First dance songs that haven't been done to death

Dancing between the rows
Photo by Melissa Doyle of Casting Memories

Not that I have anything against Etta Jame's "At Last" or Michael Buble's "Everything," — they're both perfect first dance songs — but I've heard them both WAY too many times at weddings. So, combining my database of musician friends (some of whom made the list) with the Offbeat Bride editorial team's tastes, we've compiled a list of totally not overused first dance songs… from the silly, to the romantic, to the extremely controversial!

Oldies but Goodies — along the same lines of "At Last"

  • The Beach Boys "God Only Knows" (hear it)
  • Shuggie Otis' "Strawberry Letter 23" (hear it)
  • Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get it On" (hear it)
  • Otis Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" (hear it)
  • Van Morrison's "Sweet Thing" (hear it)
  • The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" (hear it)
  • The Kinks "Waterloo Sunset" (hear it)
  • Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes The Place Of You" (hear it)
  • Al Green's "Love and Happiness" (hear it)

Sexy Romantic

  • (Ariel's) Me'Shell Ndegéocello's "Love Song #1" (hear it)
  • Ben Folds' "The Luckiest" (hear it)
  • Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" (hear it)
  • Massive Attack's "One Love" (hear it)
  • Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You" (hear it)
  • Portishead's "All Mine" (hear it)
  • Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" (hear it)

Wonky 'n Fun

Indie

  • (Megan's) Pavement's "We Dance" (hear it)
  • Jon Brion's "Here We Go" (hear it)
  • Neko Case's "This Tornado Loves You" (hear it)
  • Sufan Stevens' "The Dress Looks Nice On You" (hear it)
  • Wilco "I'm the Man Who Loves You" (hear it)
  • The Cure's "Friday I'm in Love" (hear it)
  • Bright Eyes' "First Day of my Life" (hear it)
  • Nick Drake's "Northern Sky" (hear it)
  • The Pixie's "La La Love You" (hear it)

SUPER Indie

  • Bird and the Bee "My Love" (hear it)
  • Obi Best "Nothing Can Come Between Us" (you can get a free mp3 here)
  • The Moldy Peaches' "Anyone Else but You" (hear it)
  • The Mountain Goats' "No Children" (hear it) — yes, some people find this song controversial!
  • Jeff Mangum's "I Love How You Love Me" (hear it)
  • She & Him's "I Was Made For You" (hear it)
  • Captain Beefheart's "I'm Glad" (hear it)

Jazzin' — along the same lines of Michael Buble

  • Sara Gazarek's "Makes Me Feel This Way" (hear it) or her version of "You Are My Sunshine" (hear it)
  • Harry Connick Jr.'s "Come By Me" (hear it)
  • Kurt Elling's "I Feel So Smoochie" (hear it)
  • Jamie Cullum's "I Think, I Love" (hear it)
  • Renee Olstead's " A Love That Will Last" (hear it)

Upbeat Swingin'

  • (Shrie's) Chuck Barry's "You Never Can Tell" (hear it)
  • Barry Louis Polisar's "All I Want Is You" (hear it)
  • Sly & the Family Stone's "You Can Make It If You Try" (hear it)
  • Huey "Piano" Smith's "Little Liza Jane" (hear it)

Laidback Easy-Peasy

  • Mayer Hawthorne's "Make Her Mine" (hear it)
  • Cat Power's version of "Sea of Love" (hear it)
  • Peter Gabriel's "Book of Love" (hear it)
  • Air's "Playground Love" (hear it)
  • The Fruit Bat's "When U Love Somebody" (hear it)

Dark and Romantic

  • Judas Priest's "Angel" (hear it)
  • Rammstein's "Ohne Dich" (hear it with English translation)
  • Type O Negative's "Love You to Death" (hear it)
  • Stone Temple Pilots' "Still Remains" (hear it)
  • Incubus' "Monuments and Melodies" (hear it)
  • Killswitch Engage's "My Curse" (hear it)
  • HIM's "Join Me In Death" (hear it)

Oh, you want more?

    • We're planning on The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned) by The Decemberists! (hear it)

      18 agree
      • This was one of the songs we had the guitarist play when we walked away after the ceremony. It's such a beautiful melody. The Crane Wife has some great acoustic bits in it too.

        14 agree
    • This list is AMAZING.
      I have struggled with this because I didn't want a cheesy song that has been used forever and ever but still wanted to capture the beauty of the moment. LOVE THIS LIST!!!

      9 agree
    • 'Everything' by Lifehouse or 'I Love You' by Climax Blues Band

      1 agrees
  1. We didn't dance at our wedding, but if we would have, we would have danced to "Dance With Me Now, Darling" by Hem. (hear it)

    7 agree
    • I 100% cosign. Our procession started with "The Book of Love" and then I walked in to Nick Cave's "Into My Arms." (hear it)

      Both songs still give me goosebumps.

      9 agree
      • We had our friend preform Into My Arms during our ceremony, but our first song was a deeper tribute: Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" (hear it)

        13 agree
    • That Peter Gabriel song, Book of Love is a cover of the Magnetic Fields song, btw. So…yeah.

      3 agree
  2. We used The Pogues "A Rainy Night In Soho." It begins: "i've been loving you a long time, down all the years, down all the days…" (hear it)

    perfect. i reccomend it.

    12 agree
    • Undecided between a few songs, we went with the one we sing to each other the most, and rainy night in soho won out! Somuchlove!!!

