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Old 10-03-2016, 06:28 PM
astro astro is offline
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Is Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" really a popular wedding song? If so... why?

Per this article apparently the singer of that song Robert Plant now refers to their iconic song "Stairway To Heaven" as "that wedding song". Is this really played at weddings? And why? It really doesn't seem in step with a wedding celebration.

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It is not uncommon for an artist to grow wary of a signature song—Robert Plant has referred to “Stairway to Heaven” as “that wedding song,” and Frank Sinatra called “Strangers in the Night” a “piece of shit”—but Springsteen has never tired of “Born to Run,” which he wrote at age 24 in a small rental cottage in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Expressly conceived as an important work, it took him six months to piece together all of its elements, from the twangy, Duane Eddy-inspired guitar figure with which it announces itself, to its “tramps like us” refrain, to its appropriations of imagery from the B movies that Springsteen adored as a kid, pulpy road pictures like Gun Crazy, with John Dall and Peggy Cummins.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:04 PM
WOOKINPANUB WOOKINPANUB is offline
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Thematically, I can't think of a less appropriate wedding song, so I'm thinking it would be more of a nostalgic "this is the song that played when we met and/or had our best times" kind of thing. It has meaning for the couple emotionally, regardless of the lyrics . song meaning. What an awkward dance that would be.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:11 PM
Channing Idaho Banks Channing Idaho Banks is offline
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I'm guessing that this is for weddings where they didn't hire a band.

Last edited by Channing Idaho Banks; 10-03-2016 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 10-03-2016, 07:39 PM
cochrane cochrane is online now
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I hear they played it at Jason Bonham's wedding.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:10 PM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Thematically, I can't think of a less appropriate wedding song
"Every Breath You Take"

Also "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", but that's more of a graduation song.
  #6  
Old 10-03-2016, 08:11 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Huh. So Plant and Sinatra are right, and Springsteen is wrong.
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Old 10-03-2016, 08:12 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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He's right about Gun Crazy, though. Great picture.
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Old 10-03-2016, 09:59 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Having played in a wedding band around 1979-1981, yes, yes it was popular. Inexplicably, as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:10 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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I've been to over 300 weddings and I do not remember ever hearing it played at a wedding. If it was popular at one time, it isn't anymore, or at least not in this region, not with my clients (the bulk of whom do end up with a fairly standard wedding playlist. Stairway is not one of those songs. I mean, first of all, who the hell dances to it? At every wedding I've been to, the music is there to facilitate dancing.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-03-2016 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 10-03-2016, 11:39 PM
installLSC installLSC is offline
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From the context, I'd say it was a joke--Plant's way of saying it's as cheesy as the Chicken Dance. I have heard two things about the song:
--Was it really a popular dance at proms in the 80s/90s? Never heard it my way, but then again my hometown was heavily Hispanic.
--I've also hear it was only modestly popular when it came out, and that it took two years to catch on (even on top 40 stations). Does that jibe with people's memories?
  #11  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:39 AM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Are there any LZ songs that you would play at a wedding reception, unless the couple were total classic rock dorks and would play Zep only for that reason?

Last edited by foolsguinea; 10-04-2016 at 12:40 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-04-2016, 01:18 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Are there any LZ songs that you would play at a wedding reception, unless the couple were total classic rock dorks and would play Zep only for that reason?
I'm pretty sure I've heard "Thank You" at a wedding before. If we venture outside of Zep, Robert Plant and the Honeydripper's cover of "Sea of Love" I hear fairly commonly but, no, that's not Zep.
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Old 10-04-2016, 02:06 AM
eulalia eulalia is offline
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I think Bron-Y-Aur Stomp would be a good one for a wedding, but I'm no DJ.
  #14  
Old 10-04-2016, 02:13 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by installLSC View Post
From the context, I'd say it was a joke--Plant's way of saying it's as cheesy as the Chicken Dance.
That would be my take-away, too. Maybe not necessarily cheesy, but trite and commonplace through overexposure and, thus, like a typical song played at a wedding reception.
  #15  
Old 10-04-2016, 07:02 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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Freebird!!!
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Old 10-04-2016, 08:00 AM
Gus Gusterson Gus Gusterson is offline
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Stairway was always the last slow dance at the high school dances when I was a kid. I think the main appeal was that it was long so you got to spend a lot of time pressed up against your dance partner.

I've never heard it at a wedding.
  #17  
Old 10-04-2016, 09:34 AM
Guest-starring: Id! Guest-starring: Id! is offline
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Stairway?

I can see maybe Four Sticks or The Crunge, possibly.

I'd at least like to see the dancing to Stairway's heavier rock part (last third of song)
  #18  
Old 10-04-2016, 10:55 AM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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It's got an inconsistent beat, and you can't dance to it.

I'd give it a 35, Dick.
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:34 AM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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Three songs--"Freebird", "Stairway to Heaven" and "Inna-Gadda-Davita" tend to get played when the DJ needs to smoke and/or go to the bathroom...
  #20  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:21 PM
Johnny Ace Johnny Ace is offline
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Surprised no one has mentioned The Lemon Song. And to continue the fruit analogy, Tangerine could fit in.

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You is roight out.

