Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our Song

“Oh, my love, my darling

I’ve hungered for your touch

A long, lonely time

And time goes by so slowly

And time can do so much

Are you still mine?

I need your love

I need your love

God speed your love to me!”

- North, Alex, Zaret, Hy. “Unchained Melody” The Righteous Brothers

Last night, when I was driving to pick up my son from a friend’s house, “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers came on from my least hip programmed radio station. I turned to my daughter and asked, “Did you know this was our wedding song?”

A month before the wedding of my husband and me, when the wedding DJ asked for our song, we still hadn’t decided. But we had debated about it.

“Never Tears Us Apart” by INXS had always been one of my favorites. And the part:

“I was standing

You were there

Two worlds collided

And they will never tear us apart”

seemed appropriate for the way we met before Early Morning Gym*. Problem was that my soon-to-be husband didn’t like it.

“I Need Love” by L.L. Cool J was actually on the table for about half–a-second (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/llcoolj/ineedlove.html). My husband used to rap it once in a while to be funny when it was popular so it had sentimental ties to him, I guess.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” was nice, but not really “our” song. I don’t know who suggested it, but my then fiancé decided to use it for the mother-son dance instead. I wound up dancing to “Unforgettable” by Natalie and Nat King Cole with my father, which was all the rage for father-daughter dances back then. (I wonder how Nat would’ve felt about his daughter creating a posthumous duet.)

“One” by U2 was another one of my husband’s choices. If you don’t listen too carefully, it sounds like a love song. A couple of years after we were married, a friend from graduate school thought it was ludicrous the song was considered. “It’s about AIDS,” she said. (I don’t know if that’s true.) I was more concerned with the lyrics:

“You gave me nothing

Now it’s all I got.”

“You ask me to enter

But then you make me crawl

And I can’t be holding on

To what you got

Because all you got is hurt”

“Well we

Hurt each other

Then we do it again”

As usual, my husband failed to listen to the actual words. Or did he….

I suggested “Wrapped Around Your Finger” by The Police, but my soon-to-be husband didn’t like that either, even though it was about getting married + Sting. Perfect combination in my opinion. Though the lyrics are a bit pretentious. I don’t understand half of them: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/sting+police/wrapped+around+your+finger_20132153.html

I began to wonder if it was weird we didn’t really have A SONG. Didn’t every couple have one?

That movie “Ghost” used “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers, so the song had a comeback. I hadn’t seen the movie, and still haven’t. (I often shun popular movies. I still haven’t seen “Titanic” or “Avatar”.) But the song seemed lovely enough, even though it had no connection to us, so we agreed. (And apparently it’s a hard song to sing because they made a big deal of what a good job Clay Aiken did singing it on “American Idol”, not that I’ll admit to watching the TV Show.)

Our wedding day came, and it was time for the dance. It was the first time my husband and I were together in a sort-of-private way since that morning. (My family was stressing me out so he picked me up and we got a cup of coffee at 7-11.) Even though we were young, we waited a long time to marry. He’d been there through my parents’ divorce, a tough family transition, and for all those years of college. He got me. He got my family. He got my mother. As a teenager, I’d decided I’d never marry somebody who didn’t get my mother. He was sarcastic too, so I knew he was the one for me.

Now we had our own apartment in New York City waiting for us to finally move into that night. He and I looked into one another’s eyes with the realization we did it. We were finally married.

And the song became ours.

A couple of months later, I was driving to work and heard “When We Dance” by Sting for the first time:

“I’m still in love with you

(I’m gonna find a place to live

Give you all I’ve got to give)

When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings”

“Come and live with me

We’ll have children of our own

I would love you more than life

If you’ll only be my wife”

Damn, I thought, that would’ve been a good song too.