      0 agree
  3. The second I heard Blood Bank by Bon Iver I knew were I to get married, that song had to be it. It's slow, but not too slow and absolutely beautiful. (hear it)

    9 agree
    • We wanted a more obscure first dance song, something we hadn't heard a million times that would truly be "our" song. We settled on Little Trip to Heaven (on the Wings of Your Love) by Tom Waits. It's blues-ey and soulful and very romantic. Also, the muted trumpet gives it kind or a thirties/forties feel to it.

      8 agree
      • That's great! My fiance and I are playing with the idea of using Tom Waits' "Picture in a Frame." It's simple but beautiful…man, that guy can write a song.

        2 agree
      • We're having "warmness on the soul" by avenged sevenfold…… The most beautiful song we've heard and its almost as if they're telling our story

        0 agree
  4. My hubby and I danced to Toto's Africa at our wedding, so seeing it on this list made me smile like crazy. :-)

    6 agree
    • "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. It's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do."

      We're not gonna dance, but I am singing this song to Groom for sure."

      3 agree
      • my fiance and I LOVE Toto's Africa!! We are having it as our Recessional, and I imagine it will be requested many times at the reception…..we've gotten out friends hooked, too!

        3 agree
  5. See also : Dean Martin's "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" for upbeat jazzy awesomeness. (hear it)

    9 agree
  6. We're doing "I'll Cover You," from Rent (hear it) — we're both big fans of the musical, and it's such a sweet, upbeat love song. If my fiancee liked the Magnetic Fields a little better (read: at all), we'd be doing "It's Only Time," which is a slow, incredibly sweet song about life-long commitment (by a gay artist, which makes it even more poignant when he sings "marry me"). (hear it)

    8 agree
    • We thought of "I'll Cover You" also! We are going with "First Day of My Life" (hear it) because of sentimental value, but we're going to use "I'll Cover You" as our last song. Lurv!

      1 agrees
    • i've wanted i'll cover you to be part of my wedding ever since i was a sophomore in highschool

      3 agree
  7. Yaaaay! We're using Chuck Barry's "Never Can Tell" in June! We have a whole little swing routine and moves in honor of Pulp Fiction (our favorite movie).

    0 agree
    • *Gasp* I love that! Awesome choice. Was planning on learning a swing routine too :).

      Now I'm thinking "Girl, you'll be a woman soon" also from Pulp Fiction would be a good choice though. (hear it)

      1 agrees
  8. I think you should probably take "No Children" off the list, considering it's about a marriage ending and ending badly. Not sure even an unconventional wedding needs a song with the lyrics, "I hope you die, I hope we both die."

    27 agree
    • Alyssa: Au contraire! We've actually had a several OBBs dance to No Children at their wedding, and were very happy with their choice. Which is why I included it!

      23 agree
    • We're actually thinking of using that song. We've been Mountain Goats fans for a very long time, and that's one of our favorite sing-at-the-top-of-our-lungs road trip songs.

      8 agree
    • This is why music is becoming the most difficult part of planning. If I simply chose my favorite songs, we'd be listening to breakup songs for hours. Some of my favorite artists have made ONLY anti -love songs! However, I'm determined to have positive vibes going so I've been scouring the web for love songs that don't suck. Luckily I like a wide variety of music (just not many love songs) so there's a lot to choose from. I passed on "No Children" and added "This Year" to our playlist – which isn't about love, but it's not about breaking up so, yay.

      2 agree
  9. Ingrid Michaelson's cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" So beautiful! (hear it)

    25 agree
    • For the past 18 years, it's been UB40's version of (Can't Help) Falling in Love With You. (hear it) I am always astonished when I don't see that song on "Offbeat first Dance Songs" ESPECIALLY for "Whirlwind" romances (like mine! ;-)

      1 agrees
      • I'm glad you both mentioned this song! I'm a HUGE Elvis fan, so I love the classic version, but UB40's is fun and upbeat too! I always thought I would want this song to be played at my wedding. :)

        0 agree
      • We danced to You and I at our wedding. Everyone loved it.

        1 agrees
    • I am totally considering doing a recording of this for my first dance song! :)

      3 agree
      • Oh my gosh, you and me both! I've got to figure out how to get a band together to do the background, but I'd like to do the vocals of "The Way I Am" and surprise my man with it for our first dance. Now that will be a serious coup if I can pull it off.

        1 agrees
  10. I've always liked

    Neat Little Domestic Life – Of Montreal (hear it)
    Do You Realize? – Flaming Lips (hear it)
    Hotel Yorba – White Stripes (hear it)

    8 agree
  11. Kate, Peter Gabriel wrote "The Book of Love," covered by both The Magnetic Fields and Now It's Overhead.

    We're thinking Dean and Britta's "You Turn My Head Around" (hear it) or The Band of Blacky Ranchette's "Getting It Made." (hear it)

    2 agree
    • Mz Fitz: Credit where credit's due! The Peter Gabriel version of "The Book of Love" is actually a cover of Stephin Merritt's original.

      4 agree
    • But he put it on his "Covers" album… so, that made me believe it was a cover, no?

      2 agree
    • My fiance and I are dancing to Crazy Love. Love it! :)

      2 agree
  12. "Hallelujah" cover by Jeff Buckley (hear it)
    No idea what its even about but it's what i'd use if i could do again…. :)

    2 agree
    • I don't know who performed in, but my cousin had that song for her first dance song, too, and it ha a lot of meaning to them and such. They loved it!
      I know at least one verse's inspiration came from the Biblical Samson and Delilah.