Last edited by Johnny Ace; 10-04-2016 at 12:25 PM.
  #21  
Old 10-04-2016, 12:32 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is online now
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Don't know about Stairway... as a wedding song, but when I was in (Catholic boy's) high school, they played the song during the fidgeting and whispering quiet contemplation period while we waited to go to confession.
  #22  
Old 10-04-2016, 01:16 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Don't know about Stairway... as a wedding song, but when I was in (Catholic boy's) high school, they played the song during the fidgeting and whispering quiet contemplation period while we waited to go to confession.
Sounds like the organist had a bit of a sense of humor. Back in my Catholic days, I used to help out on big masses or services by playing keyboards along with the church organist. We had one service at a cemetery, and I couldn't help myself but to sneak in a few bars of Stairway while we doing some meditative modal thing in A minor. Nobody in the congregation seemed to notice, but the look he shot me!

Last edited by pulykamell; 10-04-2016 at 01:17 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-04-2016, 01:40 PM
John Bredin John Bredin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Sounds like the organist had a bit of a sense of humor. Back in my Catholic days, I used to help out on big masses or services by playing keyboards along with the church organist. We had one service at a cemetery, and I couldn't help myself but to sneak in a few bars of Stairway while we doing some meditative modal thing in A minor. Nobody in the congregation seemed to notice, but the look he shot me!
It would be the sly joke a high school organist would try to slip past the Brothers, but a recording of Stairway..., lyrics and all, was played on a tape player. One of the Brothers consciously chose it as the meditation music.
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Old 10-04-2016, 01:46 PM
MeanJoe MeanJoe is offline
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In my early 20's I worked as a wedding DJ, probably did over 200 weddings. I cannot recall ever playing Stairway to Heaven or any Zeppelin song at a wedding. And I was hired to DJ at weddings cover the gamut of budgets - from backyard pool-party affairs to country club swanky.
  #25  
Old 10-04-2016, 03:08 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
It would be the sly joke a high school organist would try to slip past the Brothers, but a recording of Stairway..., lyrics and all, was played on a tape player. One of the Brothers consciously chose it as the meditation music.
Oh, well, then, huh. Odd.
  #26  
Old 10-04-2016, 03:22 PM
Icarus Icarus is online now
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Because people don't listen to lyrics. Often they just hear a few key words in the hook. Stairway to Heaven, duh, 'cause getting married is supposed to be "heaven". Churches are all about "heaven".

Similar to how Springsteen's "Born in the USA" became sort of a big right wing patriotic anthem when it came out, nobody actually listened to the lyrics - they only caught the hook. It's not a patriotic song, it's an indictment of America.
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Old 10-04-2016, 04:28 PM
Just Asking Questions Just Asking Questions is offline
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Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Don't know about Stairway... as a wedding song, but when I was in (Catholic boy's) high school, they played the song during the fidgeting and whispering quiet contemplation period while we waited to go to confession.
Did they play that other hymn, In A Garden Of Eden, by I. Ron Butterfly?
  #28  
Old 10-04-2016, 07:10 PM
Declan Declan is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Are there any LZ songs that you would play at a wedding reception, unless the couple were total classic rock dorks and would play Zep only for that reason?
Yup, the imigrant song
  #29  
Old 10-04-2016, 07:30 PM
tenacious j tenacious j is offline
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Went to a wedding in the burbs maybe 12 years ago where the wedding party was introduced to "Rock N Roll."
Great wedding, by the way. One of the best playlists I've heard. The marriage, maybe not so much.
  #30  
Old 10-04-2016, 07:41 PM
tenacious j tenacious j is offline
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double post

Last edited by tenacious j; 10-04-2016 at 07:41 PM.
  #31  
Old 10-04-2016, 09:53 PM
dzeiger dzeiger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
Are there any LZ songs that you would play at a wedding reception, unless the couple were total classic rock dorks and would play Zep only for that reason?
Gallow's Pole?
  #32  
Old 10-04-2016, 11:36 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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Yup, the imigrant song
:tilts head: It's weird that this sort of makes sense.
  #33  
Old 10-04-2016, 11:47 PM
Sage Rat Sage Rat is offline
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Originally Posted by WOOKINPANUB View Post
Thematically, I can't think of a less appropriate wedding song
I like the Tiger Lillies so...yeah.
  #34  
Old 10-05-2016, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by John Bredin View Post
Don't know about Stairway... as a wedding song, but when I was in (Catholic boy's) high school, they played the song during the fidgeting and whispering quiet contemplation period while we waited to go to confession.
Concur on your organist having a sly sense of humor. He would've gotten more points from me if he also did the organ intro to Zeppelin's "Your Time Is Gonna Come".
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  #35  
Old 10-05-2016, 02:39 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Having played in a wedding band around 1979-1981, yes, yes it was popular. Inexplicably, as far as I'm concerned.
How about Aqualung? Was that requested very often?
  #36  
Old 10-05-2016, 08:32 PM
edwards_beard edwards_beard is offline
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My ex wife told me her cousin's first dance song at her wedding was "All My Love"

When I responded suggesting ours could be "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" she wasn't amused.
  #37  
Old 10-06-2016, 07:42 AM
ftg ftg is offline
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Even more popular is I Will Always Love You. So your new spouse will know that even after you break up, you'll still be thinking of them.

And don't get me started on The Hokey Pokey.

Last edited by ftg; 10-06-2016 at 07:43 AM.
  #38  
Old 10-06-2016, 04:42 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
How about Aqualung? Was that requested very often?
No, can't say I ever remember that being on the song list for a wedding. But Stairway was. It was a long time ago, and I didn't have that job for all that long, but I vaguely remember that our version was toned down quite a bit in the third section.

I don't think it was played at every wedding, but I remember learning it, so it must have come up at least once.
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