I’ve already spoken of our mutual love for music and how it is the spark which ignited our relationship. Music is a mostly personal, but highly passionate love of mine, and Mr. Lee runs a semi-successful music blog, so we go to stadium or hole-in-the-wall concerts at the very least once a month. In fact, this year The Killers just happen to be holding their first Korean concert on his birthday!
So when it came to writing our Canadian ceremony, where all the rules can be made or broken by me, the author of said ceremony, I decided that music would have to play an integral part.
I’ve never been a fan of the Wedding March, and loathe Pachelbel’s Canon D after years of being forced into playing it back in my clarinet days. So one of the very first ceremony prep things I started doing was investigating how to incorporate our shared love for rock music into the ceremony. My friend has agreed to do the music and the work of remaking these songs into old-lady lace and nuptial friendly.
The problem is, we are both just a wee bit dark and tend to love the darkest songs best.
Jeff Buckley’s version of Hallelujah was unfortunately discarded early despite being one of Mr. Lee’s favourite songs and my occasional obsessions with Leonard Cohen. But when you are walking down the aisle, maybe you shouldn’t project the image of ‘love is not a victory march, it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah.’ Ditto with Stars – the brilliant Montreal group which was such a big part of drawing us together, has devastatingly gorgeous songs about love. My fav: “he starts with her back cause that’s what he sees when she’s breaking his heart, she still fucks like a tease”. But on second thought….
Placebo’s Nancy Boy? Damien Rice’s 9 Crimes? James’ Blunt’s Same Mistake? Matt Good for you Canadians out there, or a little Marilyn Manson….all problems.
Mr. Lee’s favourite singer is Janice Joplin, and I have a minor Amy Winehouse obsession, but just try the monumental task of turning Ball and Chain or Tears Dry on their Own into WASP-friendly processionals.
Oh I could go on.
Eventually, I had to go for songs where the meaning of the words was more important that the melodic squealing of guitars.
And this is what I’ve come up with:
Pre-Ceremony Song: Radiohead ‘All I Need’
My favourite band of all time. THE reason we even realized we even started talking music. A beautiful and mournful song. ‘nough said.
Processional – The Reindeer Section’s ‘You Are My Joy’
Not only is The Reindeer Section a super group fronted by Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody (we do love a good super group) – but this song is about being overwhelmed by the simplicity of love. That and the fact that I often say ‘You are my joy’ to Mr. Lee. It is my mantra and my grateful reminder of how lucky I am. I just hope I can make it down the aisle without bursting into tears. I’ve been practicing while walking to the bus stop, but I have yet to have a successful dry-eyed walk to this song.
Musical Interlude – either Bjork’s Unison or Hyperballad
I already wrote a long post about my feelings on Unison here. But I haven’t explained Hyperballad. To be sure, Hyperballad is a dark dark dark song:
It’s early morning
No one is awake
I’m back at my cliff
Still throwing things off
I listen to the sounds they make
On their way down
I follow with my eyes ’til they crash
Imagine what my body would sound like
Slamming against those rocks
When it lands
Will my eyes
Be closed or open?
I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you
Yes, yes, I know a song about an apparently suicidal woman might not make the best wedding song, but I think this song is about how even when you’ve found love and you are happy, you still have shit to sort out. Being in love does not magically make your life better, nor does it make the compromises and sacrifices you make for love easy. But this woman knows she got a good one, and that what they have makes her happy, so every morning she exorcises her demons, and then she goes back to her love. I can’t think of any better expression of my own feelings about relationships.
Vows: From Lasse Lindh’s ‘Walk With Me’
Okay, so our song is shamefully cheesy in its chorus….but this song IS our song, and it was very meaningful to us as we faced a litany of obstacles in our first year together. We also saw Lasse Lindh in concert just shortly after our relationship became serious. And…well the lyrics are pretty sexy.
So our vows are officially:
Msleetobe: This is not meant to be something fun, this is meant to be a love affair. So if you walk with me, you walk with me through whatever.
Mr. Lee: I will.
Mr. Lee: This is not meant to be something fun, this is meant to be a love affair. So if you walk with me, you walk with me through whatever.
Msleetobe: I will.
Reading #2 – From The Decemberist’s ‘Red Right Ankle’
You may recall my post about the first reading we intend to use (here). But since we are also doing handfasting, and we are bi-cultural, bi-racial, bi-lingual couple, it is only appropriate that we use this.
This is the story of your red right ankle
And how it came to meet your leg
And how the muscle, bone, and sinews tangled
And how the skin was softly shed
And how it whispered “Oh, adhere to me
For we are bound by symmetry
And whatever differences our lives have been
We together make a limb.”
This is the story of your red right ankle
Recessional: Blitzen Trapper’s ‘Furr’
Oh can I just swoon over this song? My sister, who as an aspiring veterinarian has a wolf obsession, sent me this song and I’ve been hooked ever since. As people who followed our own ‘alternative’ paths away from the expectations of our cultures, and then one day found our solitary lives shattered by the revelation which is love, I can’t think of a better song to announce the end of our ceremony.