      0 agree
  13. "You Picked Me" by A Fine Frenzy. VERY sweet and touching, but not overdone at all! This is our song for sure! <3 (hear it)

    (Thanks for all the other ideas. I'm iPod-DJing my wedding and I'll have to add these!)

    14 agree
  14. I love, love, love the Mountain Goats, and I'm all for being quirky, but "No Children"?? That song is the most vicious breakup anthem of all time. "Woke Up New" might be better.

    4 agree
    • I think that "Woke Up New" is a super sad breakup song! I like "No Children," I feel like even thought the couple is destructive, they will always go down together, even if it is in flames.

      3 agree
    • For the Mountain Goats I'd go with "Old College Try." I LOVE that song, but we are going with Cosmo Jarvis' "Gay Pirates" :)

      0 agree
  15. My brother and his wife used "Girlfriend" ("Summertime Rolls") by Janes Addiction. It didn't go over well with the 'rents, but everyone else loved it. (hear it)

    3 agree
    • My mom hates the original of this song, but loves the cover version by Puracane, slower and more traditionally "pretty," but just as sweet, subversive, and sexy.

      0 agree
  16. My fiancee is a huge Goo Goo Dolls fan and he has the sheet music from Iris tatooed on his back. So he's going to record a version of Iris for us to dance together to.

    5 agree
  17. Okay! We're getting ladies who are pretty heated up about the "'No Children' controversy of 2010" but I'd like to point out that a few former OBBs have used that song much to their delight, including this wedding. So let's keep the comments respectful. And let's hear more ideas!

    7 agree
      • Can I hear the cover? I want this to be my wedding song but my fiance isn't a fan of the neutral milk hotel version.

        0 agree
  18. When we started our wedding planning, the first song was the first thing that was taken care of. My husband said "I'm on it." Who knew it was that improtant to him? I should have know since he is in a band…

    We used "I love how you love me" but rather than the original or one of the many covers, he went a step further and got a whole new cover. My husband is friends with Jonah Matranga from Far who will record any song you want on a sliding scale. He did an AMAZING job and we gave a CD of his song and the original music the best man composed for the ceremony as favors.

    4 agree
    • This is so sweet! Thank you! Glad you loved it as much as I loved making it.

      Jonah

      2 agree
      • I love Jonah! He's the best! We'll definitely have "Oh I'm so lucky" and "smile" aaaand "I want you to be my witness"!

        0 agree
    • our song is :Stand by Me: by Ben E King…dating myself I know, but it never fails to move me when i hear it and we've been married 25 years now…sigh…its wonderful to still be in love

      2 agree
  19. We are planning on "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. So funky and jazzy and sweet, I can't wait for our first dance! (hear it)

    6 agree
  20. AAAAAH!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE that Cat Power – Sea of Love is on here. That won't be our first dance song (not sure we're even having a first dance) but that is OUR song! We heard a few different versions of it randomly together at different events when we started dating and it just stuck! *swoon*

    1 agrees
  21. i think we're going to use tracy chapman's "you're the one." (hear it) i love how it's not super gooey-lovey-dovey; i think the realism of it makes it so much more romantic than a lot of more traditional ones (not that i don't adore some ooey-gooey sappy songs! i just want something more meaningful for this)

    3 agree
  22. oldies — "Calico Skies" by the Beatles (hear it)
    indie — "Jesus, Etc" by Wilco (hear it)
    indie folk — "Love Serenade" by the Waifs (hear it)
    "Tango" by Patty Larkin (or anything off her new "25" album… it's 25 love songs, but not lovey-dovey songs… some are sad, some are beautiful, some are just weird…) (hear it)
    "you" (from Kitchen Radio album) or "you meet the nicest people in your dreams" by Peter Mulvey (hear it)

    1 agrees
    • Calico Skies is actually a Paul McCartney Song, not a Beatles song. It's off his album Flaming Pie, which was released in 1997.

      5 agree
  23. We are dancing to "Oh,It is Love" by Hellogoodbye, sung as a duet by the best man and my fiance's sister. Its kinda one of our songs (we have many!). I'm really looking forward to it! (hear it)

    5 agree
  24. Not sure if there's going to be a way for us to have a first dance given the way our wedding's rolling, but if we have the option, we might use "This Must Be the Place" by Talking Heads. David Byrne <3 (hear it)

    6 agree
  25. DH & I danced to "I Wanna Grow Old With You"! It just seemed so perfect for us and it's such a sweet but funny song. We got so many compliments. And I love that it's not over done.

    4 agree
  26. I've always planned to play "life, in a nutshell," by Barenaked Ladies. It was originally written about the lead singers relationship with his wife but it fits an couple who are as happy together as they alone. (hear it)

    I also love the moludy peaches song that's used in Juno. (hear it)

    1 agrees
  27. My pick is Ray LaMontagne's "you are the best thing." (hear it. How about a list for offbeat songs to walk into the reception? I am having a hard time with that one.

    12 agree
    • we are using "little green bag" by the george baker selection. this is more of an homage to reservoir dogs (and it has fantastic opening music). (hear it)

      2 agree
    • I think we're going to play Sea of Love by Cat Power as our processional; we're walking out together, and having and ocean side wedding, and it would be really sweet.

