The 5 Happy Songs You Should Avoid for your Wedding

June 13, 2018

Yay! You’re married! Yes! Celebrate good times, come on! (Yes, the tune of that particular track is in your head now, isn’t it? Mwahahaha) The problem is that once the vows are completed and many drinks have been downed, it’s time for a good old disco boogie and nobody is sober enough to realise that some of these happy-sounding songs aren’t actually all that positive when you stop to listen to the lyrics.

So sit back and enjoy as we take you through the five songs you shouldn’t have at your wedding.

Every Breath You Take

It comes up all the time in these sorts of lists and there’s a very good reason for that. Some couples have picked this song as their first dance, thinking the song’s narrator is watching over their one true love. There’s an inkling of truth to that but unfortunately, the song itself is about a stalker and the 'one true love' doesn't appear to be all that enamoured by their suitor. “Every step you take, I’ll be watching you... Oh can’t you see you belong to me?” Hmm. Not the finest choice for your wedding really, is it? Thankfully, Scala have recorded a version that manages to effectively convey just how creepy the song is.

99 Red Balloons

Oh, now we’re talking. As Uncle Terrence hip thrusts across the dance floor with abandon, the room is engulfed with cheers as the dulcet tones of Nina Hagen emanate from the speakers. Her eighties hit, 99 Red Balloons, certainly seems happy enough if you only listen to the tune. But to the few sober guests at your wedding taking in the words, it may be a bit of a mood killer. Happy this is not. The song essentially morphs from a dainty ballad about two kids buying balloons into a nuclear nightmare as the government somehow confuses the balloons for an attack and destroys the city. On the bright side, Nina survives, “It’s all over and I’m standing pretty, in this dust that was a city...” Hmm.

My Heart Will Go On

What would a wedding be without Celine Dion’s vocal chords getting an airing? “Near, far, wherever you are, my heart will go on.” So romantic. Unfortunately, the song is quite clearly about recovering from the loss of a partner. This obviously makes sense when – spoiler alert - you consider the storyline of the film in which it was used. Still, nothing quite gets Auntie Mary going as much as belting out the power ballad, flinging her arms out wide and accidentally knocking the wedding cake off its perch in the process -- “You’re heeeeeere, there’s nothing I fear....”

You Are My Sunshine

“Okay, let’s slow it down a bit...” croons the DJ into the mic. Yes, a popular lullaby that your partner’s parents used to sing to send your beloved off to sleep. Lovely. Nostalgia overload. You stand there and beam – along with the rest of the wedding party – until the song moves from its familiar first verse (and the  only one that people actually know) to the more depressing part of the song, which is the rest of it. “The other night dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamt I held you in my arms. When I awoke dear, I was mistaken, so I hung my head and I cried.” Huh. Well that sure sucked the fun out of the room. So let’s play...

Hey Ya!

Forget the rest. This is the one. This is the tune to get the entire room going—“Shake it! Shake, shake it! Shake it like a Polaroid picture!” And of course, everyone in the room does because this is the definitive happy song. Unfortunately, your grandma – recovering from a hip replacement required after a lifetime of matrimonial conga lines – is actually taking in the lyrics and seems faintly horrified for yes, the song is actually about a man doubting his relationship, “Does she really wanna, but can’t stand to see me walk out the door”. By the second verse he’s even pondering love in general, “Separate’s always better when there’s feelings involved. If what they say is ‘nothing is forever’, then what makes love the exception.” Huh. Way to kill the mood, Outkast.

Thankfully, everybody will be having such a good time at your wedding that they may not listen to the lyrics at all. But just in case, perhaps leave these ones off the playlist. 




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By Henry Fosdike