Recently I’ve started to introduce Evan to grown-up music because, let’s face it, I can’t do nursery rhymes all day long because… I’m a grown-up. Before we moved, Brian and I did a purge of our CDs to get it down to what we really listen to.
Anyway, I came across our wedding CD, the one that we handed out as a favor at our wedding. Why yes, we did get married in 2004 when everyone else was doing the same thing – thanks for asking. I played two songs on the CD for Evan today before he fell asleep for what will hopefully be a very long nap. And I was struck by two things: 1) Good love songs are just about love and can translate to my son as easily as my husband, and 2) Someday Evan is going to ask me why we chose the songs we did on this CD and I will not be able to remember (since little slices of my memory disappear every day).
So, this post is for Evan, someday. I’m going to attempt to explain why the songs are on the CD (from my point of view – then maybe I’ll ask Brian to guest post from his point of view).
1. First Time Ever I saw Your Face – Roberta Flack
You may or may not know, Brian and I met online (Match.com). We emailed back and forth for a bit, then talked on the phone incessantly, and then finally decided to meet. We admitted to each other, much later, that as long as we found the other person attractive (I think I actually said as long as Brian wasn’t grotesque) then we knew we would get married.
So, I fell in love the first time I saw his face (gag – apparently I was much more romantic then).
2. Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better – Ethel Merman
To explain this one, I’m going to tell you a little story. Our friends were driving around after our wedding and playing this CD in their car. When this song came on, the husband-friend said, “Why did Brian and Ellen pick this song?” to which his daughter replied, “Hello, have you met them?” I think that is all that needs to be said here.
3. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off – Louis Armstrong
I know, huh? How could this song fit in? Well, I fought against this song until Brian made me sit down and actually listen to the lyrics. It’s about two people who have small differences (because how you pronounce “tomato” really is small), who realize their lives would be “easier” if they called it off but know they can’t because of how much they love each other. As you can see, the song made the cut.
4. I Think I Love You – David Cassidy
Okay, on this one my memory may be a little faulty in the details but I can give you the big picture. For some context, Brian and I had our first date (face to face meeting) on October 25 and we were engaged on December 24 of the same year. You can probably surmise that we said “I love you” relatively early to each other. I won’t go into the long story about how we said it to each other (nothing dirty, just too long for this brief explanation) but at one point someone (Brian maybe?) referenced this song so I bought him the CD for Christmas (yes, it survived the purge) and so it made it here.
5. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel
When Brian and I met, Sex and the City was still running and highly popular. He always said I was “Miranda” to his “Steve the bartender.” For those of you who don’t get that reference – he felt I was his uptown girl and he was the downtown guy.
6. Theme to the Odd Couple
Really I could just repeat the story for the second song. In some ways Brian and I are perfect for each other and in others (like he is actually pretty politically conservative and I’m a communist… and now I’m on some government watch list somewhere – wave at the cameras) it’s a miracle we ever made it to the altar.
7. Just the Way You Are – Billy Joel
I don’t recall any specific reason for this song other than the fact that I love Billy Joel and Brian liked this song.
8. Love Theme from The Godfather
So, I know it’s a shocker, but Brian and I are Italian (with some Irish and German thrown in). As an Italian woman, I cook. As an Italian man, Brian watches all mafia movies. For our wedding, as a joke, when we were announced as man and wife at the reception we walked in to this song, made a loop around the room, then had our first dance. We felt it would be perfect to include in the CD.
9. You’re My Home – Billy Joel
This is one of the most beautiful and underrated songs of Billy Joel. It is on his Piano Man and Songs in the Attic CD. It was important to me to include this song on our CD because I wanted Brian to know that the only thing that mattered to me was him. I didn’t need commercial items, I just needed him.
10. The Power Of Two – Indigo Girls
This is without a doubt one of my most favorite songs of all time (and I am aware of how poorly that sentence is written, but I’m willing to overlook that because that is how much I love this song). I love this song for lots of reasons, but there are two lines in it that sing to my soul: “If we ever leave a legacy / it’s that we loved each other well.” There is just something so incredibly beautiful about that sentiment.
I wanted this to be our first dance song but Brian didn’t want it because I had picked it out before I met him so he felt it was more of an “insert man here” sort of decision rather than a couple’s decision. Point taken… and please refer back to the reasoning for song #3.
11. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
My husband is a lot about equality. You see, I hate Frank Sinatra, but he claims to hate The Indigo Girls. So, if I got an Indigo Girls song, then he got a Frank Sinatra song. See, we worked it out.
12. Song for My Son
Brian’s song for the dance with his mother. She got to pick this one out.
13. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
My song for the dance with my father. I gave him the choice of picking something but he didn’t know where to start. He ixnayed my first choice of “I Hope You Dance” because he didn’t think he could dance to country music. Incidentally, I had to count the entire time we danced so that I could let him lead. You can see it in the video – true story.
14. When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole
This was the song we FINALLY chose as our first dance. Brian spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect song. I decided that “The Power of Two” was the perfect song a long time ago so I wasn’t very helpful. Of course, there was no song that talked about people meeting on the Internet, falling in love, getting engaged in 2 months but married 17 months later, co-owning cats and a house before marriage, navigating the combination of our lives, so we just picked one we could both agree on.
Oddly, this was also my sister’s first dance song.
And here we are, almost 6 years later. I still love listening to this CD.