      2 agree
    • We are walking into Accidentally in Love by the Counting Crows. Its fun and up beat. (hear it)
      My future sister in law walked in to Jump by House of Pain, it made the whole dance floor do just that. (hear it)

      1 agrees
  28. We're going with 'Just Like Heaven' by The Cure. It's 'our song' and was playing on the jukebox in our local pub right before he proposed. We're also having the lyrics read during our (church) ceremony. (hear it)

    2 agree
  29. I LOVE Neko Case, but I'm not sure that "this Tornado Loves You" is a good idea. I guess it would would if you're in an openly co-dependent relationship, or are marrying a stalker. Seriously, you and your guests would have to have really good senses of humor to have just about any Neko Case song.

    8 agree
  30. I walked in to Sufajn Stevens – The dress looks nice to you (hear it). We danced to Sufjan's – To Be Alone With You. (hear it)

    We are kinda Sufjan fanatics, but what can I say? It is good wedding music!

    0 agree
  31. We used "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (hear it) but "Sweet Darlin'" By She & Him was a close second. (hear it)

    7 agree
    • i'm walking in to the acoustic version of "maps". YYYs are my fave! :)

      1 agrees
  32. We're doing Adele's cover of Dylan's Make You Feel My Love, which I love to pieces. Sweet and soulful. (hear it)

    10 agree
    • We are too! It's even weirder that this post came right after the one above it because my future husband still wants to use MAPS. We also tossed around Home by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

      2 agree
  33. The Cure – Mint Car (hear it)

    The first verse is perfect can you get any better than…

    The sun is up
    I'm so happy I could scream!
    And there's nowhere else in the world I'd rather be
    Than here with you
    It's perfect
    It's all I ever wanted
    I almost can't believe that it's for real

    8 agree
    • Excellent choice! That is such a fun, happy song.

      1 agrees
    • Love this song! Love The Cure!!! Great choice! :)

      0 agree
  34. "In Your Eyes" always brings a tear to my eye, especially the acoustic version. I love it!

    "I Say a Little Prayer" is also a good one – very sweet and fun. Even an atheist like me loves it!

    2 agree
  35. Oooh!
    The cover of "We've Got a World That Swings" by They Might Be Giants.
    We're massive TMBG fans.
    "I'd like to take you on this wild, wonderful venture, fly like a kite through space, no strings…"

    1 agrees
    • TMBG all the way! "Another First Kiss" on their Mink Car album.

      2 agree
  36. i am slightly offput that there are no rock, metal or industrial songs on here. BUT, we alts/goths/metalheads don't really need help picking out songs ;)
    we tend to excel at it in the first place ;)

    2 agree
    • Lily! Please suggest some! I was at a total loss. And no one I asked had any ideas for me. If you suggest some I will totally add them and I would be grateful to you!

      2 agree
      • We're into punk, old rock n roll, and rockabilly. We did a swing dance to the pop-punk song "I'm a Pretender" by The Exploding Hearts. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKls3n6lpWU)

        Other songs we considered:
        "Do you wanna dance" (hear it), "I wanna be your boyfriend" (hear it), "Oh oh I love her so", "she's the one" – by the Ramones
        Rockabilly Ramones covers by Full Blown Cherry
        "I will rock and roll with you" (hear it), "She my baby" by Johnny Cash
        "Oh Boy" (hear it), "It's so Easy" (hear it), "Everyday" (hear it), "You're the one", "I don't care (baby your so square) by Buddy Holly (hear it)
        "Come on, let's go" by Ritchie Valens (hear it)
        "Church on Sunday" (hear it), "Poprocks and Coke" (hear it), "80" by Green Day
        "Chocolate Eyes" (hear it), "He's All Mine" (hear it – Kim Lenz

        Other ideas:
        Me first and the gimme gimmes does covers of various popular songs
        "1-2 crush on you" (hear it) – the clash
        "what's inside a girl" – the cramps
        "mass pike" – the get up kids (hear it)
        "great expectations" (hear it), "old white lincoln" (hear it) – gaslight anthem
        "feel like makin love" (hear it), "more today than yesterday" – goldfinger
        "sweetnes" – jimmy eat world (hear it)
        "do you wanna touch me?" – joan jett (hear it)
        "what a wonderful world" – joey ramone (hear it)
        "this is for real" (hear it), "it had to be you" (hear it) – motion city soundtrack
        "and i will be with you" (hear it), "i just wanna do it with you" (hear it)- mr. t experience
        "i will dare" – the replacements (hear it)
        "hot un" – granpaboy
        "question" (hear it), "indefinitley" – the old 97s
        "valentine" (hear it), "our love" (hear it) – rhett miller
        "luv luv luv", "kissed" – pansy division
        "love you in the fall" – paul westerberg (hear it)
        "love you til the end" – the pogues (hear it)
        "the sun always shines around you" (hear it), "fuck the world" (hear it) – the queers
        "i know" – save ferris
        "i think we're alone now" – penny and the loafers
        "punk rock princess" – something corporate (hear it>
        "what i like about you", "i never promised you a rose garden" – the suicide machines (hear it)
        "i wanna waltz" (hear it), "i'll be you my heart" – wanda jackson
        "when i'm with you, i'm ok" (hear it), "inside me, inside you" (hear it) – ultimate fakebook
        "for always" (hear it), "here with me" (hear it), "without you" (hear it) – mxpx
        'under the hedge" – ted leo (hear it)
        "i won't let me", "in love this way", "good good things" – the descendents
        "carry you" (hear it), "think the world" (hear it) – all
        "olive me" – nofx
        "this time darlin" – social distortion (hear it)
        "best of me" – the starting line (hear it)
        "no place feels like home" – midtown (hear it)
        "today's the day", "have you ever", "sweet sweet boy" – the unlovables
        "cupid's victim" – tiger army (hear it)
        "sealed with a kiss" – the eyeliners (hear it)

        uh yeah … so that's a lot but there's probably more ….

