It’s my wedding anniversary this month. I’ll be celebrating nine years with my husband Mark on 24th September. Can’t believe that long has passed already. One of the things that couples do in the approach to their wedding is pick a song for their first dance. For Mark and me, this was quite a challenge because (a) he’s not into music like me and (b) he doesn’t dance so was adamant we weren’t going to even have a first dance. I decided to let it go because it was “our” day and not just my day but I think he got pressure from both sides of the family and caved. So we were back to the dilemma of choosing a song. I had a couple of songs in mind: Amazed by Lonestar and From This Moment On by Shania Twain. He didn’t really like either of them. He does like Shania Twain and there was another song of hers he suggested (can’t remember what it was now) but it didn’t do it for me. So we were back to the start again.
I have no idea where it came from but we eventually settled on Savage Garden. We both really like the song “Truly, Madly, Deeply” but felt that the words for I Knew I Loved You were so much more appropriate. Mark always says it was love at first sight for him. It took me until our second date. We were both in our 30s when we met and felt like we’d been waiting for each other all this time. But we were greedy because we didn’t settle there; we introduced a second one that was a bit more up-beat and would get the guests into the mood for the disco, so we also had the wonderful late Freddie Mercury with I Was Born To Love You. Gosh, I love that song. It’s very much the same sentiment of Savage Garden’s track but in a slightly more up-beat delivery.
My question to the Write Romantics this month was:
What is your favourite love song and why?
I then asked them to think about:
Was it the lyrics, the tune, the singer/group or a combination of any/all of those that drew you in? Perhaps this was the song you chose for the first dance on your wedding or something that helped you get through a break-up. Pretty much any angle you want to come at it, talk to us about love songs. You’re welcome to give more than one.
I’ve loved reading the responses and hope you’ll enjoy them too. In case you aren’t familiar with any of the tunes, we’ve provided You Tube links to them by clicking on the song titles.
My favourite love song is Van Morrison’s Have I Told You Lately? It just has a beautiful sentiment – ‘Fill my heart with gladness, take away my sadness, ease my troubles that’s what you do.’ He’s got such a great voice too, gravelly and real, meaning that it doesn’t come across as the least bit cheesy. I didn’t have it for my wedding song, as we didn’t actually have one because we travelled to and from the Archbishops Palace by boat with all our guests and then had a slap-up lunch by the river before heading off on honeymoon. However, we are now at ten years and thinking about having a blessing with just us and the four children and I would definitely have the song included in there somewhere. It even gets a mention in my first novel – so look out for it there if my editor doesn’t cut it! If you aren’t familiar with it, watch the video from 1989 on You Tube, I highly recommend it.
Harriet says …
When I began to think about the songs that have meant something special to me, one sprang to mind immediately. It has nothing to do with weddings or anything like that but rather it’s to do with growing up and becoming aware for the very first time of the feelings a song can evoke. I was ten when Perry Como hit the charts in 1957 with Catch a Falling Star. It was on the ‘wireless’ all the time and all the girls in my class at primary school thought it was wonderful. We spent every play-time waltzing around the playground, arm in arm, singing the song and going all dreamy over Perry. He was 46 at the time, hardly a teen idol, but we only had a vague idea of what he looked like anyway so we didn’t care. It was his butter-smooth voice we fell for, not the man himself. I only have to hear the first line and I’m back in that playground, and all the sights and sounds of that stage of my life come flooding back. Happy days!
A year later, the Everly Brothers released All I Have to Do is Dream, another song that made a great impression on me. t accompanied me everywhere I went and gave me that indefinable sensation of being happy and sad at the same time. ‘Cathy’s Clown’ followed, the Everlys again. Hearing it now triggers another vivid memory. My cousin was down from London for the summer holiday and we were at a beach café just along the coast from Brighton. It had a jukebox and we played ‘Cathy’s Clown’ over and over until our money ran out. We wore paper nylon petticoats under our dresses and they crackled as we swayed in time to the music. We felt very grown-up, and very serious about the whole business of love and pop songs. The You Tube clip shows them singing both songs.
Alys says …
My favourite love song is quite a sad one but then as I like folk music that’s probably not a great surprise. When I started thinking about it I realised I couldn’t think of many happy love songs in folk. My favourite is She Moved Through The Fair which is beautifully sung here by Cara Dillon.
