In a discussion I had recently with one of my DJ employees, he asked me if I thought the song ‘Just A Gigolo’ by Louis Prima (and later re-done by David Lee Roth) was appropriate for a wedding, and my answer – as cliche as it might seem – was “If you question it, then the answer is no.”
Now certainly if it were a request of the bride & groom, it should be played, but I would pose the question of it’s appropriateness in the context of a wedding. Perhaps if it were used during a garter toss to connotate ‘the single guys’ then yes, but I certainly wouldn’t want to play a song that might infer the Groom was gigolo, or a ‘player of women’ at his wedding.
As a DJ for over twenty years, and somewhat of a music aficianado, knowing lyrics is second nature to me. When I sit down with a bride and groom or a mitzvah client or any client for that matter to discuss music I see myself as the person they are trusting in for guidance, and sometimes it is important to illustrate for them why a particular song choice may not be the best choice, and 99% of the time it’s pointing out something in the lyrics.
A great example that I cannot soon forget is that of a bride and groom requesting the song ‘Careless Whisper’ by George Michael as their first dance (you know, the ‘bride and groom’ dance that happens at the beginning of the reception). When they asked I paused for a moment, and then asked if they wouldn’t mind my taking a moment to excuse myself from the meeting for a moment so that I might print out a copy of the lyrics for them to review. Here is a short excerpt of what i printed…
I feel so unsure
As I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor
As the music dies, something in your eyes
Calls to mind a silver screen and all those sad goodbyes
I’m never gonna dance again
Cause guilty feet have got no rhythm
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste the chance that I’d been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you
Time can never mend
The careless whispers of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
And there’s no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you’ll find
Essentially, the song is about a relationship where someone cheated. Don’t get me wrong, musically it’s a great song, it was a popular hit and it’s pretty good to slow dance to, but in the context of starting off your marriage with a first dance to a song about cheating, it’s probably not such a great idea. When the bride read the lyrics the look on her face spoke volumes, and the two of them chose another song. The same idea goes for so many other songs as well. ‘Let’s Get It On’ by Marvin Gaye may be risque for a bride & groom’s first dance, but how awkward would it be as a father/daughter or mother/son dance?
Take some time to think about your song choices. Most song lyrics can be found on the internet using Yahoo, Google, or some other search engine. Check out your song and its lyrics before making it a song of significance, and if you aren’t sure about the artist or title, ask your DJ. A good DJ should always be an invaluable resource for you regarding song choices, if not at the very least a second opinion.