I can't even remember how many times my Google-fu failed me when my partner and I were looking for a good first dance song that hasn't been played to death. Sure, I love At Last as much as any other warm-blooded human, but I wanted something with a little more personality. Searches for "Cool First Dance Songs", "Non-cheesy First Dance Songs" and "First Dance Songs That Are Actually Unique" didn't turn up much. Finally, we settled on a less-coupley, more universally optimistic option: Put A Little Love in Your Heart (by Jackie DeShannon, but performed by our dear friends The Venture Rays/The Significant Others). Key lyrics: Put a little love in your heart / and the world will be a better place. True of many things, including relationships.
Since then (of course), I've thought of SO MANY other great songs that would make for a super unique and fun First Dance. So here's my list, including key lyrics, of the 10 Best First Dance Songs That Aren't Totally Cliche (and yes at least half of them are by lady artists. FEMINISM.)
"The Book of Love" by the Magnetic Fields: The book of love has music in it / In fact that's where music comes from / Some of it is just transcendental / Some of it is just really dumb but / I / I love it when you sing to me and / You / You can sing me anything.
"At My Most Beautiful" by REM: You always listen carefully / to awkward rhymes. / You always say your name / like I wouldn't know it's you / at your most beautiful.
"You and I" by Ingrid Michaelson: So I will help you read those books / If you will soothe my worried looks / And we will put the lonesome on the shelf.
"She Keeps Me Warm" by Mary Lambert: She says I smell like safety and home / I named both of her eyes “Forever” and “Please don’t go".
"Prime Time" by Janelle Monae (featuring Miguel): Cause baby it's a prime time for our love / Ain't nobody peekin' but the stars above / It's a prime time for our love / And heaven is betting on us.
"Songbird" by Fleetwood Mac: To you, I'll give the world / to you, I'll never be cold / 'Cause I feel that when I'm with you, / It's alright, I know it's right.
"Question" by Old 97s: Someday somebody's gonna ask you / A question that you should say yes to / Once in your life.
"I Love How You Love Me" cover by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel: I love the way your kiss is always heavenly / But darling, most of all / I love how you love me.
"You Make Me Smile" by Aloe Blacc: I'm beaming like the sun now how can that be / see the answer to the query is very simple / I'm always grinning from dimple to dimple / because you love me unconditionally.
"Riches and Wonders" by The Mountain Goats: We are filled with riches and wonders / Our loves keeps the things it finds / and we dance like drunken sailors / lost at sea, out of our minds.