Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Memory: Wedding Songs

I always cry at wedding songs, no matter how corny they are. For years when I was little I was certain I'd have Noel Stookey's "The Wedding Song" in my own wedding, and later it was John Denver's "Annie's Song." I know those are hugely overplayed and all that, but I still love them. I'm a nerd.

But many years later when Dr. H. and I realized we could get married, we chose our own songs that were somehow significant to us. My brother Stephen and our friend Dave, in the photo above, played their guitars and sang. I think my brother also played the harmonica. The first song was Simon and Garfunkel's "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her," which came from our very early months of dating. Perhaps we might call that our "falling in love" song.

The next song was "Forever and a Day" by Gene Cotton. I seriously can't find a link to that song anywhere. (Gene Cotton had a few hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including "You're a Part of Me," which we also loved but it's more of a breaking-up song.) Anyway, our friends Joel and Lauren had gotten married two years before and had that song at their wedding, so we thought it would be fun for all of us friends to have "Forever and a Day" at our weddings. Besides that, it's a beautiful song. Here's how it starts:
What did you come here for today?
Did you have something you wanted to say?
Or did you just come to get a piece of paper and say I do?
Or did you come to tell everyone that love is forever
and ever and ever and a day.
Anyway, Randy saw Gene Cotton in concert before we were married and had Gene autograph a guitar/piano book; the autograph was very sweet, wishing us well in our marriage.

The third song—the recessional—was Neil Young's "Comes a Time." This we chose because we loved this Neil Young album and for the lyrics.
Comes a time when you're driftin'
Comes a time when you settle down
Comes a light, feelin's lifting
Lift that baby right up off the ground.

Oh, this old world keeps spinning round;
It's a wonder tall trees ain't layin' down
There comes a time.

You and I, we were captured.
We took our souls and we flew away.
We were right—we were giving—
that's how we kept what we gave away.
And so those were our songs. They were exactly right, and I'd pick exactly the same ones all over again.

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  1. "To Me": Anne Murray
    "Love's Grown Deep": Kenny Nolan
    "He Has Chosen You for Me"

    This was in 1986.

  2. "When I Think of Home" Bryan Duncan
    "This Love Blows my Mind" Jeff Moody
    "Love Will be Our Home" Sandi Patty

    Sung by:

    1) Scott Bell
    2) Scott & Brenda (Harmon) Bell
    3) Lori (my sister

  3. "One hand, One heart" from West Side Story
    "Go There with You" Steven Curtis Chapman
    I think we did have the Weddding song...but the two above were the ones that meant the most to me..

  4. We just had a pianist at our wedding and reception.

    She played "Gymnopedie #1" by Satie just before I walked in, "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" as I walked in, and "Bess You is my Woman Now" (from Porgy and Bess) as the recessional. That last was a joke on my husband, who jokingly asked the pianist if she could play it. He didn't mean it, but I told her to do it. One person did ask me "Do you know what she was playing as you walked out???" A few people got the joke; most didn't know the tune.

    A favorite played during the reception: "If I Only Had a Brain."

    We sure had fun.

  5. I wish I had some wedding songs to share, but we were married in Texas (where we were stationed at the time) and our wedding was pretty small. We didn't have a full up reception with dancing and music.


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