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  HANG THE DJ! TEN SONGS YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY HEAR AT THE WEDDING PARTY.  
   
   
 

It’s that time of year, everybody. Time to watch your friends and family kiss their privacy and sanity goodbye as they weld a gold ring on their finger and tie the frigging knot.

We at The Black Table have nothing against marriage, just against the world of wedding music. Some of it’s great, some is just “there,” and some should be taken out behind the barn and disposed of. Behold, we have gathered here together to list the ten wedding songs you're most likely to hear. And if any of you has just cause as to why we should not name these songs, please clamp your cakehole shut.

Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle, "A Whole New World"
I’m sorry to be the Grinch that crapped on everybody’s music parade, but the fact that this song has become a wedding slowdance classic is sick. Sure, it’s actually a beautiful song, and Peabo Bryson’s voice is all Gospel-y and profound, but has it escaped everyone’s notice that this song was written for a children's movie (Aladdin)? I once babysat for a 2-year-old and the little bitch used to chant "Lada, Lada" when she wanted me to play the movie again, which was approximately every hour-and-a-half. I can still hear her shouting, every so often, in my sleep. I suppose all this fury goes back to my hatred for the American fetish for infantilizing ourselves. Like 40 year-old women who’re convinced that Harry Potter is legitimate literature, and collect those black and white photos of children dressed in baggy adult clothes, handing each other bouquets of roses. I want to scream the word "menopause" to break their spell. Sorry to everyone who danced to this song at your wedding -- this is mood music for child molestors.

Kool and the Gang, "Celebration"
My friend Samantha does a fantastic dance that involves moving your ass as if it’s separate from your body, and then, as it shakes, you turn around and point at it in surprise like you’ve been possessed from the waist down. This song is about 20 years past cool, but still maintains some kind of hold on me as a song that gets people of all ages shaking their junk. “Celebration” is as classic as a Buick and recognizable as a McDonald's commercial, and I’m fairly certain that Kool and the Gang even own the rights to the word "Celebrate" (we’re paying $400 in royalties just to print this). The best part of this song is the lyrics that are as bland and one-size-fits-all as "Happy Birthday": "Bring your good times, and your laughter, too, we're gonna celebrate a party with you!" Oh, and your cocaine. If you could bring that too, it’d be great, because we’re tapped out.

Los Del Rio, "Macarena"
Have you ever seen the footage on TV Carnage of Wayne Newton dancing the Macarena with Daisy Fuentes on the "People's Choice

 
 

Awards"? It will make your bowels turn inside out on themselves, no fucking joke. Pay special attention to Wayne during the section of the dance in which you have to put your hands on your hips and swirl them around. It's like a million old-lady vaginas in a heap all burning at the same time. Seriously, nightmares forever. 9, 10, never sleep again.

 

 
  Bryan Adams, "Everything I Do (I Do It For You)"
In middle school, my mom made me take a ballroom dancing class that I secretly looked forward to, since I thought it’d be full of boys
 
 

with nicely-textured suits who would whisk me away to Paris and tell witty jokes about our math teacher. The reality was more like a roomful of sweaty fat guys, smelling like Stetson and trying to keep their half-boners off my leg. This song will forever live in infamy as the soundtrack to those evenings. If you want confirmation on how much this song sucks, just imagine the strained, bulgy-veined look on Bryan Adams face as he’s squeezing out the notes like it’s his death gasp. In a backwards way, it’s a  
  pretty little tune, but people that choose it as a wedding song are about as original as the Zima-swilling invertebrates that still say "Wazzzzup!"

Etta James, "At Last"
I’d like to think that I’m too sarcastic and agitated to let a song this straightforward get to me. I lie to myself a lot. The first time I heard this song at a wedding, I didn’t know or care for the bride and groom. I attended as a guest and was enjoying the booze and the peel-and-eat shrimp, but doubted that I’d get choked up like a cliché of a woman at a wedding: dabbing a lacy handkerchief at her eyes and whimpering. Unfortunately, this song is too perfect to smart-ass your way around, and before much time had passed, there was a golf ball-sized lump in my throat and my eyes were welling up. In the midst of most weddings, I whimsically think about what the couple’s divorce proceedings would look like, but "At Last" slaps those thoughts right out of your head. I’d like to meet the person who claims they can resist the romantic pull of Etta James, just so I can call them a liar.

Marcia Griffiths, "The Electric Slide"
One of my fondest hopes is that this song will somehow turn itself

 
 

into human form, so that I may punch it in the face over and over again. I’ve never been a big fan of doing anything in unison with a crowd of people, and the way that man-woman sings, "I’ll teach you the eeelectric sliiiiid," makes me want to scour all my skin off with a cheese grater.


