First dance songs that haven’t been done to death

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 | Photography by Alexandra Roberts Photography

Not that I have anything against Etta James' “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

  • Adam Sandler's “I Wanna Grow Old With You” (hear it)
  • The “Family Matters” theme song “As Days Go By” (hear it)
  • Doris Day's “A Bushel And A Peck” (hear it)
  • The Velvet Underground's “I'm Sticking with You” (hear it)
  • The Band's “Cripple Creek” (hear it)
  • Toto's “Africa” (hear it)
  • Sam Hart's “Mario Kart Love Song” (hear it)
  • Rick Roll those bitches!

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?

Comments on First dance songs that haven’t been done to death

  1. These turned out to be all lesser-known Disney music. Not sure what happened there. Destiny isn’t as romantic as some of these, IMO, but I like it and it’s about space; given some of the other songs people have said they used in this thread, it’s possible it’ll be the perfect thing for someone. Links are all to YouTube, because I don’t think Amazon sells most of these.

    Promise – parks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yM8n0oRXWUg)
    We Go On – parks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmUZPzasXGM)
    Remember the Magic – parks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9udBwdXnOGk)
    Destiny – parks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B98v_66iX4U)
    Candle on the Water – Pete’s Dragon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBZ2mV1GwuQ)

  2. Great list! We are actually dancing to “Baby, I Love You” by The Ramones. It’s one of our favorites and we love that it hasn’t been done to death.

  3. For the animation film geeks like me, I really love “For the Dancing and the Dreaming” from How to Train Your Dragon 2. I personally especially enjoy the cover version from Erutan Music, but there’s lots of versions, fast and slow on the youtubes 🙂
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCOe4x-LXcE&channel=UCrvczGINBiBV-N9mZybHCZQ

    And of course for the humorous bride and groom, but I’d be careful not to alienate the guests, a bit of Tim Minchin is always great.

  4. While Your Lips are Still Red by Nightwish
    Rock Your Soul by Elisa
    La Vie in Rose by Edith Piaf
    And for the anime fans, My Truth from Your Lie in April

  5. Great suggestions. We danced to “I Could Be the One” by Sonia of Disappear Fear.

  6. If you want some really great romantic love songs, check out the songs written by Chris Jasper of the Isley Brothers on his website, such as “The One,” “Dance With You,” “I Love You,” “Share With Me,” and dozens more! Go to ChrisJasper.com

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