My friend, Jane Stockdale, does a stunning version of this song. I’ve heard her sing it more times than I can remember but it’s always moving and beautiful. In my new book, Lughnasa, the heroine sings in folk sessions and plays the fiddle which is giving me a lovely chance to use songs to explore how she’s feeling. In chapter two she sings She Moved Through The Fair because she was feeling very sad and it’s lyrics really fit her emotional state.
My favourite love song is a little different…it’s a classic piece, Pachelbel’s Canon. There is a youtube clip of a string quartet playing the tune…obviously not the same string quartet as we had though! I really wanted the tune at our wedding and I’d heard it in a movie that I’d watched. I had to attempt to hum the tune on the phone to my mum who is quite musical and after several attempts she said, “Ah, I know exactly what that is!”
I’d always loved the piece, I think particularly because it sounds so beautiful on string instruments. (I don’t think the cello ever sounded that beautiful when I played it back in Primary School!) A string quartet played Pachelbel’s Canon whilst we signed the wedding register. Unfortunately I didn’t really get to enjoy listening to it as I think I was still a bit dazed by the whole ceremony but whenever I hear the music now – in fact, as I write this post I’ve got the You-Tube clip playing in the background – it makes me smile as I remember our special day 🙂
I have attached a photo too, of myself and my husband signing the register 🙂
Jackie says …
Sweet Little Mystery by Wet Wet Wet. It was a good phase of my life. I had my own flat, my job was fun and friends were popping in and out all of the time. We’d laugh the night away, flirt, go to pubs and clubs drink rather more than was good for us and stay up far into the night- too long for a five thirty shift start. But we didn’t care, we were young enough to cope.
The Joshua tree by U2 And Everything but the Girl was always on my hi fi too, as I ironed my clothes for the night ahead, dancing to the music as I smoked far too many cigarettes and drank too much wine. But I was happy in my little world (although permanently broke) until my heart was broken and it all suddenly seemed very shallow and trite. But that story doesn’t belong in this little bubble of happy memories. I shall eradicate those memories or save them for a short story, where one day, I will make the rotter sees the error of his ways and beg me to take him back, which I will naturally refuse- won’t I- maybe, no- I’m sure I will…) Anyway, Marty Pellow was the singer of my dreams and will ever remain in my bank of happy memories and for that I thank him. ( and he was on one of my flights once too- jolly nice chap, although he took a handful of complimentary sweets instead of just one!)
Lynne says …
I’m gonna tell you about my fave romantic song, which is romantic in the sense of old Camelot and knights in shining armour. If it had a visual to go with it I’d choose something by the Pre-Raphaelites, who also loved that kind of thing. It’s is The Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin. Its all about the Queen of Light waiting in Avalon for a tyrant whose face is red. She’s waiting for the ‘beads of time…’ to pass, (I love that imagery,) and the apples turn from brown to black. The drums do in time shake the castle wall but eventually we ‘raise our bows and shoot straighter than before’
It works out fine in the end, cos the magic runes bring the balance back and the sun is shining.
It’s not just the music but Robert Plant’s crisp & clear vocals which are fab. They have something that sounds like madrigals and give it a really ancient yet also modern sound, and a story that is haunting and magical. It manages to combine intimacy with technical excellence, give it a whirl now, it’s groovy, as we used to say in the 70s!
I’ve never really understood why Lez Zepplin are classed as heavy metal when a lot of their work is tuneful and melodic. I’ve added a link to a live version. It’s only when I watched that that I realise that the ancient sound is partly created by an amazing guitar which looks like 3 different guitars all piled together! The live version is not quite the same as the studio version though, its faster for a start but do give both a listen.
Rachael says …
I really can’t name one favourite song, but I love listening to the lyrics of songs and the ones that stand out, do so because of their words. They evoke memories, sometimes sad, sometimes happy. The one song which takes me back, twenty one years to my wedding day, is Unchained Melody, which was having a revival after the film Ghost at that time.
I also love how songs can fill you with courage, so that you imagine all sorts of things are possible. This of one such song. What do you think?
We’d love to hear from you. Do our song choices evoke some wonderful memories for you? What are your favourite romantic songs, for whatever reason. There’s a comments button at the end of the tags below. Thank you xx