Wedding Songs
The ceremony was lovely and the reception is in full swing. Then it happens - the DJ spins a song that makes your grandmother blush and the bride burst into tears. You've just been witness to a grossly inappropriate wedding song. Not because it included a four-letter-word, but because it denounces the very sort of loving relationship you are all in attendence to celebrate. The following are our picks of songs that might, through their subject matter and lyrics, forever doom a new husband and wife to a life of sorrow and should therefore never - ever - be played at a wedding.

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20. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) - Journey

The only thing sadder than the death of a love affair which once held infinite promise is probably Journey lead singer Steve Perry's rock mullet which can be seen in the original video version here. Technically I believe it falls under the trashmullet classification.

Sample Lyric:
"Troubled times
Caught between confusions and pain, pain, pain
Distant eyes
Promises we made were in vain, vain, vain"

Little Known Fact:
Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and lead vocalist Steve Perry wrote this on the road during a period when two of the band members were going through painful divorces due to the stresses (and temptations) of life on the road.

19. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division

Songs have credited love with many things over the years, but never tearing anybody apart. Joy Division's seminal classic seems to bemoan the death of a relationship due to a couple's priorities changing - rather than any actual physical dismemberment.

Sample Lyric:
"When routine bites hard
And ambitions are low
And the resentment rides high
But emotions wont grow"

Little Known Fact:
Joy Division were an influential and critically praised band, but didn't sell many records. Released in April, 1980 this song didn't chart. A month later, depressed over poor health and a broken marriage, lead singer Ian Curtis hanged himself. The single was re-released in June and became their first and only hit.

18. I Don't Love Anyone - Belle and Sebastian

If you don't love anyone (except "maybe my sister" as the song states), then what the heck are you doing getting married in the first place? And maybe don't move to Iran anytime soon. Repeated spins of this song are sure to induce serious second-thoughts in one or both members of the happy couple.

Sample Lyric:
"I don't love anyone
You're not listening
You're playing with something
You're playing with yourself"

Little Known Fact:
Belle and Sebastian member, Mick Cooke, is currently writing and recording children's songs while the band takes a break. Here's hoping his recent score for "The Happy Duckling" cartoon is a little more optimistic than this song.

17. A Man Needs A Maid - Neil Young

Thankfully, modern gender roles are no longer as strongly defined as they once were. That having been said, brides who hear their new husbands request this song during the reception may have a few choice words for him during the limo ride to the airport.

Sample Lyric:
"I was thinking that maybe I'd get a maid
Find a place nearby for her to stay.
Just someone to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away."

Little Known Fact:
Neil Young wrote this song about actress Carrie Snodgress. Jack Nitzsche produced the track and dated Snodgress a few years after she broke up with Young. Nitzsche was eventually sentenced to probation after he beat Carrie with a handgun in 1979.

16. A Quick One, While He's Away - The Who

The plot of the story is simple. A girl is sad that her boyfriend is away. Her friends suggest that she take a substitute lover, Ivor The Engine Driver. When the boyfriend returns, she confesses her infidelity and is forgiven. Repeated listens might discourage the groom from going on long business trips for the first couple years.

Sample Lyric:
"I missed you and I must admit
I kissed a few and once did sit
On Ivor the Engine Driver's lap
And later with him, had a nap"

Little Known Fact:
The Who wanted to put Cellos on the track but their producer said they couldn't afford it. So they sang "cello, cello, cello, cello," where they thought they should go.

15. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart - Wilco

"Don't sugar coat it, Wilco." Anti-romantic statements don't get clearer than the title of this ditty. Will they release a follow up entitled "I am Going to Cheat on You With your Best Friend"? While you're wondering, pick something else for the reception playlist.

Sample Lyric:
"I'd always thought that if I held you tightly
You'd always love me like you did back then
Then I fell asleep and the city kept blinking
What was I thinking when I let you back in?"

Little Known Fact:
Wilco's 2002 documentary of the same name shows the band recording their much-loved album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which is their most successful to date but was initially rejected by their record label for not being "commercial enough".

14. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley

This classic tune paints the picture of a relationship so severely damaged by mistrust (and probably infidelity) that the couple involved probably won't make it. Not the sort of optimistic ode you want to hear on your first day of marriage. It's perfectly acceptable in Nevada, however, to have Elvis pronnounce you man and wife.

