Spotify recently compiled a list of the top 10 wedding first dance songs of 2014 based on analysis of more than 30,000 wedding playlists in their database. I decided to take a closer listen to each of the top first dance songs and re-rank them based on a super-scientific rubric that I made up just for this occasion.
Why re-rank them at all? For fun, of course. And, if you plan on dancing to your first dance song, I think it helps to know if the song is actually danceable. Yes, you can sway to every slow song ever written, but if you are looking for moves that are a bit more polished, a song with a danceable beat or regular timing will be a lot less awkward once you hit the floor.
I’ve ranked each of the top first dance songs of 2014 based on the three categories: appropriateness of the lyrics, the song’s danceability and a additional category that encompasses the feeling one gets from a really good song (chills? one solitary tear?) You know what I mean.
Total possible score is 15. Each song received a score out of five for lyrics, danceability and that extra oomph. If the lyrics related to everlasting love or finding your soul mate the song got more points than if the song mentioned breaking up or other inappropriate sentiments for your wedding day. All the songs on the list were danceable, but some were easier than others so they got higher scores in that category. And finally, if the song felt a little sad, I rated it lower, because I prefer a happy song at a wedding. But that’s just me.
Here is the new order based on my super-scientific rubric:
- At Last, Etta James – This song got a 13 for excellent lyrics and oomph. It’s a bit slow, so it can be difficult to dance to, but it’s not impossible.
- You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne – Ray also scored a 13 for an excellent showing in the danceability category and a high score on the oomph meter.
- Then, Brad Paisley – After listening to the lyrics I can see why this song would be popular for weddings. It scored a 13 for being quite danceable as well.
- Everything, Michael Buble – Also tied for first place with 13 points, this song is easy to dance to and has a fun, saucy vibe. Plus, it’s the perfect Foxtrot song. Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick.
- All of Me, John Legend – This song has great lyrics, but it feels a little sad so it lost points with me in the oomph category. It received a total of 12 points.
- Better Together, Jack Johnson – Also receiving 12 points, this laid-back, surfer favorite is perfect for a beach wedding and a little shag dancing.
- Make You Feel My Love, Adele – This song received 12 points for mostly perfect lyrics except for the line, “I know you haven’t made your mind up yet,” which feels strange considering the wedding vows that take place shortly before the first dance. But, it scored really well in the danceability category, meaning no one will notice the line because they will be distracted by your stellar dance moves.
- I Won’t Give Up, Jason Mraz – Hey! I already reviewed this song! You can read it here. It receives high points for lyrics and came in with a total score of 11.
- A Thousand Years, Christina Perri – This song is very pretty and scored high on my oomph scale. It’s a bit more challenging to dance to because of the quick waltz timing so it received an 11.
- First Day of My Life, Bright Eyes – One of my favorites for the lyrics and personal nostalgia factor, but a bit tricky in the dancing department. Never fear, off-beat brides! We can make it work if you have your heart set on this indie ditty.
All of these songs are actually great choices for a wedding first dance song – that’s why they made the list in the first place! What are your thoughts on Spotify’s list? Which song from this list is your favorite? Which first dance songs should have been included but were, gasp!, snubbed?