For some couples, the song they choose for their first dance can be the most important decision about their wedding. It can have a special meaning to them, summarise their relationship or even just really get them in the mood to boogie.
Of course there are perennial favourites that will always be popular, however this means that certain songs (not naming any names) are done to absolute death. That’s why we here at Sway Social have taken the liberty of compiling a comprehensive list of songs to suit all tastes.
There’s something for the more traditional among us, songs for those who have a sense of humour and want to be a little bit tongue-in-cheek, as well as music you can really move to. Read on to see our favourite first dance tunes!
Slow and Sentimental – On the more traditional side of things and filled with plenty of poignancy.
At last – Etta James
At Last topped Spotify’s recent list of most popular first dance songs, and we can see why. This slow and sultry song has a sweet, romantic melody perfect for slow dancing, with lyrics to match. If that’s not enough of a reason to love it, consider that Barack and Michelle Obama danced to it as their “first song” at the president’s inauguration! If it’s good enough for the president of the USA…
Best lyrics: You smiled, you smiled//Oh and then the spell was cast//And here we are in heaven//for you are mine…At Last
Make you feel my love – Adele
Originally by Bob Dylan, Adele recorded this song in 2008, and since then hers’ has become the definitive and ultimate version for all things romance related. In January 2013, Heart Radio listed Adele’s recording as the UK’s number one song of all time in its Hall of Fame Top 500.
Best Lyrics: I could hold you//For a million years//To make you feel my love
Come away with me – Nora Jones
Norah Jones has become almost synonymous with romance, and there’s a good reason. Her silky voice and dreamy lyrics make her songs perfect for lovey-dovey dancing. This song comes from her 2002 debut album and is actually the only one on the record she wrote herself. It also helped her nab a whopping 8 grammys that year.
Best lyrics: And I want to wake up with the rain//Falling on a tin roof//While I’m safe there in your arms
Quirky – Songs for those who want something a little bit outside of the norm
Yes sir, I can boogie – Baccara
This disco hit fits the theme of “first dance” nicely, while not being overly saccharine. It hit the top of the charts in over 10 different European countries and helped to define the golden age of disco. The duo also represented Luxembourg in the Eurovision Song Contest, so you know you’re in good hands with these ladies.
Best lyrics: If you know what you’re looking for//Baby I wanna keep my reputation//I’m a sensation//You try me once, you’ll beg for more.
Let’s dance – David Bowie
Given the title, perhaps a slightly obvious choice, but you guests probably still won’t be expecting this 80’s belter. This track is arguably Bowie’s most popular ever, and that’s saying a lot. It’s a funky number (produced by the legendary Nile Rogers of Chic) that’s guaranteed to keep you dancing.
Best lyrics: Let’s dance for fear //your grace should fall//Let’s dance for fear tonight is all
Never gonna give you up – Rick Astley
This one is definitely not for the faint of heart, or bad sense of humour. It has the cheese factor but also some surprisingly romantic lyrics as well as a rhythm you can really groove to. Perhaps surprisingly, the song was a worldwide number-one hit, well… it was the eighties after all.
Best lyrics: We’re no strangers to love//You know the rules and so do I//A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of//You wouldn’t get this from any other guy
Upbeat and happy – songs to really put the “dance” into first dance, still with sentimental undertones.
Get down on it – Kool and the gang
This song is pretty much funk personified, much like Kool and the gang themselves. Released in 1981, it’s hard to believe this song only reached number ten in the charts. It’s been covered by both Peter Andre and boy-band sensation Blue (two acts which absolutely scream good taste) but just listen to the soulful brass in the original and try not to dance. We dare you!
Best lyrics: Get down on it//Come on and//Get down on it//If you really want it//Get down on it//You gotta feel it//Get down on it//Get down on it (let’s face it, we didn’t choose this one for its lyrics)
Treasure – Bruno Mars
Another funky one, this song was praised in the media for bringing the genre back in a modern way that few others have successfully done. It’s also been described as having “classically kooky hooks and slyly sexual undertones” well… if that’s not perfect for a first dance song, I don’t know what is.
Best Lyrics: Treasure, that is what you are//Honey you’re my golden star//I know you could make my wish come true//If you let me treasure you
Every little thing she does is magic – The police
A hit single from the inimitable rockers, this one does the double duty of being dance-y and having quite romantic lyrics. One of The Police’s biggest hits, this is a perfect choice for newly-weds who love to dance as much as they love each other.
Best Lyrics: Every little thing she does is magic//Everything she do just turns me on//Even though my life before was tragic//Now I know my love for her goes on