natalie:
You can always count on Andy Williams to treat a romantic ballad with respect. He doesn’t disappoint! Imagine your first dance to his take on “As Time Goes By:”
Carly Simon imbues the song with her distinctive voice:
Do you like nostalgia? You’ll really make a statement if you go with Jimmy Durante’s version. Totally cool!
Let me leave you with a particularly romantic version of this great song, sung by Harry Nilsson and arranged by Gordon Jenkins featuring a full orchestra:
Do any of these renditions of “As Time Goes By” fit your style? Here’s the thing: the song is nice and short, which makes it a very nice first dance song. After all, your guests are chomping at bit to get on the dance floor (especially if we are DJing your wedding!), so three minutes is just about right.
DJ Brian Anderson can play any version you like best
And here’s the other thing: we can play any version of this classic song you like, unlike local bands. (By the way, we love bands … especially the good ones, but they may not know the song, and certainly can’t sing it like Peggy, Natalie, or Andy does!)
I’m in this business because I love music, and I love making brides and grooms happy by playing the perfect songs on their wedding day.
Okay, you’ve listened to the songs above. Who sang it best?
Poor Millennials. They seem to be the butt of a lot of jokes these days. Our guess is that the older generations are just jealous. On the other, hand the culture and technology have changed enough that the Millennial marriage proposal in the video below has just enough plausibility to elicit a good laugh. What do you think?
Hey, but let’s be honest. The Generation Xers, Baby Boomers, and the Silent Generation would kill to have their own marriage proposal captured for posterity in a nice video to share on social media with their aging pals. But back in that “horse and buggy era,” dazzling technology just wasn’t available.
The video really is hysterical because the young woman is obsessed with getting her proposal absolutely perfect at the expense of spontaneity. In a way, DJ Brian Anderson understands her point. In fact, we love a client like her, because we want everything perfect for her wedding reception.
No surprises with DJ Brian Anderson
We’re really, really good at it. We offer planning tools that simplify the whole planning process. There are no surprises. Even more, we connect with your other wedding vendors to be sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to key points in your reception, such as wedding toasts, the first dance, and the cake cutting.
These moments are just as photo/video worthy as your wedding proposal. We’ll MC the event with impeccable timing and tasteful music to enrich your memories for generations to come.
You know what else makes all those older generations jealous? The awesome technology we bring to you wedding celebration, including state-of-the art DJing, complete with clear, controlled sound; decor lighting that transforms a plain hall into a palace; and photo booths. They didn’t have it this good, but you do!
So before we poke too much fun at the millennial marriage proposal above, let’s pause and celebrate just how much better off today’s brides are than yesteryear’s.
A lovely little piece of baroque music written more than three centuries ago was resurrected in a Robert Redford movie and somehow became wedding magic. Yes, Johann Pachebel’s repetitive little ditty known as Pachebel’s Canon is one of the most popular wedding ceremony entrance songs for brides.
Robert Redford resurrected Pachebel’s Canon
In his directorial debut, Robert Redford and his music director, Marvin Hamlisch, used a piece of this music in the Academy Award movie, Ordinary People, as you can see and hear in the clip below:
Although this isn’t a wedding scene, brides-to-be loved the regal, simple melody and made it a wedding staple in American weddings. The tune features an eight note melody line that is repeated 27 times in various configurations. Most wedding ceremonies only require a few repeats for the bride to make her entrance and walk down the aisle to her waiting beloved.
Here is what the original arrangement sounds like:
Here is a version for solo piano. Since most weddings have a pianist, they use this arrangement the most:
When you add a full orchestra, the piece is simply majestic. Listen to the Academy of St. Martin’s in the Field orchestra give it the full treatment:
Can’t afford an orchestra? No problem!
Most brides can’t afford an orchestra, or even a string quartet at their wedding ceremonies. No problem. DJ Brian Anderson provides ceremony music with clear, controlled sound. Call us if you want exactly the music you love played during your wedding ceremony. There’s no need to settle for a pianist when you can have an orchestra.
To be honest, not everyone loves Pachebel’s Canon. Here is comedian/musician Rob Paravonion’s very funny rant on how much he hates the piece:
But don’t let Mr. Paravonion spoil your fun. He’s simply a frustrated cello player. Three centuries of music lovers keep coming back to Pachebel’s Canon in D.
Millennials are interesting. They by and large have similar beliefs on heaven, hell, and miracles as previous generations. They pray. But they don’t attend church regularly, because they’re not all that comfortable with organized religion. Nonetheless, when it comes time for planning their wedding ceremonies, they are totally interested in including popular wedding Bible verses.
As you can see in the accompanying chart, the next generation born after 2000 tend to be a little more prayerful than those born in the 80s or 90s. As we pointed out in a previous blogpost [The changing role of religion in modern weddings], even though Millennials are less religious by some metrics, they typically want to include God in their ceremony to honor the solemnity as well as the joy of the occasion.
Popular wedding Bible verses
We touched upon a few popular verses in a previous post. We barely scratched the surface. For example, savor the logic of this beautiful Jewish scripture from the the Book of Ecclesiastes (4:9)
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?”
Some believe Ecclesiastes was written by King Solomon, considered to be one of the wisest sages of the ancient world. Here’s another thought provoker from the same book (4:12):
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
So if the first strand is the husband and the second strand is the wife, what is this ‘third’ strand to which Solomon refers? It is God. Couples who invoke this scripture passage are acknowledging that God will be a part of their marriage.
Bible verses for atheists
Suppose you’re an agnostic or an atheist. Does any of this apply to you? Certainly. Wisdom is wisdom, as you can see in this passage written by St. Paul in Romans (13:8):
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
Psalm 143:8 tenderly reveals how trust is central to loving another, which is why this is a wonderful Bible verse for your wedding ceremony:
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
The most romantic book in the Bible is Song of Solomon. This passage (4:9) gives you a taste of what is to come:
“You have captivated my heart, my sister, my bride; you have captivated my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.”
I’ve barely scratched the surface. Let me leave you with this beauty written by St. John in 1 John 4:12:
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
God is a mystery to man in so many respects. Religious tradition says that it is through sacred scripture that we get to know Him. That’s why popular wedding Bible verses never grow old. That’s why one of these gems might just be perfect for your wedding ceremony.
The perfect complement to a perfect wedding ceremony is a perfect wedding reception. That’s where we come in. We know how to pack a dance floor with fabulous, customized entertainment. Learn more today without obligation.