Sample Lyric:
"If an old friend I know
Drops by to say hello
Would I still see
Suspicion in your eyes?"

Little Known Fact:
This was recorded between 4-7 in the morning, during the landmark 1969 "Memphis session" that helped Elvis reclaim his title of "The King." It was his first #1 hit in 7 years - and also his last.

13. Gold Digger - Kanye West

For all its talk of gold digging, prenuptual agreements and misspent alimony money - this song is still very popular on dance floors across the nation. Be careful and don't let it slip under the radar at your wedding. The results could be... expensive.

Sample Lyric:
"18 years, 18 years
She got one of yo kids got you for 18 years
I know somebody payin child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car and crib is bigger than his."

Little Known Fact:
This is the first song featuring a reigning Academy Award winning actor (Jamie Foxx) to hit #1 in the US charts since Frank Sinatra won Best supporting Actor in 1953 for his work in From Here to Eternity and also scored a #1 song that same year.

12. I Hate Everything About You - Ugly Kid Joe

Forget the fact that the title alone would qualify it for our list, but the protagonist of this frankly awful song is not someone you want to walk down the aisle with. Especially, apparently, if you have a younger sister. Fostering good relationships with your bride's family is a good idea - but this is ridiculous.

Sample Lyric:
"I don't really care about you're sister,
@&!! the little bitch 'cause I already kissed her,
One thing that I did to your old lady,
Was I put her on the bed and she didn't say maybe."

Little Known Fact:
The band's first gig was opening for Pretty Boy Floyd and they had yet to pick out a name. When the stage manager asked how to introduce them, they parodied the name of the headliners.

11. All my Exes Live in Texas - George Strait

We're just hypothesizing here, but if you have so many exes that it drives you out of the largest state in the union, you might have a few bad dating habits. No one likes to be reminded of their significant other's prior love interests and this song might just dredge up a few bad memories if played on your wedding day.

Sample Lyric:
"All my exes live in Texas,
And Texas is a place I'd dearly love to be.
But all my exes live in Texas
And that's why I hang my hat in Tennessee."

Little Known Fact:
Strait has sold more than 73 million recordings and his certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 32 platinum and 35 gold albums. His overall certification numbers are third of all musicians, behind Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

10. Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - The Smiths

Miserable now? Morrissey - you're always miserable. Similar to the next selection in our list, the title of this song alone makes it a poor choice for anyone's marital celebrations. Upon close examination of the lyrics the extremely depressed protagonist of this song sounds like a victim of "beer goggles". Perhaps this 1984 tune is a more appropriate soundtrack for the eventual bad decisions made by single members of the wedding party.

Sample Lyric:
"I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
But heaven knows I'm miserable now."

Little Known Fact:
This ultra-gloomy song by one of Manchester England's finest was actually named as one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll".

9. It's the End of the World as we Know it - REM

Unless considered a plea for more personal space, this song has little lyrical content that might be interpreted as unlucky on a wedding day. The title alone, however, might drive a wedge between a new couple. We would definitely advise against dedicating it to your new life partner, regardless of how much they may love Michael Stipe.

Sample Lyric:
"It's time I had some time alone.
It's time I had some time alone."

Little Known Fact:
Part of the lyrics came to lead singer Michael Stipe in a dream. He dreamt he was at a birthday party, and everyone had the initials L.B. except him. This is evident when he talks about Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce, and Leonard Bernstein.

8. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen

Domestic violence is a tragedy that has marred more than a few once wonderful marriages. Inviting your brand new spouse to take a swing at you is a conversation best saved for a much later date and after you've given her a darn good reason. Wait at least a week.

Sample Lyric:
"There are plenty of ways you can hurt a man
And bring him to the ground
You can beat him, You can cheat him
You can treat him bad and leave him when he's down
But I'm ready, yes I'm ready for you"

Little Known Fact:
During production of Rocky III, it was used in a scene where Rocky is training for a fight. Producers could not get permission to use it so Sylvester Stallone hired Survivor to write an original song instead, which turned out to be "Eye Of The Tiger".

7. 50 Ways to Leave your Lover - Paul Simon

On your wedding day you can plan on receiving all kinds of advice from friends and family. How to resolve arguments, balance joint finances and raise children may all be among the gems that you hear. How to break up with the lover you're currently having an affair with, however, is luckily much less commonplace.

