I made a playlist of 96 songs for the wedding. That came out to 6 hours and 15 minutes of music, more than double the amount of time for which we'd booked our dining room at Margaux. So I knew we wouldn't be hearing most of these songs. (And because of technical issues at the venue that eventually got resolved, we didn't hear as many songs as we might have, because the music kicked out a few times at the beginning of the evening.) But once I got on a roll, I kept adding tunes I figured I/we would enjoy listening to in the car or at the gym and that would remind me/us of our wedding day.
Here's the list of songs, with links to audio or video for all but a couple of them. I didn't comment on all of them because the reasons why I might have included some are pretty obvious. And because there are 96 of them. And because I don't think I really need to make a case for the worthiness of, say, The Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" or Madonna's "Ray of Light" (Nos. 28 and 29). And because some are on here simply because Tony and/or I like them.
Here we go:
1. "Love Won't Let You Down" by Swing Out Sister 🔷 This is the first song Tony requested for the playlist; he's a big fan of sophisti-pop. And the song starts out with a fun drum intro, so it was a great way to get the music going.
2. "Mariachi" by Ani DiFranco 🔷 This is the first of three songs performed by DiFranco on this list, all from her Which Side Are You On? album, that I listen to over and over again. The lyrics of the first verse speak to how Tony and I are opposites who make up a complete whole: "I’ll be the right hand / You be the left hand / You and me we make / A mariachi band." And of course, a mariachi band fits right in on Cinco de Mayo.
3. "Work From Home" by Fifth Harmony (featuring Ty Dolla $ign) 🔷 Tony has been totally enamored with this song lately. "It's modern, new, and represents the fact we both work from home," he explains. (Because I thought his love for the song needed some explanation. 😄) Also, when I first met him, on a construction site, Tony was wearing a long-sleeved, dark-green bodysuit and jeans. 😆
5. "32 Flavors" by Alana Davis (from WXPN's Live at the World Cafe Volume 7) 🔷 It's a great song, written by DiFranco, and it references ice cream. The live version on my playlist, which I couldn't find in playable form online, is more beautiful, though less funky, than the linked version. I like the empowering lyrics, including the title of song No. 43.
9. "Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles 🔷 An homage to Hal and Stacy's wedding. The two surviving Beatles' legal team is so thorough I couldn't find a clip of this song on the Internet.
10. "Always on my Mind" by Pet Shop Boys 🔷 Another Tony request that I also like a lot
11. "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" by Roberta Flack 🔷 Another Tony request. Flack won the Record of the Year Grammy for this song in 1973 and for "Killing Me Softly With His Song" in 1974. She's the only artist to have ever won back-to-back Records of the Year. And this song—and Flack's gorgeous voice—so deserved the honor.
12. "Marry Me a Little" by Raúl Esparza 🔷 The first of several show tunes, this one is from the cast recording of the 2006 revival of Company.
13. "Chelsea Morning" by Joni Mitchell 🔷 A Tony pick. I'm not a big fan of Mitchell's voice. I know I'm in the minority in that opinion.
14. "Let's Groove" by Earth, Wind & Fire 🔷 This was one of the first songs I remember being really psyched to hear whenever it came on the radio.
15. "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" by Simon & Garfunkel 🔷 Another Tony pick
17. "The Wedding" by Abdullah Ibrahim from African Suite 🔷 I don't remember for certain how I came to buy this magnificent album of Ibrahim's compositions performed by a jazz trio, including Ibrahim on piano, and the Youth Orchestra of the European Community. But I'm pretty sure I listed to it on headphones at a compact disc store and fell in love with it back in the day when one did that kind of thing. "The Wedding" is one of my favorite songs from the album and an obvious choice for the playlist. You can hear a snippet of the song and buy the MP3 here.
18. "Funplex" by The B-52s 🔷 Another Tony pick that's as fun as its title suggests: "I'm your daytime waitress / At the Taco Tiki Hut / I'm your daytime waitress / Here's your stupid 7-Up."
19. "Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder 🔷 My favorite Stevie tune. Is it even possible to dislike this gorgeous song?
20. "Distant Sun" by Crowded House 🔷 Another gorgeous love song, written by melodic genius Neil Finn
21. "Breathe Me" by Sia 🔷 Such sad lyrics to go with its thrillingly beautiful orchestration. I got to know it thanks to Joseph, my yoga teacher when I lived in the West Village. It was used to great effect in the Six Feet Under series finale, which I still haven't seen in its entirety. I was initially a huge fan of the show, but then that incredibly distressing thing happened to David—if you watched SFU, you know what I mean—and I couldn't deal with the show anymore.
22. "Night" by Janet Jackson 🔷 Tony and I both love this song off of Janet's latest album, pretty much all of which is worth repeated listening.
23. "What About Love?" by Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson 🔷 Celie and Shug express their love for each other in the musical The Color Purple, which I saw two weeks before the wedding. "I want you to be / A story for me / That I can believe in forever."
24. "Better Than TV" by Neil Finn 🔷 My favorite song from Finn's latest solo album, Dizzy Heights
25. "New York, New York" by Ryan Adams 🔷 "I still love you, New York."
26. "People's Parties" by Joni Mitchell
28. "God Only Knows" by The Beach Boys
29. "Ray of Light" by Madonna
33. "Anniversary Song" by Cowboy Junkies 🔷 My version was from WXPN's Live at the World Cafe, Volume 1.
34. "You Belong to Me" by Annie Lennox 🔷 Because I had to have at least one Annie Lennox song.
35. "Hearse" by Ani DiFranco 🔷 The title makes it sound like the song's going to be maudlin, but it's not.
