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By Layne Partin
When Rush Limbaugh got married he invited Elton John to sing at his wedding, which Elton did. That’s a pretty big deal. While we mere mortals can’t have a famous singer or band play at our weddings, we do have at our disposal, thanks to modern technology, literally millions of songs that we can play, without even a disc jockey. We recently looked at ten popular songs from the seventies used at weddings that make you wonder. Now, taken from a website called The Top 100 Eighties Songs Used At Weddings, let’s take a fun journey through some of the popular songs from the eighties used at weddings that make you wonder what they were thinking.
“Jump” by Van Halen
Jump is one of Van Halen’s biggest hits, and it’s a great song. But what exactly is the marriage theme here? “Go ahead and jump, might as well jump…” into a lifelong commitment? Just take the plunge, perhaps yelling “Geronimo” on the way? Sounds more like he’s singing to a guy standing on a ledge a hundred floors up. And then there’s, “Can’t you see me standing here, I got my back against the record machine, I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen…” Really? “I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen?” That’s really setting the bar low for a potential mate. Shouldn’t you think that he is the best that you’ve ever seen or hope to see, with great prospects and not with his back to the wall (pardon me, the record machine)?
“Tainted Love” by Soft Cell
There’s “True Love,” “Endless Love,” “My Love,” and “An Everlasting Love,” among others, that would make great wedding songs, but “Tainted Love?” Are you sure you want a marriage starting out with a song about tainted love? Sounds like the recipe for a life of unrequited love, and you don’t have to get far into the song before that becomes apparent: “Sometimes I feel I’ve got to run away, I’ve got to get away, from the pain you drive into the heart of me…” How’s that for marital bliss? Then there’s, “Once I ran to you, now I run from you…” Right into the arms of someone else, no doubt. You might want to run away before you get to the altar. Talk about a bad omen kind of song. It’s hard to imagine happily ever after.
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police
This is not rocket science. This is a song more about heartbreak, about pining away for lost love, about desperation, and even obsession (as in stalking), than it is a song about love or marriage. Exactly what line in here would be appropriate for a wedding theme? I wouldn’t want this song within a country mile of my wedding. “Since you’ve gone I’ve been lost without a trace, I dream at night I can only see your face. I feel so cold and I long for your embrace, I look around but it’s you that I can’t replace, I keep crying baby, baby, please…” Sounds more like a divorce song than a wedding song because, let’s face it – if your mate dumps you he or she deserves to feel this way.
“I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls
This one starts out great: “I walked along the avenue, I never thought I’d meet a girl like you, a girl like you, with auburn hair and tawny eyes, the kind of eyes that hypnotize me through…” but then you get to the chorus and that’s where things get puzzling: “And I ran, I ran so far away, I just ran, I ran all night and day, I couldn’t get away…” Say what? Are you shying away from this girl, terrified of falling in love with her, but can’t get her out of your mind? Then why on earth run? And is that before or after the marriage vows? And how is she even going to get you to the altar if you’ve run so far away? This song doesn’t even contain the word love, so why use it as a wedding song?
“Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen
Just the title alone should make a person leery. Am I next in a long line of exes? If you’re a black widow spider and about to consummate your union, then this would be an appropriate song for you, but for your average couple? “Another one bites the dust, and another one gone…another one bites the dust, hey, I’m gonna get you too…” And that’s before you get to “How do you think I’m going to get along, without you when you’re gone, you took me for everything that I had, and kicked me out on my own…” If this is how you end up, then it sounds like a marriage with a desperate need for a prenup. Either way, this marriage might just end with bullets zipping out of an alleyway.
“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
Here’s a guy who admittedly has a problem, and it isn’t hard to define: He’s in love with his buddy’s girl. “Lately something’s come between us and it ain’t hard to define, Jessie’s got himself a girl and I want to make her mine…” But hopefully, he’s not walking down the aisle with some poor girl while wishing he had Jessie’s girl, or there’s going to be problems with this one, as in, what about after you’re married and Jessie’s girl suddenly becomes available? “Where can I find her, a girl like that?” If you haven’t found her, don’t marry her, otherwise, a better theme song might be Adele’s “Someone Like You:” “Never mind I’ll find, someone like…” Jessie’s girl.
“I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner
Okay, so you’re going to go into a lifelong commitment with someone not knowing, but wanting to know, what love is? “Hey, I want to know what love is, so let’s get married, and maybe you can show me.” Doesn’t sound like a solid basis for a permanent relationship. Might want to figure it out beforehand there, buddy. And then when you get to the chorus, what exactly do you mean by, “In my life, I’ve known heartache and pain, don’t know if I can face it again…” Are you expecting marriage to be heartache and pain, that you might have to face again? Doesn’t exactly sound like great expectations. So roll the dice and take a chance that she’ll show you what love is.
“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson
Hmmm. What to make of this one as a wedding song? First, here’s a guy denying that Billie Jean is his girl, and if that isn’t enough, he’s disputing her claim that he is her baby’s father. “Billie Jean is not my lover, she’s just a girl who says that I am the one, but the child is not my son…” And as the song progresses, he doesn’t ever seem to be sure about that. With all that baggage, are you sure you want to take a chance on this guy? But then again, to tell everyone present that you’ve moved on from Billie Jean and committed to your new bride is admirable. And that pesky paternity claim? Well, that’s what DNA tests are for, and at worst he might have to pay child support.
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
This is the girl’s version of “Y.M.C.A.” Life is all good and I love being married to you, but, hey, girls just want to have fun. What about when you hit those inevitable rough patches and marriage isn’t so fun? “When the workin’ day is done, oh, girls, they wanna have fun…” So, hubby, maybe you’ll want to show her some better fun at home, or find yourself having fun with the boys, maybe down at the YMCA. This would be a song better suited for the bridal shower or bachelorette party. One more night out with the girls having fun before settling into that oldest of institutions.
“Centerfold” by J Geils Band
Let’s hope when he finds her between the pages of, “A girlie magazine,” it’s before the wedding and not after. That might be a bit awkward. But then again, what guy wouldn’t want to have the kind of angel that could end up as a centerfold, as long as it’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and not, say, Hustler or Penthouse. “Those soft and fuzzy sweaters, too magical to touch, to see her in that negligee, is really just too much…” is a nice fantasy to take into a wedding, however. “My blood runs cold, yeah, my memory has just been sold, my angel is the centerfold…” not so much. But then again, if you’re looking for a trophy wife, then this could just be the perfect mate for you.
There you have it, a lighthearted look at songs that are used at weddings that make you wonder what the couple was thinking, or if perhaps they’re just a particular couple’s “Our Song” kind of thing. We would love to hear some of your pet peeves about songs used at weddings.
Be sure to check out the full archives of Vinylstalgia, by Layne Partin, here: https://vwmusicrocks.com/vinylstalgia-archives/