        10 agree
        • Ha. You just named, like, half of the music that was on my wedding mix. My husband and I had our first dance to the "I Want You Around" by The Ramones. The song "Danny Says" is actually really sweet too, but something other than junior high dance step pace was a little too much for us.

          1 agrees
    • I'd love some suggestions for first dance songs that are a bit rock-n-roll. Was thinking of "All I want" by Staind? (hear it)

      2 agree
  37. We danced to the Smashing Pumpkins version of "My Blue Heaven" for our first dance. Hubz is a HUGE SP fan… it worked out great, it's a waltz. (hear it)

    1 agrees
  38. We're dancing our first dance to "Chariots Rise (Acoustic)" by Lizzie West and Baba Buffalo. The song is originally from the movie Secretary, but this version is much sweeter and softer. (It also replaces the line "what a fool am I to fall so in love" with "what grace have I to fall so in love") (hear it)

    2 agree
    • "Secretary" is my favorite movie of all time. I love, love, love the song too. I may even put Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" to throw people off too. ;-) (hear it)

      0 agree
  39. My husband surprised me with our first dance song. It was How Deep is the Ocean by Billie Holiday. (hear it)

    0 agree
  40. I don't care how old-meme it is; we are totally Rickrolling everyone for our first dance. If you take the time to listen to it, it's actually a sweet song about love and commitment :-D

    Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down…

    9 agree
    • I wish I could find a photo someone sent me once – it was a Rickroll cake, just said…I think… "Never gonna give you up or dessert you." Coordinating wedding cake? :-p

      7 agree
  41. Last summer, my boyfriend volunteered to dj for some friends' wedding. She very desperately wanted to have The Cure's "Just Like Heaven" be their first dance, and my boyfriend balked because it's not very first-dance-able.

    He searched high and low, and he found a mashup of The Commodores' "Easy Like Sunday Morning" with the Cure's "Just Like Heaven". It was AWESOME. (hear it)

    8 agree
  42. probably Cure´s Lovecats, that´s the one the DJ played during our engagement, on the club where we first maked out!

    0 agree
  43. Love this list! Really liking the She & Him suggestions. Might I also offer The Blow's "Parentheses" to the indie category? (hear it)

    1 agrees
  44. I kinda want Magnetic Fields' "let's pretend we're bunny rabbits"…. (hear it)

    1 agrees
  45. I'm doing The First Day Of My Life by Bright Eyes! It always makes me cry, lol. (hear it)

    Also try
    -You and Me by Plain White T's (hear it)
    -Nothing With You by The Descendants (hear it)
    -The Dolphins Cry by Live (hear it)
    -Here In Your Arms by hellogoodbye (hear it)

    1 agrees
  46. We're using "The Way I am" by Ingrid Michaelson. It's sweet, and I love the line about rogaine. (hear it)

    1 agrees
    • We are, too. In addition to being adorable and just quirky enough to fit our relationship, it's also short (2:15!), which is easier on my non-dancing FH. ;)

      0 agree
    • My fiance and I are dancing to a tango song, cuz that's how we met. But if we were doing a song with english lyrics, it would be "You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson

      "…I wanna do what bunnies do with you if ya know what I mean…"

      =)

      1 agrees
  47. Used to Be- Olu Dara (hear it)

    "Used to be an apple, now you're an apple pie. Used to be, used to be the one, now you my baby."

    Tell Me Why You Love Me- Chris Smithers (hear it)

    My grandparents' song is Cheek to Cheek, the Fred Astaire version. I would love to have that as a first dance.

    0 agree
  48. If you are looking for CUTE & GEEKY try "Mario Kart Love Song" by Sam Hart. And for all my fellow She & Him fans don't forget about "Never Had Nobody Like You" from M. Ward's solo album. But it features Zooey so it might as well be She & Him. We haven't decided which to use yet for our first dance, but both will be in there somewhere.

    1 agrees
  49. My fiance and spent all summer trying to come up with our first dance song, as we had been together for awhile and had a long list of "our song" titles. We were at a Ziggy Marley concert in July and as soon as he started playing "Is This Love," we looked at each other and knew that had to be it! We used his dad's classic version. It was a little hard to dance to reggae, but we had a blast and it really represented *us* in a wedding full of compromises with our traditional families.

    1 agrees
  50. You do realise that "Friday I'm in Love" is about partying and taking drugs, don't you? Not exactly right for a wedding dance…

    0 agree
    • Actually, depending on the couple… it could be the a PERFECT song!

      17 agree
    • Yeah, for some of us, our weddings are about partying and taking drugs. Just cuz it's not right for your wedding doesn't make it wrong!

      20 agree
  51. Thanks for the link to Sara Gazarek – you are my sunshine. I have been searching for a classy version of that song. We love the muppets version but its not exactly danceable to! We are supposed to be dancing to Somebody by Depeche Mode but that could change now!