 
 

Special hatred props go to the way it makes your classy grandma and grandpa feel like shamed losers, since they never learned the semi-retarded dance moves that accompany the song. They’re just stumbling around, turning at the wrong intervals and clapping their hands. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Heatwave, "Always and Forever"
Right when I first moved to New York, I was on the subway at about 10 at night. The car was packed tighter than a suitcase after a family vacation in Orlando, jammed with goofy drunks and tired moms. In the middle of the subway car was a chubby black guy, wearing headphones with his eyes shut tight, singing poorly and loudly. It took a minute, but people started to giggle, and recognize the lyrics of this workhorse classic. Bit by bit, a few intrepid folks joined in on the chorus, murmuring, "Every day, love me your own special way," and the whole thing escalated until almost every person on the jam-packed subway was singing, as loud as they possibly could, "And we’ll share tomorrow TOGETHER!" After we’d crossed the Williamsburg Bridge, the headphone man got off the train, with his eyes still closed, never realizing that he’d had a backing band of about 80 subway riders. And if you’d seen the way he got into the song, even in his tone-deaf, screechy manner, you’d fall in love with this song, too.

The Commodores, “Brickhouse”
Maybe I’m relying too heavily on the cliche of what weddings are

 
  supposed to be, but isn’t the use of “Brickhouse” a little racy for your typical affair? Granted, I’ve got no problem with it in particular, and I’m certain I’ll be playing songs much nastier at my own wedding (do you think “Darling Nikki” is a bit too much?), but it goes without saying that I’m perverted. I say this more for the benefit of those couples that have candle-lighting ceremonies, and pick Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross’ “Endless Love” as their first-dance song. I know a bride who specifically told her DJ to abstain from any “black music,” but that this song was A-OK. Why does “Brickhouse” get to slip through the cracks? Probably because no one’s paid attention to the lyrics in


 
 

many years, and it’s eased its way into the pantheon of acceptable wedding songs. Just to clarify, though, this song is about a girl with a fat ass and a huge rack that the singer would really like to manhandle. Just wanted to make that clear to everyone. If, after being aware of that, you’re still interested in seeing your niece dance to it with her geriatric great-uncle, then Godspeed.

Pink, "Get the Party Started"
I feel a strange sense of kinship and sympathy for poor Pink. She and my mother came from the same dinky town in Pennsylvania, which is amusing enough. But more than that, I imagine it must be tough to simultaneously maintain stratospheric record sales, attempt a bad ass "grrrl" image, and hide the fact that you’re a closeted lesbian (does this seem obvious to anyone else?). "Get the Party Started" will, undoubtedly someday become a wedding classic on par with "Hot, Hot, Hot," but for now it has to fight for its place alongside "Love Shack" and "Play That Funky Music." Even still, if the weddings I’ve attended recently are any indication, grandpas everywhere are loving this number. They’ve popped a couple of Aleve for their sciaticas, and headed out on the dance floor to practice their "pumping feeble fists in the air" dance. When Pink sang the lyrics, “Pumping up the volume, breaking down to the beat,” I don’t think she imagined your dad’s boss sweating through his tuxedo shirt while doing the Cabbage Patch, but the damage is certainly done.

NSYNC, "This I Promise You"
Nothing like a one-hit wonder band composed of former members of the "Mickey Mouse Club", organized by a team of music industry Svengalis to spell true love. I’m trying to imagine the situation in which someone would be lazy enough to pick this as their wedding song. Did you just come back from a huge dinner at TGI Friday’s, and think of this song, and simultaneously give up on life? There’s like, what, 100 bozillion songs you could have picked, and this was the one that touched you deep, deep inside? I’m allowing a special exception here for people who got married in their teens, but seriously, folks. It’s like they thought about originality, and then thought, "This shit is hard. Uncle."

 

 
 

Want more?

PUT ON THE SUNBLOCK, JIM. THESE TEN SONGS CAN CAUSE SUNBURN.

THESE TEN SONGS WILL MAKE YOU FEEL TERRIBLE FOR LOVING THEM SO.

THESE NINE SONGS WILL MAKE YOU SUCK DOWN THE HOOCH LIKE NOBODY'S BUSINESS.

THESE TEN SONGS WILL MAKE YOU DRY HUMP YOUR STEREO SYSTEM.

 

*BT*

Molly Simms, the former music editor of Bust magazine, writes for money. Sadly, the Black Table doesn't pay any money. We are now in hiding.