Weddin' music?
April 11, 2005 10:02 AM   Subscribe

I'm playing a wedding in May, after having responded to a CL post requesting a wedding guitarist who could play dylan. The bride and I have exchanged e-mails, and it seems that the only song she demands is "I want you" by Bob Dylan. I have carte blanche for the rest of the songs. Any suggestions?

I'm a fingerstyle guitarist and will be performing solo. The only requirement is that the songs not be about breakups. Other than that, it's all up to me. 90 minutes of music. I've got about half that much planned. The remaining 45?
posted by The White Hat to Media & Arts (26 answers total)
By the way, this is for the service, not the reception.
posted by The White Hat at 10:03 AM on April 11, 2005

"You ain't goin' nowhere." Everyone can sing along. (Perhaps more appropriate at the reception.)
posted by scratch at 10:16 AM on April 11, 2005

Does it have to be all Dylan now that she has specified the one song? Hard to find non-cynical Dylan songs.
posted by Rumple at 10:22 AM on April 11, 2005

some good lovey, non-breakup ones

shelter from the storm
i'll be your baby tonight
tonight i'll be staying here with you

they work with really any tempo and feel you want
posted by poppo at 10:25 AM on April 11, 2005

Tupelo Honey - Van Morrison
Cecilia - Paul Simon
Beautiful People - Rusted Root
Open Arms - Journey
posted by UncleHornHead at 10:28 AM on April 11, 2005

Uncle Hornhead, I think White Hat was looking for Dylan only.

In any case, I'm not sure Cecilia is appropriate. She has left him and also cheated on him.
posted by poppo at 10:40 AM on April 11, 2005

Oh, no, anything by any artist. Her only stipulations were that one Dylan song and that the rest not be about breakups.
posted by The White Hat at 10:43 AM on April 11, 2005

How about Shelter From the Storm by Dylan?
posted by spicynuts at 11:03 AM on April 11, 2005

Nick Cave - Into my arms
Tim Buckley - I must have been blind

There's a ton of classical guitar that would be appropriate for weddings, too. Bach's Jesu, Joy of Man's Desire, Air on G String and some of his cello suites come to mind. Handel's Water Suite and Largo are evocative of weddings, too.

If the couple is planning to "enter" the reception, you might play Pachelbel's Canon upon their entrance.
posted by boo_radley at 11:21 AM on April 11, 2005

As a Dylan freak who had a bluegrass band that played Dylan at her wedding, I second "You Ain't Going Nowhere." That would have been "our song" to dance to, had either of us been inclined to follow that tradition... A lot of Dylan songs are about break ups, or involve a mournful take on love, but YAGN works pretty well. "Mississippi" is another good one (we've each got half of a line from that song engraved on the inside of our wedding rings).
posted by handful of rain at 11:26 AM on April 11, 2005

"Since You've Asked" by Judy Collins, "In My Life" by Lennon/McCartney, "Thank You" by Dido, "Happiness Runs" by Donovan, "Danny's Song" by Loggins and Messina,
"Blackbird" by Lennon/McCartney (processional and recessional) "Wind Beneath My Wings," "I Will Always Love You"
posted by Lynsey at 11:28 AM on April 11, 2005

I'm playing a wedding in July, and am operating under orders that Lenny Kravitz's "Let Love Rule" must be played. So I guess that might be a good wedding song.

Although I am as we speak trying to convince the groom that "What's So Funny About Peace, Love, and Understanding?" might not work that well as a recessional, so this might not be the best source for wedding music tips.
posted by COBRA! at 11:34 AM on April 11, 2005

Well I'm a Dylan-o-phile so I reckon he's got a back catalogue appropriate for everything. My brother had Dylan's Wedding Song during their service. I'd also recommend Love Minus Zero/No Limit and Girl From the North Country.
That is, if you are actually looking for more Dylan?? And will you be singing?? They both put a very different perspective on things of course. Some of Dylan's stuff is simple chord-wise I guess.
Otherwise I'd go with Van Morrison who has a plethora of appropriately beautiful songs. There's a pretty good cross respect between fans of Dylan/Van I'd reckon.
posted by peacay at 11:53 AM on April 11, 2005

What?! I can't believe no one has mentioned There is Love (Wedding Song).