    1 agrees
    • You are MORE than welcome. Sara is actually a friend of mine (getting married really soon) and I'm glad that I could turn you on to her! Her voice is incredible.

      0 agree
  52. We've always been long-distance, so we're torn between "Gunslinger" (hear it) and "Dear God" (hear it), both by Avenged Sevenfold.

    0 agree
    • We LOVE Avenged Sevenfold. Our current plan is for me to walk up the aisle to "Warmness on the Soul" and we keep talking about doing Dear God as our first dance. (hear it)

      0 agree
    • those songs actually make me wish the hubs and i were long distance so we could use them!

      0 agree
  53. Queen's "You're My Best Friend" is going to be our song… Besides the fact that we love Queen, it's also featured in one of favorite movies– "Shaun of the Dead"!!!! :-) (hear it)

    3 agree
    • Please please tell me you're also going to use "Don't Stop Me Now." And choreograph a dance with pool cues and zombies. (hear it)

      7 agree
  54. our first choice was "perhaps perhaps perhaps" by doris day, but we ended up dancing to "these arms of mine" by otis redding – very sweet song :) (hear it)

    4 agree
  55. I'm considering "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" by Death Cab For Cutie (morbid, but sweet) (hear it), an acoustic version of "The Good Left Undone" by Rise Against (hear it), and "Good Enough" by Evanescence (hear it). My friends chose "Swing Life Away" by Rise Against, which I think is a great choice. (hear it)

    0 agree
    • I love dcfc's "I will follow you into the dark". It's such a beautiful song.

      2 agree
      • a friend of mine who is
        super talented sang it when his friends got married,for the processional. the couple got married in a backyard in new hampshire i believe, and he had his acoustic and sang. i watched a video of it and it was AWESOME.

        1 agrees
    • Lily, I've been looking for the perfect 1st dance song and I think that I've found it with your Rise Against suggestion. Do you have any idea where I'd be able to find a good acoustic recording of the song?

      0 agree
    • My boyfriend played this song for our friends a few months after we met and I intend on using it for our first dance!

      0 agree
  56. Oooh, how about "In My Life" by the Beatles? That's a classic.

    4 agree
    • We danced to this song with our parents. It was sweet.

      0 agree
  57. I wonder if my husband and I were the only ones to ever use Rancid's "Who Would've Thought" as a first dance song. And the only compromise we made in our whole wedding was to bleep the swear words because we had several children as guests. (hear it)

    2 agree
  58. Megan – Thats Cool! I tried to purchase the song but as I don't live in the US amazon wouldn't let me – boo! :( Anywhere else we might be able to get it?

    0 agree
  59. It's definitely not for everybody, but we danced to "I Love You Too" from the movie Pete's Dragon at our wedding. Yes, it's a love song between a boy and his dragon. Our guests loved it and my 26-year-old flower girl cried. :o)

    Check out this link to relive your/my childhood (song starts @ 1:45):

    8 agree
  60. @Leigh: I LOVE Adele's cover of "Make You Feel My Love"! Not at all trying to be a downer, but if I may ask, how did you get around/resolve the line that goes, "I know you haven't made your mind up yet"? That one silly line has (for now) crossed it off the list for us.

    We're looking at "Brighter than Sunshine" by Aqualung. You could probably file that one under "Dork Central." (hear it)

    One of our dark horse candidates is "Ring of Fire", by Johnny Cash. (hear it)

    0 agree
  61. @Nelle – That's our song too!!! We are big Queen fans, and that song is so sweet but not overly lovey dovey. Yay Freddie!

    1 agrees
  62. I have, on average, two thoughts a day…. and I am going to waste them both on this reply.

    In no order of importance:

    Thought #1: I don't think the people taking offense to the suggestion of "No Children" understand the song "No Children". Don't get me wrong, I understand why you don't get it. This world would be for the worse if everybody understood why that is one of the most powerful love songs ever written. Crazy… I know… but here is why I think so: It is the most powerful love song of all time for one simple reason…. it puts into words the most challenging aspect of love- complete and utter devotion. This song has nothing to do with a break-up (as suggested). It is about a couple, bonded by their flaws… who are willing to sink together. Granted… not going to make the cut for the soundtrack of a Disney movie…. but Disney movies suck. It is about the other side of love and connection… the side that keeps you there when the other person is getting on your last nerve, or you are having trouble finding anything to love about that person. Sure… its a gross exaggeration, maybe even comical…. but the message is deadly serious and poignant. It may not speak to you, or most people for that matter, but there are couples who this song speaks very directly to and is a great anthem for Love and Devotion. Before you discount it as such….. ask a couple that has been married for a while if this line means anything to them:

    "I am drowning
    There is no sign of land
    You are coming down with me
    Hand in unlovable hand"

    #2: The great thing about a LIST of songs….. is that you get to choose which one to use (or not use). I am fairly certain these recommendations were not intended as a 7-hour medley first dance (I will make my own recommendation that you DO NOT attempt this…. as it will be silly, your legs will get tired, your open bar tab will be extravagant…. not to mention that the 2 weeks of dance lessons you signed up for before the wedding have not prepared you with 7 hours worth of moves). SO…. that being said…. rather than dis someone else's choice (a great one, btw), just pick another song… or don't, it's up to you really.

    Best to you all….

