Hippie Wedding Songs & Cool Music for Boho Baby Boomers
by Christina Gregoire
Getting married should be a fun celebration, not a costly, staid service with a rigid script. Hey, just because marriage is a solemn sacrament doesn’t mean you can’t shake things up a bit. And, hippie music from the 60s and 70s will totally rock your indie, bohemian wedding.
Real “hippie” weddings are designed to challenge the traditional big-bucks extravaganzas promoted by large corporate hotels and the matrimonial-industrial-complex. It can be easy to have a cheap, but beautiful, wedding if you have a large circle of talented friends, such as musicians, singers, artists, and chefs. If not, the next best thing is to work with local talent and small businesses.
Here’s a list of what I consider the best and most appropriate music for cool weddings. (Well, I can’t fit every song I like onto this short list of songs from the 60s.) For some songs, you could have a friend play acoustic guitar and have another friend sing the lyrics. But, many of the tunes work better on CD. Of course, it’s fine to use a CD for any of these songs.
Prelude or Interlude Music
Another name for prelude and interlude music could be “quiet songs that keep people from getting bored.” Prelude songs are used before the ceremony and interlude songs are used whenever there is a lull (no speaking) for one minute or longer. The music you choose will set the mood. Some of these songs are somber and others will tell your friends that it’s almost time to party.
Peace and Love Songs from the 60s
One of the most iconic hippie songs is Get Together by the Youngbloods. Everyone will recognize this tune from various TV shows and movies. Other creative options for your prelude include these (I'm so sorry about the ads on some of these. Youtube keeps taking down the ad-free songs):
- Sunlight by Jesse Colin Young.
- Pretty Ballerina by The Left Banke.
- Little Wing by Jimi Hendrix or Stevie Ray Vaughn.
- Today by the Jefferson Airplane. Some of the lyrics are strange, but this hauntingly beautiful song still holds its own in the new century. It also could be used as a dramatic processional song.
- Love Song by Elton John. A refreshing change from Your Song.
- Reason to Believe by Rod Stewart.
- I Will by The Beatles. Short and sweet and heartbreakingly honest. Paul wrote this for his future wife, Linda Eastman.
- Blackbird by The Beatles.
- Thank You by Led Zepellin.
If none of these hippie songs stokes your fire, take a look at songs by John Lennon.
Upbeat Happy Hippie Songs
Most couples pick a shopworn tune like Endless Love by Lionel Richie. Well, unless Nicole Richie is one of your guests, go for something with a little more personality.
- Beautiful by the Youngbloods. (A mix of James-Brown-style riffs and folk music.) Time of the Season by The Zombies.
- Good Morning, Starshine by Oliver.
- Summertime by Big Brother and the Holding Company/Janis Joplin.
- I’d Love to Change the World by Ten Years After.
- Suite: Judy Blue Eyes or Woodstock by Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Another indie music idea is to play Ravi Shankar or find someone from India who plays the sitar and set him free to do his thing.
Processional Wedding Music
Processional music is used when the bride walks down the aisle. Here are some songs to groove up your wedding. (Note: The first song is my favorite, but choose a song based on your memories, not mine.)
- I’ll Never Find Another You by The Seekers: Print the words to this folk song on your wedding program, and there won't be a dry eye in the house.
- All You Need is Love by The Beatles. The whole room may break out in song.
- Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens. "Morning" is used as a metaphor for a new beginning, so this song can be used for any time of day; it’s not just for breakfast.
- Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds. These lyrics are straight from the Book of Ecclesiastes (King James Bible).
- Greensleeves: This tune could be played by a friend on guitar or hammer dulcimer (or hire a student from your nearest music school). Greensleeves is a traditional Old English folk song from medieval times.
Check out other songs by The Seekers if you like their folksy sound. And, you're old enough to know what you like...these songs are just possibilities...intended to kickstart your creativity and to let you know that you don't have to have a wedding exactly like everyone else's. Be unique.
Wedding Recessional Songs
The recessional is played after the priest, pastor, rabbi, minister or judge pronounces you and your honey to be "husband and wife." Choose music that makes your friends want to get up and cheer, but play quieter music for small, circle celebrations. Here are some possibilities:
- Layla by Derek and the Dominos: This intense love song was written by Eric Clapton for Patty Boyd.
- Love the One You’re With by Crosby, Stills & Nash: This is high energy, but not overwhelming.
- Light My Fire by The Doors: I still think Jim was a sexy hunk.
- All Right Now by Free: How can anyone hold still to this rocking tune?
- I Just Want to Celebrate by Rare Earth: This is apropos for any wedding.
- I Got a Line on You by Spirit: This song is sassy and fun.
- I Feel Free by Cream: Or, use any song from Wheels of Fire.
Most of these songs will make your guests want to rush to the punchbowl and begin a day or night of barefoot dancing and celebration. In a time when wedding music, and weddings themselves, have become so generic, it is incumbent upon all creative people to have a little fun with their weddings. Creativity is more important than money.
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