And now for my serious suggestion: The One Rose (That's Left in My Heart).
posted by Otis at 11:55 AM on April 11, 2005

"Where Would I Be (Without You) - Nanci Griffith
"Baby, Now That I Found You" - Alison Krauss
"Let's Stay Together" - Al Green
"Lovers in a Dangerous Time" - Bruce Cockburn, U2, etc.
"And I Love Her" - Beatles
"Diamonds on the Inside" - Ben Harper
"I'll Be Around" - The Spinners, Joan Osborne, etc.
"Ten Year Night" - Lucy Kaplansky
"Lead Me On" - Kelly Joe Phelps
"Wildflowers" - Tom Petty
"By Your Side" - Sade
posted by naomi at 11:59 AM on April 11, 2005

Try some Iron and Wine tunes for the service. The music is interesting, beautiful, and perfect for a solo finger picker.

Choice cuts for a wedding could include:

Sunset Soon Forgotten
Sea and The Rhythm
Swans and the Swimming
posted by nyterrant at 12:25 PM on April 11, 2005

Give Yourself to Love - Kate Wolf

Feels Like Home - Chantal Kreviazuk

Lion Song - Harrod & Funck

This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)-Shawn Colvin's version of the Talking Heads (don't laugh! It's lovely.)

And count me in as another vote for Ten Year Night by Lucy Kaplansky
posted by jeanmari at 12:26 PM on April 11, 2005

What about some Crowded House songs? "Better Be Home Soon", "Fall at Your Feet", "Private Universe", there are others which I haven't assessed closely for lyric content! At Australian weddings, Hunters and Collectors "Throw Your Arms Around Me" is popular (usually used as a leaving song at the reception), but just as an instrumental is quite nice too.

James Taylor - "You've Got a Friend", "Fire and Rain". "Everytime you cry" - Human Nature (but could be a cover from someone else). Stuff off Moulin Rouge - "Your Song", "Come What May". Ronan Keating (heard plenty of this at weddings) - "When You Say Nothing at All", "The Way You Make Me Feel". Beatles - "All You Need Is Love". John Lennon - "Stand By Me". Van Morrison - "Have I Told You Lately", "Someone Like You". Leonardo's Bride - "Even When I'm Sleeping". Sophie B Hawkins - "Lose Your Way". Paul McCartney - "My Love".
posted by AnnaRat at 12:55 PM on April 11, 2005

Sorry, thought of more.

When You Know - Shawn Colvin

The Way You Look Tonight - Madeline Peyroux version
posted by jeanmari at 1:42 PM on April 11, 2005

I second "Into Your Arms" by Nick Cave. That's one romantic song. I was also going to suggest "There She Goes, My Beautiful World" off Nick Cave's most recent album, but on closer look, the lyrics are, um, kind of freaky.

Here are some other thoughts, if the couple (or you, for that matter) like country.

"Easy Loving" by Freddie Hart
"Baby, We’re Really in Love" by Hank Williams
"Darling Companion" and "I Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash

A personal favorite of mine is "My Baby Just Cares for Me" by Nina Simone.

You didn't ask, but one good piece of advice I got from a friend who photographs weddings is to keep the audience in mind. If you're going to play indie/alternative/generally lesser-known music, throw the guests bone once in awhile. Doesn't mean you have to get all "Brick House/Butterfly Kisses" on people but playing something recognizable every so often keeps the mood upbeat.
posted by Sully6 at 2:42 PM on April 11, 2005

Thank you much for the song suggestions and other misc. tips. It seems that they want me to sing, so I'm probably going to do a 60-40% lyrical-instrumental mix. I have yet to decide whether to sing like dylan.
posted by The White Hat at 6:46 PM on April 11, 2005

Dylan's 'Make You Feel My Love' from Time out of Mind is lovely.

My ex sang it for his son's wedding, and it's still one of my favorites.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:27 PM on April 11, 2005

John Denver - Annie's Song? Well known and quite meaningful, especially in a wedding context...

That's the "must have" song for my wedding... :-)
posted by Chunder at 6:03 AM on April 12, 2005

Ooh, I missed out on this thread yesterday. I like the Shawn Colvin recs, though I love the version of "Twilight" on the same album.

And also, I continue to believe that Dylan's "Kingsport Town" is one of the most romantic ones out there. (Though it would help if the bride had black hair and was from Memphis.)
posted by onlyconnect at 8:23 AM on April 12, 2005

Harvest Moon
posted by mr.marx at 11:07 AM on April 12, 2005

More Dylan - "The Man In Me". (via a MoFi mix I got from mandyman, that made me think of it)
posted by Melinika at 10:09 PM on April 12, 2005

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