    18 agree
    • I realize I'm responding to a super-old comment and this is going into waaaay too much detail, but…

      I don't think any of the Mountain Goats songs about the Alpha Couple are love songs, not even Old College Try, and especially not No Children, specifically because they're Alpha Couple songs. Those lyrics, the song even, can definitely be taken out of context and made to work, but I really disagree that anyone who says No Children isn't a love song just doesn't understand it. In fact, John Darnielle kinda says just that: http://www.timmcmahan.com/mountain.htm

      So for sure, anyone who wants to use it, I doubt the guests at their weddings are going to know all this back story. But I personally would hold off on No Children until I'm actually in an old married couple. Seems a little too soon to be emulating a toxic, alcohol-fueled relationship that's about to burn to the ground :D

      3 agree
  63. me and hubby have a song already- "My Curse" by Killswitch Engage, which we'll use when we get married (one day lol). (hear it)

    other ideas, from a mostly metal/rock perspective:
    – Everything I Do (I do it for you)- Bryan Adams (altho is probably done a lot) (hear it)
    – So Beautiful- Darren Hayes (hear it)
    -Angel- Judas Priest (for serious) (hear it)
    -Hysteria- Def Leppard
    -Mama I'm Coming Home- Ozzy Osbourne (hear it)
    -Ohne Dich- Rammstein

    For a funny/smart alecky-type song I think "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf would be great. (hear it)

    1 agrees
  64. What a great list!
    Some of my favorite songs are on there
    (LIKE THE ZOMBIES! WOOO!)

    ME and the FH are dancing to Friday I'm In Love -Cure
    Since he texted a lyric from that song early on in the relationship and totally werded me out…"What? he loves me…ugh…"

    BUT how does one dance to a song like this?
    I don't really dance at all,
    and we've never danced together before.
    But I like the idea of being held by him and having fun… hmmm

    0 agree
  65. Neither of us is a fantastic dancer, so we decided to high-school-prom-slow-dance to Norah Jones' "Painter Song". (hear it)

    Our relationship was Long Distance for a good long time, so a song about being together meant a lot to me. Plus, I'm an artist — so it worked out great :-)

    1 agrees
  66. Upbeat: Lamb – Sweet
    Indie (I guess?): Voltaire – Anniversary

    0 agree
  67. We haven't talked about first songs yet, but one I will be pushing if we do have a "first dance" will be "Never Doubt I Love" by Melanie Doane. It's one I repeat to him when he forgets. Very low key, but a gorgeous song about the fact that the world is far from perfect, and life may be hard, but the one thing that cannot be doubted is the love the singer feels. It's kinda sappy, but it fits us. And it is more parent-friendly than Nin Inch Nails "We're in This Together." (hear it)

    0 agree
  68. We're probably using Old College Try by The Mountain Goats. I love that song so much. (hear it)

    1 agrees
  69. Ours was Elton John's "Your Song." To be honest, the song itself isn't particularly meaningful to us personally, but he's one of Jason's favorite musicians. We used mine (Queen – "You're My Best Friend" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love") for the cake cutting, so it evened out. =)

    2 agree
  70. My partner and I were considering Leonard Cohen's 'Dance me to the end of love'. I haven't been to enough wedding to know if this is way overdone… any thoughts? (hear it)

    thanks for the morning playlist. It put my day on the right track!

    1 agrees
    • There's a great cover of that on the "Strange Days" soundtrack that might be easier to dance to. I love that song!

      0 agree
    • You really, really need to hear The Civil Wars' new-ish cover to "Dance Me to the End of Love." It's brilliant, and we have it in the first dance rotation, but it will at the very least be a major dancing part of our wedding.

      0 agree
  71. From one of my favorite albums, Closing Time by Tom Waits – Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love). (hear it)

    1 agrees
    • That's one I have high on my list too. Beautiful song and you really can't go wrong with Tom Waits. Ever. Waits is never wrong.

      1 agrees
  72. Some of my friends used: Nick Cave "Into my arms" , which I thought was an awesome choice. I think there are probably many many good romantic Cave songs. (hear it)

    Jens Lekman "Higher Power" would be good for some… (hear it)

    1 agrees
    • Oh yeah to the Jens. Funny story: the first time I heard this, I thought the line was "You had a black shirt on with a big picture of Peaches". (actual line said "Nietzsche") LOL!

      1 agrees
  73. Oh, and for us, this is the subject of much, much debate. We're both music people with, er, strong held opinions.

    My current ideas are

    Jesus, etc–Wilco http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QcRWZ3yvxVo (my favorite song ever)
    Dance me to the end of Love–Leonard Cohen (yes, I know it's inspired by the Holocaust, it's still a ridiculously beautiful song) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PIadFsvDk
    I Will Follow You Into The Dark–by Death Cab for Cutie (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYF8cUlbs3I)
    Tougher than the Rest–by Bruce Springsteen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_91hNV6vuBY
    Light as the Breeze–Billy Joel (written by Leonard Cohen and probably waaaaaay to complex to be a wedding song, but it's so very, very pretty) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kakz1WnHL14

    This will probably change and alter over the whole planning process.

    0 agree
  74. Jigzag – "Melt into you" (hear it)

    or "Jericho" (hear it)

    or "Over the Fence" (hear it)

    actually Jigzag have some really kick ass songs for offbeat weddings. They are an aussie folk band range from melodic ballad type songs right through to jazzy swing and blues music. "Over the fence" is a really swingy and fun song.

