15 in '15: Songs and dance moves that are guaranteed at every Irish wedding 6 years ago

15 in '15: Songs and dance moves that are guaranteed at every Irish wedding

It's not a wedding without these

Unless you or your mates decided to book Father Billy O'Dwyer, aka the Spinmaster from Father Ted, to DJ at a wedding then a decent playlist is a must.


Much like the songs that you're guaranteed to hear on a Saturday night, there are certain tunes and awkward dance moves that have come to be expected on any Irish couples special day.

Here are 15 tracks that we think are guaranteed to be heard at most Irish weddings.

Artist and Song: Elbow - One Day Like This

Stage of the day: The newly married couple want a dramatic entrance to their reception. You can spot the musical hipsters singing along to this tune while the remaining 99% of the guests have headed to the bar because they can't be arsed waiting around for the couple to arrive in the room at their 'perfect' moment.

We love people like this.

The band's reasoning: Every couple probably thinks the loud strings and chorus are like some dramatic metaphor that shows just how happy they are whilst simultaneously proclaiming their love to the world in the loudest possible way.

Pffft, loved up fools.


Dance moves: Nothing, everyone is either rooted to their chair with a drink or at the bar getting a drink.


Artist and Song: The Beach Boys - God Only Knows

Stage of the day: The first dance for the newlyweds is a very special and unique moment that they'll remember for the rest of their lives.

Meanwhile the band are thinking, "Jaysus, if I've to play this song one more time then I'm going to smack myself over the head with a tambourine."


The band's reasoning: Ah sure it's a lovely moment that's to be savoured. Let them enjoy it.

Dance moves: None really, you just approach the edge of the dancefloor like some creep and just stare at the new husband and wife as they share a deeply intimate moment.

It's a little weird actually.



Artist and Song: The Beatles - Twist and Shout

Stage of the day: People are still at that 'awkward' phase when they're getting to know the complete and total strangers at their table whilst also trying to take advantage of the 'one' free round before the meal arrives.

The band's reasoning: Quick! We desperately need to get anyone up onto the dancefloor before the meal is served. Play anything by The Beatles.

Dance moves: You usually see some really awkward and sober gyrating, twisting and bumping from your relatives that might scar you for life.


Cheers Uncle Frank, that's The Beatles ruined for me now but at least the wedding can only go one way from here.

Artist and Song: You Can Call Me Al - Paul Simon

Stage of the day: Usually played after dinner when everyone has used up all their 'sober small-talk' with the randomers at the table and they're just itching for any excuse to get away for some 'personal time' with their partner.

The band's reasoning: Get people back on the floor quickly. Lets play a cracking tune that everyone knows with an incredible bass solo.

Dance moves: Starting to get a bit more daring now with twirls, swings and footwork all coming into play although men really shouldn't overdo it with their partners.

Dinner has just been finished and no girl wants to be thrown around like a rag-doll.

Artist and Song: Valerie – Amy Winehouse (The Zutons originally for my hipster browning points)

Stage of the day: The second/third drink has been downed by now and people are starting to feel a bit 'looser'.

The band's reasoning: Never underestimate the power of women at a wedding. Men are usually dragged by their ties onto the floor and no lad wants to create a scene in public so we're just happy to abide.

The law of 'do what your partner says' abides here.

The dancemoves: Men usually look like they would prefer to be anywhere but here whilst happily going through the motions in an effort to prevent a Roy Keane death-stare from their significant other.


Artist and Song: Living On a Prayer - Bon Jovi

Stage of the day: The majority of the female guests were having too much fun on the last track and they really want to stay on the floor.

Guys hang around like a bad smell but instantly jump into the centre of the floor, crowding out the ladies in the process, as soon as the opening notes are heard.

The band's reasoning: The younger guests in the room are up on the dancefloor so we need to play something that's cheesy enough to get them singing along but also a track that's popular enough to get those people whose bums are still on seats up and dancing.

Dance moves: Lots of open armed and dramatic gestures to your partner / friends/ family members while simultaneously screaming the lyrics of the song into the nearest persons ear, thus deafening them in the process.

Artist and Song: Thunderstruck- AC/DC

Stage of the day: 4/5th pint now and any inhibitions are being thrown away faster than the brides bouquet. It suddenly dawns on people that 'hey, we're at a wedding so lets have some craic'.

The turning point as we call it.

The band's reasoning: The power rock ballads are working so lets crank it up a notch. The band all smile at each other now because they now know that they could play Norwegian doom metal and people would still dance along like its Billie Jean.

Dance moves: Air guitar and lots of it.

Artist and Song: Jump - Van Halen

Stage of the day: Jaysus, when did this wedding turn into a rock gig? Where did all these men magically appear from? I swear that there was only 8 guys in this room during the dinner and one of those was the priest.