If only I’d bought the album before the wedding…

If I were getting married today, I’d choose “A Message” by Coldplay:

“My song is love

My song is love, unknown

But I’m on fire for you, clearly

You don’t have to be alone

You don’t have to be on your own"

"And I’m not gonna take it back

And I’m not gonna say, ‘I don’t mean that’

You’re the target that I’m aiming at

And I’m nothing on my own

Got to get that message home”

* Meeting my husband/anniversary Post:



  1. Hope you celebrated with a lot of songs.

  2. What a sweet story. Music is a powerful force :)

  3. This made me cry! I love, respect and admire that after all these years you have the kind of relationship that would have you choose that Coldplay song :)

  4. Awwww Unchained Melody was meant to be your song!! It's WASTED in Ghost - absolutely wasted!! And the only reason for anyone to see Ghost these days is to revel in Whoopie Goldberg's performance!

    I love that pic of you and hubby!! How lovely and romantic. I think you picked the right song!!

    Take care

  5. What a beautiful post, Theresa.

    My husband and I didn't have a 'song', either. We had to really think to come up with one for our first dance!

    I love 'Unchained Melody', though. Good choice.

  6. What a great song you picked, so romantic for that first dance. It must bring back great memories every time you hear it. Our first song was Billy Joel, Just The Way You Are. Thanks for the walk down memory lane today ...

  7. what a gorgeous story. thanks so much for sharing <33

  8. Aww what a sweet post! And that picture is so sweet. You seem to have a wonderful marriage. Your family is very lucky.

  9. Loved this post! I love reading lyrics and I think they ought to be included whenever you buy a song/album.

  10. Such a sweet story :) Thanks for sharing. I love lyrics and wish I had that talent when it comes to writing. Great song!

  11. Beautiful... what a beautiful post! I loved it!! I hope that day remains special every year! I know the hubs and I look forward to the month of October where we remember that day as if it were yesterday.

    Love the picture, very romantic.

  12. What a fun story! I really loved the wedding photo, that's awesome.

    My husband and I don't really have one particular song either. There are songs I remember from different parts of our lives, and hearing them takes me back to that time and place.

  13. Such a romantic post! I have fond memories of most of these songs you listed here, too.

  14. @Cleemckenzie, we celebrated with a lot of songs.

    @ Maybe Genius, I agree, music is a powerful force.

    @ Kathleen, who said the Coldplay song is for my husband? ; )

    @ Old Kitty, thank you. I'm still fond of the song. And I'm with you on Whoopie Goldberg.

  15. @ Talli, you'll have to tell me which song you picked.

    @ Joanne, I've always loved "Just the Way You Are" by Billy Joel. Good choice! But I can't help but notice he hasn't stuck around with one woman very long...

    @ Tahereh, thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

    @ Tiffany, thank you. So far, this family thing has worked out pretty nicely.

  16. @ Vicki, I like that idea too. To me, the words are as important as the music.

    @ Erica, I wish I could write lyrics too. I'm intimidated with the idea of writing poetry.

    @ Jen, we had a nice anniversary this year. Ours is in April. I wanted to get married in October, but I didn't want to wait that long!

    @ Julie, a family-member took this picture. This person captured this intimate moment while my hired photographer only took a posed one.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one without a song.

    @ KarenG, thank you. Most of these songs continue to be my favorites.

  17. Lovely post, Theresa.
    I love the Coldplay one too.
    We married in '91 and we had Michael Ball 'Love Changes Everything' as our wedding dance, he is an English West end musical singer.
    But the song I remember most from the wedding - we had an outdoor garden party till 5am.- was
    REM's 'Shiny, Happy People' which I really feel was our wedding song. It was the song of that summer.

  18. Love this story. The first song can be such a powerful choice. I remember really listening to the lyrics and being shocked by what some songs were really saying! :)

  19. @ Brigid, I just look up your wedding song on iTunes.

    A party until 5 am? Sounds like a lot of fun. I like "Shiny, Happy People". I think they redid that song on Sesame Street, which was pretty funny.

    @ Jemi, that's happened to me too!

  20. This was a very sweet story. You've always seemed to have a wonderful family at your side!

    I guess I'm like your husband: I fail to hear song lyrics, or I just quickly forget them.