    0 agree
  75. You And Me by the Wannadies (I was going to have this…with my ex *ahem*) (hear it)

    Our current frontrunner is This Is The One by the Stone Roses. (hear it)

    0 agree
  76. My inner 90s alt pop lover likes these two songs –

    Simplicity is Beautiful by Juliana Hatfield (hear it)
    Hey You, Get Off My Moon by Velocity Girl (hear it)

    Simplicity is Beautiful is my pick for our first dance. I might walk down the aisle to Hey You, Get Off My Moon.. We'll see…

    Also, this list doesn't have a lot of R&B choices. Why the snub??

    0 agree
  77. we did frank sinatra covering the beatles "something"…
    i love the beatles and he loves frank sinatra…it worked well for us!

    1 agrees
  78. My views on first dance songs may be kinda weird, but I've been toying with how fun it could be to start off with an energetic dance…say, Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You"
    Speaking of the 'without you' but on a more traditionally slow song, I've always liked the idea of using Rammstein's Ohne Dich… I find the sentiment of "Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein" very lovely.
    But…I might be crazy. XD

    0 agree
    • JD, I like your views on first dance songs. In fact "Ohne Dich" is one of the choices!

      0 agree
  79. We're Dancing to "I'm in the Mood for Love" by Lord Tanamo, an old ska/reggae track. It's awesome. (hear it)

    0 agree
  80. hah! i have a whole site dedicated to this :)

    i might just have to blog about your post cause there are some good songs on here! of course i'll link back here and provide proper credit.

    xo – from one music lover to another!

    0 agree
  81. I LOVE this post–I feel like half of our reception playlist is finished :)

    A few additions, some good for first-dance songs, others maybe less so:

    The Weepies, Somebody Loved (hear it)
    Feist, Brandy Alexander (hear it), Mushaboom (hear it), etc
    Johnny Cash, Rose of My Heart (hear it)
    Stevie Wonder, I Believe (hear it)
    btw, I too love Neko Case, and I tend to agree with the comment that she's a tough fit into a happy wedding, but I might sneak "That Teenage Feeling" in any way. (hear it)

    Maybe it's super obvious and perhaps overplayed by now, but I still think Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" is a great love song :)

    and THANK YOU to the commenter who found a Tom Waits lurve song!

    1 agrees
  82. I'm trying to convince my gal to go for one of the following:

    "They All Laughed" (the Gershwin classic) (hear it)
    "I Won't Dance" – Jane Monheit version (hear it)
    "When You're Dancing" – Danny Kaye version from White Christmas

    I HATE to dance. But if I have to, it's going to be to something classy, fantastic, and kinda funny

    2 agree
  83. My FH and I both made each other mix tapes (yes, 90 minutes!) of potential first dance songs that we've shared or that make us think of one another. The verdict: Tom Waits- Shiny Things (gruff and swoon worthy- go have a mini cry) (hear it)

    0 agree
  84. With all the geeks, Pagans, and/or GLBT folk around here, I'm amazed nobody's mentioned the ultimate geek sing-along love song – "Under Your Spell" from Buffy! (hear it)

    Admittedly, for our first dance my fiance and I are planning to either ask a talented friend to write & perform a song for us, or dance to "All About Soul" by Billy Joel (because we're not just geeks … we're dorks, too). But "Under Your Spell" definitely has to be the final dance of the night. Not only is it beautiful, meaningful, geektastic, and incredibly appropos for our relationship, it's also an under-the-radar way to reference my fiance's Paganism during our wedding, without "outing" him to the conservative family members of his who will be in attendance.

    2 agree
  85. we are dancing to "your eyes" by the B Foundation!!!! they are my favorite band and my fiance actually proposed to me on stage at their show! the band was so stoked that they are now actually coming up from L.A (we live in Vancouver Canada) to play at our wedding and we will get to dance to our song live! (hear it)

    1 agrees
  86. Folk: 'Forty-five Years' by Stan Rogers, it's one of my absolute favorite love songs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BeAL9vmcv0 (Guitar players, you could pull this one out and have everyone sniffling)

    In the old school jazz category,
    Billie Holiday's 'Come Rain or Come Shine'
    http://www.last.fm/music/Billie+Holiday/_/Come+Rain+Or+Come+Shine
    or 'For Sentimental Reasons' which has been sung by a lot of people, including Nat King Cole http://www.last.fm/music/Nat+King+Cole/_/I+Love+You+For+Sentimental+Reasons

    And from way out of left field, if you happen to have a connection to 1980s South African rock, Johnny Clegg & Savuka's 'It's An Illusion' http://www.last.fm/music/Johnny+Clegg+and+Savuka/_/It%27s+an+Illusion

    Not first dance, but I ran across this song and I'm amused enough to share: Smash the bride's face with the wedding cake, by Signal Burden http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kd_xPSM38f8

    0 agree
  87. Wow, The Zombies' "This Will Be Our Year" IS our song. We decided on it after he'd been hit by a car and needed me to take care of him about 2 years into our relationship. Awwww. (hear it)

    0 agree
  88. My partner and I sometimes speak almost exclusively in Simpsons quotes (try it, there's one for every occasion and a few for occasions that will never arise). That's why early on we decided the B Sharps song "Baby on board" was "our" song. It's probably silly to dance to a song from a cartoon, but if you know the lyrics, it's a song about being happy because somebody you love is beside you.

    2 agree

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