Most of the time when I DJ weddings, the couple will know or at least have in mind their first dance song. Often these songs are ones the groom and bride have a personal connection to, or have lyrics that are appropriate to their relationship, or are simply classics, like "At Last" by Etta James. But sometimes couples aren't sure of a song yet when they hire DJNYC, and they ask if I know of anything good. I really enjoy telling them of some songs that I think would be great first dance songs, and that probably aren't on any "cookie cutter DJ" first dance lists. What I tell them next is to not just look at all these rather same lists of favorite first dance songs that are all over the internet but instead to explore a bit more, especially going through their music collections to find a special song. Then, if they still want one of the first dance "staples," great. At least the couple thought about it a bit and realized you don't have to pick one of those well-known songs.
Now and then I'll be posting an entry of a first dance song I think would work great but is likely not well known. First up is one of the songs I suggest most to couples, "I Want You to Be My Love" by the group Over the Rhine. It's from their album Drunkard's Prayer, and is a stunner of a tune. There's a lovely piano melody; the lyrics are simple, true, but also feel entirely fresh; the female vocals have a perfect balance of passion and tenderness. When I hear the song's last line, "And I want you/And all you've been through" it gives me the good chills.