The band's reasoning: Sure the older people are still sitting down so feck it, play to what's in front of you.

Dance moves: The ties come off and are wrapped around your head in a tribute to Rambo. Girls, your man has never looked sexier in his life than now. Right?

Artist and Song: Sweet Home Alabama - Lynard Skynard

Stage of the day: Most people are a sweaty mess after all those '80s rock classics as they head to the bar for a pint to cool off with. The one can of Lynx in the bathroom also gets grossly overused here.

The 'dancefloor hooligans' have vacated the room so the classier and more dignified people have a chance to shake their tailfeathers.

The band's reasoning: Things need to slow down a wee bit before those crazy people who left start asking us to play Firestarter by The Prodigy. Things still need to stay upbeat though.

Dance moves: A warm-up for the new crowd on the floor which is almost like a light aerobics workout. Some toe tapping, arm stretching, light twirling and head bobbing. Grand.

Lets be honest, you would feel a bit weird if your 80 year old Aunty Mary was dancing to anything that was played prior to this.

Artist and Song: Superstition - Stevie Wonder

Stage of the day: The tune that merges the 'dancefloor hooligans' with the 'delayed dancers' as the floor gets totally filled.

This track also separates the people who can actually dance from those less fortunate people who sadly look like they're a fish with two left gills that has just been thrown on dry land.

The band's reasoning: Bass, bass and more bass. Guitars are great but it's time for some Stevie, it's a stellar song that everyone loves.

Dance moves: The good, the bad and the ugly. One person looks like a brilliant mix of Michael Jackson with Justin Timberlake while your poor Uncle Frank is manfully trying to keep up with the beat.

He might as well be dancing to the rhythm of Amhrán na bhFiann.

Artist and Song: Good Times - Chic

Stage of the day: Jaysus, at the start of the day you would need a horse and rope to get people onto the floor but now they wont leave. The room is starting to look like Coppers at 3am but with less people shifting each other and throwing up in the corner.

The band's reasoning: Bring it home lads, bring it home.

Dance moves: Highly guarded. This is usually the moment when you have to dance with your aunt or uncle but you're very aware that even one dramatic shoulder pop or misplaced step could send them flying into the nearest wall.

You start off the song with more energy than 100 rabbits on Red Bull but end up tailing off for a drink. We call it pacing yourself.


Artist and Song: Tina Turner - Proud Mary

Stage of the day: The empty threats of last orders from the bar are treated as seriously as a declaration of war. EVERYONE leaves the floor and rushes to get a round in.

The bands cause isn't helped by the fact that more food and cake has been served. Cue people running back to their table like they think they're never going to eat again.

The band's reasoning: The people queuing for drinks need a song that gives them some time to leg it back onto the dancefloor. Sure they only know the chorus anyway.

Dance moves: The very definition of an Irish wedding. It starts with drinking, panic that the song will end before you can show off your moves, awkward standing around because you arrived on the floor too early and then the tune ends with you totally losing your shit when the beat kicks in.


Artist and Song: Summer of 69 - Bryan Adams

Stage of the day: People are starting to lag so they need a wee jolt that wakes them up. Shots can also be used here.

The band's reasoning: Just in case this family refuse to pay us on the grounds that they think we're shit, lets play this one. People love it and we could literally phone this song in on a Nokia 3310 and people would still give us all their money.

Dance moves: Ah, anything goes at this stage. No one cares because everyone is happy.

Artist and Song: Frank Sinatra - New York, New York

Stage of the Day: The last song for most of the older guests and those people who're too drunk 'tired' before they head off to their beds.

Dance moves: Form an orderly ring around the happy couple, latch your hand onto the hip of a total stranger in the most awkward way possible and just start randomly kicking the air.

Two rules: avoid hitting other people in the middle of the circle and try not to get dragged into the centre.

Artist and Song: Take That - Never Forget

Stage of the Day: The band have fecked off in search of whoever was supposed to pay them and in the meantime a stonewall wedding classic is played via CD.

The band's reasoning: Get me paid but keep the room happy or else they'll cause a riot.

Dance moves: This is when the worlds drunkest boyband magically appears while the girls are desperately trying to stop the men from standing all over the brides train.

FYI, we're reliably informed that the train is the frilly, long, endy, trainy part of a girls wedding dress.

So that's the 15 songs of an Irish wedding played but wait, do we hear those two magical words being said. Residence bar.

Artist and Song: Billy Joel - Piano Man

Stage of the Day: Who cares what time it is. Just keep going until you safely and happily pass out somewhere.

The band's reasoning: They're probably drinking right next to you in the bar but you can't identify them because you're so "tired."

Dance moves: Propping your head up at least two inches from the nearest table/floor whilst singing/slurring along.