All right. Here we go. Wedding song. Wedding song. Something epic. Big song for the biggest day of my life. An anthem. No half-assed “You’re My Best Friend.” Bigger. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” if anything. What am I saying? Queen? Sorry, guys, just because you write one long song doesn’t make you progressive. I mean, that would make “Stairway to Heaven” progressive. Yeah, right. Hey, Robert PlantÂ—you’re not fooling anyone with those Tolkien-based lyrics. Frodo wouldn’t “ramble on.”
All right then. Wedding. Love. Eternal love. Undying love. Love is stronger than death. “Great Gig in the Sky”? No, that’s just about death. How about “Close to the Edge”? That’s about suicide, but in an uplifting way. Wait. I’ve lost myself.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They must have a love song. “Karn Evil 9”? That’s an epic. And recorded in just one take! Ooh, even better: “Lucky Man”! Yes. “Lucky Man.” It’s my wedding day and I’m a lucky man! Perfect. Oh, wait. That’s about death, too.
OK, OK. How about something with nature? Something pastoral. Katie likes picnics and stuff. Rush? “The Trees”? “There is unrest in the forest. There is trouble with the trees. For the maples need more sunlight and the oaks ignore their pleas.” Hmm. Almost. But people probably won’t understand it’s a metaphor. Damn, Alex Lifeson is an underrated guitarist.
How about Jethro Tull? They have some nature stuff. No, no. I’d have to explain for like the millionth time that Jethro Tull is a band, not a person. Geez, people, his name is fucking Ian Anderson. Besides, songs about wood sprites might not be romantic enough.
“Roundabout”? “Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”? “Games People Play”? No, no, no. A marriage consecrated by the Alan Parsons Project will end in divorce. I read that somewhere. Moody Blues? Yeah, “Nights in White Satin”! No, all my friends are using that these days. It’s getting worse than the chicken dance.
Genesis is good. Peter Gabriel Genesis. Katie thought she was being helpful when she suggested “You’ll Be in My Heart,” because it’s Phil Collins. But it’s Phil Collins solo, Katie. And it’s Disney, for Christ’s sake. The pinnacle of suck. (Although I admire Fantasia’s combination of Celtic demon mythology with Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain.) But still. The theme song from Tarzan? Good Lord. How can I marry this woman? She doesn’t even own any songs in 5/4.
Maybe I should just pick a song that reflects our wedding theme: The Wizard’s Role in an Android-Based Society. Hmmm … An instrumental might be the best bet. Something fuguelike, with a scripted 15-minute guitar solo. The guitar is the wizard, and the rest of us are obviously androids. The guitar will serenade my bride and me, and we’ll be swirling within arpeggios and grace notesÂ—the center of Energy as Sound. Then Katie’s mother will complain about the volume. I know it.
This shouldn’t be that hard. Maybe I’m getting cold feet. It occurs to me that tradition, my future mother-in-law, and the videographer all expect us to dance together. I don’t know how to dance, and I deride those who do. I’ll be mocked by all my best friends, including members of L.H.O. (my Yes cover band, Lonely Heart Owners).
Katie keeps reminding me that planning a wedding is all about compromise. And I agree that I don’t necessarily have to approve the engineering specs for the wedding cake. I mean, it’s enough that it’s in the shape of the E.L.O. spaceship, but compromise on our song? Katie did say Sting. Sting would be about compromise the way carrot cake is about compromise. A dessert no one could possibly want, just to have dessert. I mean, I do respect that he decided to do “I Hung My Head” in 9/8 just to confuse the Memphis Horns, but how can I trust anyone with that kind of commercial success? If it’s Sting, it has to be a B side. Maybe something unreleased.
Maybe “Saint Augustine in Hell.” I know Sting’s got a good line in there somewhere. What is it? Oh, yeah: “The minute I saw her face, the second I caught her eye, the minute I touched the flame, I knew it would never die.” Yeah, that’s pretty good. Oh, wait, this line’s even better: “Blessed St. Theresa, the whore of Babylon, Madonna, and my mother all rolled into one.” Yep. That’s a keeper. Compromise. I wonder if it’s too late to get that emblazoned on the cocktail napkins.