Sample Lyric:
"She said why don't we both just sleep on it tonight
And I believe in the morning you'll begin to see the light
And then she kissed me and I realized she probably was right
There must be fifty ways to leave your lover."

Little Known Fact:
While Paul may elude to 50 ways, he only actually mentions 5 - Slip out the back, make a new plan, set yourself free, hop on the bus and drop off the key. What a ripoff, Mr. Simon!

6. Run for Your Life - The Beatles

Unless your beloved betrothen goes by the name of Charles Manson, playing this song at your wedding might seem just a tad inappropriate to most brides. "Helter Skelter" is a much more tasteful choice.

Sample Lyric:
"Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
You better keep your head, little girl
Or I won't know where I am"

Little Known Fact:
John Lennon never liked this song and once said he found it rather repugnant in retrospect when viewed from the perspective of his eventual relationship with Yoko Ono.

5. Better Man - Pearl Jam

She dated the starting quarterback on your high school team and also allegedly had relations with at least one of her brilliant college professors. But when all those other guys failed to work out - she finally settled for you, Mr. Groom. Doesn't that make you feel special? Of course not. Don't play it.

Sample Lyric:
"Memories back when she was bold and strong
And waiting for the world to come along...
Swears she knew it, now she swears he's gone."

Little Known Fact:
This is about a woman who settles for the man she has because she doesn't think she can do any better. Vedder had his stepfather in mind when he wrote it and at some concerts has dedicated it to "The bastard who married my mother."

4. Love Stinks - J. Geils Band

The first verse of this song paints a picture of a sordid love triangle. Maybe even a love hexagon. Unless you're getting married in Utah it's not going to be very romantic or inspirational to a new couple and should be avoided at all costs on the big day.

Sample Lyric:
"You love her but she loves him
And he loves somebody else
You just can't win
And so it goest ill the day you die
This thing they call love it's gonna make you cry ."

Little Known Fact:
Lead singer Peter Wolf's roomate at a Boston Art college was none other than the famously dark filmmaker, David Lynch. That certainly explains a lot.

3. If you Wanna be Happy - Jimmy Soul

At many weddings we've been to over the years, Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight" is often played in tribute to the bride. Slip this little number on the turntable during the first dance instead and after her father gets through with ya - you'll feel like you've been worked over by a few of Frank's shadier pallies.

Sample Lyric:
"Don't let your friends tell you you have no taste
go ahead and marry anyway
Her face is ugly her eyes don't match
take it from me shes a better catch."

Little Known Fact:
This is based on a Calypso song called "Ugly Woman" by Roaring Lion and the underlying theme is that homely women are lower-maintenence because they're grateful to be married at all. Doesn't that just warm the cockles of your heart?

2. Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her) - G N' R

When all other options have been exhausted, the final straw in a troubled relationship should be two people parting ways - politely or otherwise. Guns n' Roses suggested a second alternative back in 1988 which would have likely seen your next love affair taking place in the shower room of a state prison.

Sample Lyric:
"I used to love her
But i had to kill her
I had to put her six feet under
And i can still hear her complain ."

Little Known Fact:
Axl Rose wrote the lyrics as a joke and it was rumored that the song is about his dog which he had to have put to sleep and then buried in his backyard. Unfortunately, we expect most of his fan-base weren't privvy to this info, and we hope none took it to heart.

1. D-I-V-O-R-C-E - Tammy Wynette

Our choice for the #1 position needs little to no explanation. Any wedding DJ who spins this during a reception should be dragged out into the parking lot and stuffed in a T.R.U.N.K. There is no bigger auditory jinx on earth than this song, as evidenced by both the subject matter and the personal life of the unlucky chanteuse.

Sample Lyric:
"Our D.I.V.O.R.C.E becomes final today
Me and little J.O.E will be goin' away
I love you both and it will be pure H.E double L for me
Oh, I wish that we could stop this D.I.V.O.R.C.E."

Little Known Fact:
Wynette's songs often reflected her troubled romantic life, and this was no different - she married five times! Not only could she deliver this tune convincingly, she was an authority on the subject matter.


You can't please all of the people, all of the time, but we sincerely hope you enjoyed our list of the 20 most inappropriate wedding songs of all time and maybe even had a laugh or two along the way. Please share this page with friends, vote for it within your favorite social media outlet or
suggest a song we might have missed so we can add it to future updates.

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