Bill and me today!

Bill and me today!

I’m delighted to report that after eleven years of marriage, I still feel like saying “Happy anniversary to me!”

My husband Bill and I were married on a rainy Saturday at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. The date was November 16th, 2002. It was Bill’s second trip down the aisle and my first. It’s hard to believe all that has transpired since that fateful day eleven years ago. For the most part, time has really flown. I love Bill more today than I ever have. Every day, I find new reasons to be glad we found each other. In the spirit of my celebratory mood, I have decided to write a post about the music that has meant a lot to me in my relationship with Bill.

The Ceremony

I will never forget planning our nuptials. It was a stressful time, mainly because for half the time leading up to our wedding, I was finishing graduate school. We were also really broke. Nevertheless, I determined that I would choose music for the wedding that meant a lot to us. Bill and I are both of Celtic descent. I have more Scottish ancestry, while he is very Irish. I wanted our wedding to be kind of Celtic, while it was also military. No one wore a kilt, with the exception of the guy who played the bagpipes during my walk down the aisle. I chose to eschew the usual “Bridal Chorus” in lieu of a beautiful piece called “Highland Cathedral”. “Highland Cathedral” was composed by two Germans in 1985, yet it sounds like it could be an ancient Scottish piece. The first time I heard it, it was 2001 and I was at a kirk’in of the tartans in Columbia, South Carolina. I was moved to tears and determined that I would use that piece in my wedding if I ever got married. Sure enough, I used it to great success.

This is a video I made after Bill and I visited Scotland for our 10th anniversary. I used Phil Coulter’s version of “Highland Cathedral” followed by Amy Grant’s very different version of “Highland Cathedral”.

At my wedding, we had an organist and bagpiper play “Highland Cathedral” together and it sounded something like this…

Other music used in our ceremony were basic hymns. I also had people sing hymns for us, since I am always singing for them!

Love songs

There are quite a few love songs that make me think of my relationship with Bill. Our first dance was to “Someone To Watch Over Me”, a classic Gershwin tune.

Amy Winehouse singing “our song”.

But there are plenty of other mushy songs that make me go weak in the knees when I hear them. For instance, I gave serious thought to us dancing to this song by Lyle Lovett…

It captures my sense of humor, but doesn’t really reflect the truth…

A better song might have been this one by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

“All I Have” is a gorgeous wedding song, but harder to dance to.

My version of Beth Nielsen Chapman’s pretty love song.

Other songs that come to mind are Judy Collins’ version of “In My Life” and Don Henley’s “Taking You Home”, both of which I recorded recently.

Judy Collins singing in 1966.

I covered Judy Collins’ cover of the Beatles’ “In My Life”.

There have been other, less lovey songs that have inspired Bill and me. While we are in love with each other, our marriage is really more like a great friendship. And we do a lot of things that great friends do together, like drink a lot of beer.

This video includes “King of Beers” by Too Much Joy and “Beer Run” by Todd Snider, as well as photos of Bill enjoying our favorite pastime.

In any case, I feel pretty sure tomorrow we’ll have a great time. We usually take trips for our anniversary, but this year’s move and my recent dental woes precluded that. I have high hopes for next year, though! Have a great weekend, y’all!