36. "Whatta Man" by Salt-N-Pepa
37. "Turn My Head" by Live
38. "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" by Stevie Wonder
39. "Wig in a Box" by the Original Broadway Cast of Hedwig and the Angry Inch
40. "King of My Love" by Jonatha Brooke 🔷 The second song from The Works
41. "I'll Miss You Till I Meet You" by Dar Williams
42. "Can't Get You out of My Head" by Kylie Minogue
43. "I Am What I Am" by Harvey Fierstein 🔷 This performance of the closing number of the first act of La Cage Aux Folles by the guy who wrote the book of the show was on a CD called Being Out Rocks. BOR was released by the Human Rights Campaign in 2002, a year in which I still believed HRC was a worthwhile organization. This song wasn't a great choice for the playlist because it starts out with Fierstein introducing the song. Then the song itself builds very slowly, without much in the way of piano and with Fierstein pretty much speaking the lyrics in his gravelly voice. No one knew what the hell was coming through the speakers. Btw, I do a pretty good impression of HF. "I'd like to leave you tonight with a little song from a little show I wrote with Jerry Herman. *pause for applause* A little show *pause for effect* called La Cage Aux Folles."
46. "Send Your Love" by Sting 🔷Another Live From the World Cafe song. This one's from volume 18.
47. "Best Friend" by Jason Mraz
48. "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
49. "Going in the Right Direction" by Robert Randolph & The Family Band
50. "Brave" by Sara Bareilles
51. "By Way of Sorrow" by Cry Cry Cry
52. "Lucky" by Jason Mraz (featuring Colbie Caillat) 🔷 I should have put more space between the two JM songs.
54. "Forget About It" by Alison Krauss
55. "Real, Real, Real" by Jesus Jones 🔷 Probably my favorite pop song from my college years
56. "Chandelier" by Sia 🔷 Because I was planning to be swinging from the chan-de-li-eee-eer by the end of the night
57. "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind & Fire
59. "Glitter in the Air" by Pink
60. "Defying Gravity" by Chris Colfer, from the TV series Glee
61. "Different Drum" by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
62. "Is You or Is You Ain't My Baby? (Rae & Christian Remix)" by Dinah Washington, from the 2002 album Verve Remixed
63. "End of the World" by Matt Alber 🔷 Continuing a string of what aren't exactly true-love songs. But what a gorgeous song. And video. And man.
64. "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher (featuring Pit Bull) 🔷"Yeah, man!" Now we're back in love again. "Thank you, DJ."
66. "I Am Africa" by Rory O'Malley, Scott Barnhardt, Justin Bohon, Kevin Duda, Josh Gad, Clark Johnson, Benjamin Schrader, Brian Sears & Jason Michael Snow 🔷 A strange choice, for sure. It was Tony's favorite song from The Book of Mormon, because it skewered the missionaries' pretensions so perfectly. "I am Africa. Just like Bono, I am Africa. I flew in here and became one with this land."
67. "Don't Look Back in Anger" by Oasis 🔷 A classic from The Beatles of the '90s
68. "The Long and Winding Road" by Will Young and Gareth Gates 🔷 A cover of The Beatles from 2002
69. "I Heard a Rumour" by Bananarama
70. "Q.U.E.E.N." by Janelle Monáe (featuring Erykah Badu)
71. "Albacore" by Ani DiFranco 🔷 The third song from Which Side Are You On? "When I am next to you / I am more me."
72. "No Such Thing" by John Mayer
73. "Pack Up Your Sorrows" by Loudon Wainwright III & Iris DeMint 🔷 A seriously happy song, despite the last word of the title
74. "Part of Me, Part of You" by The Finn Brothers
75. "The Line" by Jake Walden
76. "Nine People's Favorite Thing" by the Company of [title of show]
77. "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson
78. "Main Event" by RuPaul 🔷 Tony and I totally should have performed a dance number at the wedding. *shakes head no*
79. "Ladder" by Joan Osborne
80. "How Soon Is Now" by Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
81. "Loveland" by the Company of Follies (2011 Broadway production) 🔷 The second act opener from Tony's favorite musical.
82. "Life Is Beautiful" by Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
85. "Mine" by Naya Rivera, from the TV series Glee
87. "Take a Chance on Me" by Abba 🔷 Like No. 14, it's a song I remember loving as a child.
89. "Hospital Food" by David Gray
90. "I Don't Know What It Is" by Rufus Wainwright
91. "I'm From New Jersey" by John Gorka
93. "Express Yourself" by Madonna
94. "Back to the Earth" by Jason Mraz
95. "Another Winter in a Summer Town" by Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson 🔷 From the original Off-Broadway1 cast recording of the musical Grey Gardens. I saw the show on Broadway with Pat and Maureen back in February 2007. Tony left Wellfleet, Massachusetts, for Manhattan because he couldn't stand winters in a summer town anymore. He and I really enjoyed the HBO movie of the same name starring Drew Barrymore as Little Edie and Jessica Lange as Big Edie; I was especially impressed with Barrymore's performance. (I would have sworn I'd reviewed the movie here on the blog, but I apparently haven't.) And like thousands of gay men before me, I ate up the documentary that the musical and the movie are based on.
96. "¿Como Te Gusta Mi Pinga?" by Steve Hayes (and his "favorite piano man, Mr. Lester Sinclair") 🔷 A fun song from a fun film. In our first month of dating, Tony and I caught "Steve Hayes: Tired Old Queen at the Movies Live!." In an earlier post on Queer New York, I'd praised SH's TOQATM videos on YouTube.
1I just realized today that I've been listening to the Off-Broadway, not the Broadway, album all these years. *almost faints* I don't know how that happened. I think I have the CD around here somewhere, but I don't feel like trying to dig it up right now. Maybe I bought it before the Broadway album came out but thought that was the one I was buying.