  21. This is completely fantastic!!! What a wonderful, fun, sweet, and touching story! And you tell it so engagingly. Unchained Melody is beautiful, but I got sick of hearing it when Ghost came out. We didn't have a wedding but I wonder what we'd have chosen...Roberta Flack's First Time, Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, Goo Goo Dolls Without You Here, or PM Dawn's To Love Me More...I loved the picture and the anniversary post. You married your friend. So did I. How fortunate are we?

  22. Wow, such a beautiful story Theresa, I love Unchained Melody - it's a wonderful song :)

    Thank you for sharing!

    p.s. I had no idea about that "One" song by U2 either!

  23. Unchained Melody is a wonderful wedding song. Just to confess that I fail the marriage quiz, I would have to think for awhile to remember what our wedding song is.

  24. When I was in college, I saw Sarah Mclaughlin in concert, and she did the most amazing version of "Unchained Melody." I wonder if she ever recorded it.

  25. @ Amanda, every time my husband sings a few bars of a song, the lyrics are wrong!

    @ The Words Crafter, we are fortunate.

    I like your song choices. When "In Your Eyes" came out, it was a big song at proms. Probably weddings too. I guess it got popular from that movie "Say Anything".

    @ WritingNut, I bet a lot of people think "One is a love song. "Unchained Melody" was a much better choice!

    @ Slamdunk, you forgot your wedding song?! I think my husband often forgets ours. Now that he's read this post, it will probably stick.

    @ Missed Periods, I bet Sarah Mclaughlin did a great job. I'm going to look for it on You Tube.

  26. This was such a beautiful post. Enjoyed reading it. I have heard Unchained Melody before and its great.

  27. Aww what a sweet post. "Unchained Melody" is beautiful! (I heard it for the first time in Ghost, I admit.)

    I just got married 11 months ago, and our dance song was "Faithfully" by Journey. We liked the emphasis on never leaving each other, and especially since I come from a divorced family, it was encouraging.

  28. @ Mr. Stupid, thank you. "Unchained Melody" is a classic.

    @ Shelley Sly, "Faithfully" was a big one in the 1980s. I used to love the video.

    After going through a parents' divorce, we hope to do everything right.

  29. This is a lovely post. And the song sounds perfect for you. :)

  30. Such sweet memories.

    We didn't have a song picked out in time, either. I told my FIL I didn't want to do a solo dance, but at the last moment he made the announcement and forced me into it. That meant I just picked the first songs I associated with my husband. One a U2 (All I Want) and Sarah McLaughlin (Arms of the Angels).

    And Unchained Melody was my grandparents song too! See? So you're retro without meaning to be. :o)

    I love Coldplay!

  31. @ Sarahjayne, thanks! I can't hear the song without thinking of my wedding day.

    @ Jackee, my friend played "All I want Is You" during her wedding ceremony. I don't know "Arms of the Angels" - I'm going to check it on iTunes now.

    I guess it's good I went retro. If I'd done contemporary, it'd be retro by now!

  32. Hmm.. Interesting to hear the selection process, the songs you chose and the reasons you didn't go with them.
    This prompted me to ask my lover "If we had a song what would it be?" and we both simultaneously said "In the pines"... But that's just because it's one the songs we pull off in harmony.
    I guess we don't really have "a song"... I can see why selecting one was so difficult.
    Sounds like it went off pretty neatly! : j

  33. @ Alesa, how cool you can sing in harmony. I'll have to listen to "In the Pines".

    There were a lot of songs we agreed that we liked but they were too fast. It was harder to pick than I thought it would be. Choosing baby names was harder than I thought it would be too. Once you have to compromise...

  34. Blue grass is pretty easy to sing in harmony to, it's almost designed for it. : j

    Oh yeah wow, baby names... Hmm. Is it much harder than naming characters?
    I guess I'm unlikely ever to know. The closest we've ever gotten to that was naming our cat, which was a cinch. : j

  35. @ Alesa, thanks for the link. That's a different kind of piece than the other commenters' choices.

    Choosing a baby name is much harder because when I decide a character name, I have complete control.