Happy-Pharrell Williams

As you can infer from the name Wedding Wisdom, I’m going to dedicate this blog to share songs that work well for a wedding reception. I’ve often said that the best wedding receptions are those that look and feel like a “Black Tie Frat Party.” (Of course, I was always too busy practicing the piano to actually go to a frat party….but I think you get the point.)

As a bandleader, I have one job…to get as many people on the dance floor as humanly possible, and keep them there. I’m convinced that there is an algorithm to prove “a direct correlation between the amount of people on the dance floor equalling the perceived success of your party.” When people say, “what a great party!!,” they’re invariably referring to the fact that the dance floor was full for a great deal of the night.

That’s why I’m devoting this blog site to discussing songs that get people dancing. Or at least songs that will keep a dance set going once it’s begun. To keep people dancing, one song has to lead directly into the next with no hesitation. That way when people do get up to dance, they’ll stay on for the duration.

As a general rule, people dance to songs they immediately recognize and can sing along to. Or songs that have a great chorus that everyone can sing along to. Or, try to. Hardly anyone knows every word to any given song. For example, try singing a single verse of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Everybody knows that one, right? Try it. I’ll start…”Because I’m Happy….” Quick, what’s the next line? Or the next? I’ve actually started asking people that exact question. Only one person actually came up with “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”

pharrell

The reason people have always loved “Happy” is because everybody feels comfortable with it. It’s a “bro-hug” to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Getting people on the dance floor is really not far from that exact analogy. Who wouldn’t want to wrap their arms around an old friend for 3-4 minutes? You don’t even have to have been that close with them. That’s what a successful dance set is all about. Spending time with an old friend. even if you can barely remember where you met them. The next time you’re on the dance floor, try singing along with the band, and smile when you realize that you had no idea of what the next lyric was going to be. But it sure was fun spending those 3-4 minutes with them.

Besides who could resist the charm of the video, or the lovely simplicity of the “singalong” lyrics.

It might seem crazy what I’m about to say
Sunshine she’s here, you can take a break
I’m a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don’t care, baby, by the way

Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy, clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

I think this would work as a fun Wedding Recessional as well.
Let me know what you think.
-Doug

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