Deciding on a song for your first dance is likely not on page one of the wedding to-do list, but I was excited to tackle this decision, so excited I didn’t feel like waiting.
I love music. I listen to it in the shower, in the car, while I’m working, while exercising, while traveling. I love to fill my day with music.
My dad brought me up on old-school Motown, soul, funk, and jazz. I remember the inevitable dance parties that broke out in our family room when my dad took out his records, the jam sessions that erupted during car rides, the Earth, Wind, and Fire concerts. I remember thinking, “Man, I was born in the wrong era.”
I find myself today yearning for some Jackson 5—the vibrant horns, the funky base line, the legendary voice, the charming lyrics—yet all I can find on the radio is a throbbing, discordant house beat devoid of instruments that seems to find its way into every popular song .
Needless to say, I knew I’d want to go old-school for our first dance. But of course, I didn’t want the song to merely reflect what I love; I wanted Pat to love it too.
Pat has a strange aversion to slow songs. He finds any song with a slow beat sad and depressing, regardless of the lyrics. So that presented an interesting challenge, as most first dances certainly tend to be slow.
While not old-school, it is reminiscent of classic soul, so my first suggestion was Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” But: too slow, too sad—it was quickly dismissed.
Next, I ironically dismissed some of my own ideas for the same reason, discovering that many of the slow songs I’ve always found to be so beautiful and romantic are actually quite heartbreaking, or don’t quite convey the right message: Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings”—getting over a break-up; The Temptations “Just My Imagination”—unrequited love; Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Ooh Baby Baby”—graveling for forgiveness; Earth, Wind, & Fire’s “Reasons”—one night stand.
Stevie Wonder’s “Knocks Me Off My Feet” was a solid contender, but then an idea dawned on me: there’s a song that Pat had always liked since first hearing it in the movie The Sandlot, one of his favorite films from when he was a kid. If you haven’t seen it, it is an absolute classic (in an adorable ‘90s-kids-movie-kind-of-way)! For those of you who have, think pool, crush on a beautiful lifeguard, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and the song should come instantly to your head. A teenage crush and the crazy things it makes you do is something Pat and I could certainly relate to. We both adore the movie.
The song is by the Drifters, a doo-wop group from the ‘60s that was another of my dad’s favorites, and thus mine. Their greatest hits album was one of the first CDs I ever owned. It’s a medium-tempo song that satisfies Pat’s need for a non-slow song, and makes me happy because we can really dance to it, rather than just sway in a tiny circle in the middle of the dance floor.
The lyrics are perfect and enchanting; the association with the movie and its themes, fitting; the beat, ideal; and the Drifters, one of my favorite bands of all time.
And so, we will be dancing our first dance as husband and wife to The Drifters’ “This Magic Moment.”
How did you decide what song you would first dance to as husband and wife?