We all know at least one: the couple that has been dating forever and are FINALLY getting married. The couple who met in sophomore Spanish class/bagging groceries at Whole Foods/summer sleepaway camp. They’re cute, often disgustingly so, and we admire their relationship because it gives us hope about the raw transcendent power of teenage love.
Remember when she cheated on him with that wrestler/rapper/college senior? Nah. Or that time his dad caught them naked in his car? Who cares? It all worked out in the end.
That couple always has their song, often correlating to their preferred high school music genre and moment that they first kissed. Like: “She’s Electric,” Oasis, fall of 1995. We’re so not together any more , but if we were, you can guarantee we would blast this at our wedding.
These songs evoke youthful nostalgia, the hope that what is now–or what was then–will always be. The kind of feeling you get when you drive around with your boyfriend’s hand on your leg and the windows rolled down, screaming toward midnight curfew. (OK, so that’s also me.)
Anyone Else But You | Moldy Peaches
If you don’t know this song, you should. It’s a duet, and contains lyrics like “Here is the church and here is the steeple/We sure are cute for two ugly people.” High school pathos and inside jokery at its finest.
Into The Night | Benny Mardones
It’s borderline creepy–”She’s just 16 years old/Leave her alone, they say”–but dangerous and possessive in the best possible way. Even more keenly felt if you were a May-December couple (or in the case of high school, 16 and 20) when you began to date.
Don’t You (Forget About Me) | Simple Minds
All high school couples who break for college broach this fear; only the rare few make it across the divide. Plus, it’s in every high school 80s film ever made.
1901 | Phoenix
Besides its other magnificent lyrics, this contains the gem “Lie down, you know it’s easy/Like we did it all the summer long.” Calling you out, high school hump bunnies.
Thirteen | Big Star
I’m all poignant now: this is one of my top five all-time favorite songs. Innocent, longing, sweet: a slow dancer that your parents might even know.
Magic | The Cars
The happiest of the bunch, a reminder that when times are great, there’s nothing better. A summer song, made for day driving.
Hands Down | Dashboard Confessional
Supposedly about the best date ever, which is the way we all like to idealize our relationship; among those who know it, a sing-along song.
The Boys Of Summer | Don Henley
Imitated but never duplicated, the original version is ranked #416 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs. This is the sort of song that people love, but forget that they do. Have the DJ ready for an immediate upbeat follow-up to counteract the heaviness.
Somewhere Only We Know | Keane
All about stealing off to that metaphorical place with your beloved, away from the prying eyes of people who JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND. Well aren’t you just showing them!
A Taylor Swift and Lifehouse-free list; you’re welcome.
Here at Bridebird, music is crucial to our very essence. What I would obsess over at my wedding? The playlist. (Seriously; a likeminded friend just assembled 8 hours of music to play at his recent wedding, with different playlists at the ready in case people were bored, or sleepy, or pumped drunk.) In that spirit, we are thrilled to offer weekly playlists, inspired by a particular theme or feeling or pop cultural moment, that you can purchase over at Amazon. This post is chock full of affiliate links that help support our efforts to give you great content. Our only request? To please purchase the music legally; stealing, just like a crappy DJ, is poor form. And we know, we know; we left something out/included a dumb song/generally have strange musical taste. Tell us all about it in the comments!