first dance music

Brighter Than Sunshine-Aqualung

I first heard the song “Brighter Than Sunshine” in the 2005 movie “A Lot Like Love” starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. It’s a fairly formulaic romantic comedy, but the song adds so much to the mood and feel to the movie, that the song lives once you forget about the movie. The lyrics to the song are beautiful, and perfect for a First Dance.

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don’t care
I’m yours and suddenly you’re mine
Suddenly you’re mine
And it’s brighter than sunshine

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The song was written and performed by British singer/songwriter Matt Hales who recorded under the name “Aqualung.” As you’ll discover, many of my suggestions for processionals, recessionals and first dances are found on movie soundtracks.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

When You Need Me-Bruce Springsteen

“When You Need Me” by Bruce Springsteen is a terrific choice for your first dance. The song is quite simple, and elegantly short. Most songs just fade out, but this one is simple and has a definitive beginning, middle, solo and a short ending verse.

When you need me call my name
‘Cause without you my life just wouldn’t be the same
If you want me come sunny skies or rain
When you need me just call my name

If you miss me, I’ll be there
To brush the sunlight from your hair
I’ll be there to guide you when trouble walks beside you

If you need me I’ll be there
And when this dirty world has been cold to you
I got two strong arms waitin’ to hold you
And when those mean days come along
We’ll stand together and we’ll take ’em on
So if you need me just call my name

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Poignant, elegant and straight-talking defines the man known simply as “The Boss.”
Let me know what you all think.
-Doug

Time After Time-Frank Sinatra


I’ve been obsessed lately on the subject of the perfect first dance. I wanted to make a case for songs from what’s known as The Great American Songbook, songs sung by great vocalists like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald. Songs that, to me, are beautiful in the simplicity of their lyrics and the ease of the vocal performances  Try to listen with fresh ears. I’ve always loved music from this era. My own first dance is “Our Love Is Here To Stay,” and I’ve been happily married for thirty years.

 

Time After Time is one of my all time favorites of the era. Written by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne for Frank Sinatra this is a true classic.  My favorite lyric is astonishing in its poignant simplicity:

I only know what I know, the passing years will show.
You’ve kept my love so young, so new.
And time after time, you’ll hear me say that I’m,
so lucky to be loving you.

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By the way, you may notice the purity of Sinatra’s voice in these recordings from the 30s & 40s…..long before he sort of became a parody of himself in the 70s & 80s. The purity of his voice is what made him a legend.

Let me know what you think.
-Doug

The Nearness Of You-Norah Jones

The magnificent Norah Jones recorded one of my favorite songs of all time. The lyrics are so beautiful and feel perfectly natural for any generation. It’s a song originally written by Hoagy Carmichael in 1940, and has been recorded well over a hundred times by everyone from Billy Holliday to James Taylor. This is a true class from The Great American Songbook.

I love the simplicity of Ms. Jones’ soft vocal and solo piano. Because of the clear and sensitive way she pronounces every syllable, you certainly don’t need the lyrics washing over the screen. Just close your eyes and enjoy Carmichael’s melody and Ned Washington’s poetic words.

It’s not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me,
Oh no. It’s just the nearness of you.
It isn’t your sweet conversation that brings this sensation
Oh no,
 It’s just the nearness of you

When you’re in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams came true
I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you’ll only grant me the right to hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you

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If you’re at work, or driving, please keep you eyes open….but you get the idea. I truly hope you love this as much as I do. Let me know what you think.
-Doug