Take Your Money and Run

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - 10:07 AM

We've had some lovely submissions to the WQXR "Share Your Wedding Playlist" contest — and some that are clearly tongue in cheek, which reminded me of my very first professional gig as a singer.

Jesus Christ Superstar was at the height of its popularity, and I got a call to perform its hit tune, "I Don't Know How to Love Him," at a wedding. If you know your vintage Andrew Lloyd Weber, you know that this number, with lyrics by Tim Rice, may be the single least appropriate song for a wedding: "I don't know how to love him — what to do, how to move him. He's a man. He's just a man. And I've had so many men before — in very many ways, he's just one more."

I didn't know the bride or groom.  I just sang the song, took the money, and ran. 

What's the least appropriate thing you've ever heard — or performed — at a wedding?

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Comments [11]

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Sep. 07 2013 08:22 AM
Southern Boy from New York City

Down South, decorum in wedding planning is not necessarily a big issue. At my nephew's wedding the bride serenaded the congregation from the altar, with a hand mike and a country western combo for backup, performing two original songs that she wrote. Excruciating!

Another nephew's wedding was more traditional, until the bride's sister decided to pole dance at the reception. (She was having a great time!)

May. 25 2011 04:24 PM

David, Maywood, NJ My wife and I find your voice simply wonderful since you stopped competing with the music. I wish you would sponser playing the Trout less and the string quintet in C major far more. I truly listened to it yesterday early AM for the very first time while withdrawing from Zyprexa and was incredibly moved. I am 71 and a poet.

May. 17 2011 03:56 AM
Tiffany from Long Island

The best request my quartet had was part of the processional - the groom (a friend of ours and fellow musician) had us play "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" to howling laughter!

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I recently had to arrange the song "Want You Bad" by the group The Offspring for string quartet, at the groom's request. Oof.

May. 13 2011 03:18 PM
rick o'connell

By the way, I remember the chorus of the song:
"Sorry the day I was married and sorry the day I was wed, and it's, oh, if I only had tarried when I to the altar was led!" Romantic,huh?

May. 11 2011 10:34 AM
rick o'connell

At our wedding reception, my wife (who is a folk musician, as well as having "regular" jobs) with one of her bridesmaids sang an English folk song entitled "Sorry the Day I Was Married". It was done in a humorous way (at least that's what she told me at the time) but I had relatives who were worried for me at that point. We've been married nearly 30 years, so by now I'm pretty sure she was kidding.

May. 11 2011 09:51 AM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

Wedding music is as individual as the espoused. My wife had her nephew play the Triumphal March from Aida on his trumpet. A friend of mine tried (unsuccessfully) to have Bruce Springteen's Born to Run.

There's no figuring it.

Musicians, just take comfort in that the attendees know you didn't pick the music. Perform as professionally as you can, eat as much as you can and take the cash and scram!

May. 05 2011 08:37 AM
Naomi Lewin

@Sisko24 -- That's excellent! Maybe we should retitle this post "What Not to Sing."

May. 04 2011 07:59 AM

Naomi, I laughed when I read your story. That's a good one. I was at a wedding where the singer performed, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers". The lyrics include lines such as, "....and I learned how to cry
Well I learned how to love
even learned how to lie
So you'd think I could learn
How to tell you goodbye
You don't bring me flowers anymore...."

How's that as a song for beginning a life together?

May. 03 2011 10:39 AM
Frank Feldman

When you think about it, the bridal procession from Lohengrin is fairly idiotic, given the tragedy which it precedes and, in essence, brings about.

May. 02 2011 11:17 PM
derf from da Bronx

Anything by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

Apr. 29 2011 06:06 PM

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