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I can’t remember if we’re supposed to embrace or hate Nate Silver and the 538 model these days. Every election season rolls around and it seems like someone new is shitting on Nate’s methods for showing bias or just being outright wrong. I’m sure some of it is warranted, but that’s not really my concern, because as a fellow numbers guy, I respect Nate Silver.
As many of you are aware, I’ve chosen to embrace analytics by wearing a Fitbit throughout the day. I’m tracking my own proprietary human data and crunching the numbers to reach peak human optimization. So yeah, I think I understand a little something about diving head-first into the numbers. When this 538 piece revealing the most frequently banned wedding songs came across my desk, I put down my TI-83 calculator and decided to see what my man Nate had cooked up. Turns out, ANOTHER ONE.
It’s the best of both worlds: hardcore data pulled from over two-dozen DJs and wedding szn, which we’re still right in the middle of. Let’s take a look at the 20 most banned songs together and I’ll add my real-time analysis for good measure.
20. “Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon
You’re saving the freak fest for the hotel bar. I get it. You want to keep a little bit in the tank for later. Smart play. Thinking big picture here.
19. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
We get it; you went to Fenway one time. If you keep this off your wedding playlist, your dad’s revoking his offer to pay for the honeymoon.
18. “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé
This is the time for the perennial bridesmaids to shine. I don’t understand it, but there’s a segment of the population that just can’t stand Beyoncé. Sure, I’m more of a “Crazy In Love” guy (top 3 Jay verse don’t @ me), but Kanye was actually right when he said this was one of the best videos of all time.
17. “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey
I’m sorry, but how else are we supposed to know that it’s time to gather our shit and head to the hotel bar? Yes this is cliché, but no one has ever had a bad time screaming this while hammered.
16. “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
I get it. The song’s a punchline in 2018, buuuuut doesn’t it actually slap just a bit?
15. “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex
Nobody wants this, and no DJ will ever play this.
14. “Celebration” Kool & The Gang
Very cliché, but if there’s a band it can be pulled off.
13. “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke
Brings young and old together since the 50+ crowd will assume it’s a Marvin Gaye song. Heh.
12. “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge
This one may be your only chance to get your Catholic side of the family up from their tables. Plus it’s a great time to take a break and see if any of your college buddies brought Adderall.
11. “Love Shack” by The B-52’s
This goes, and I can’t imagine anyone thinking “Hey that’s a song I hate to hear at weddings!” What the hell?
10. “Shout” by The Isley Brothers
My reaction to this can only be conveyed via Charlton Heston in the original Planet Of The Apes.
You should all be ashamed of yourselves. How is this even on the list? When I attend a wedding that ends without playing “Shout,” I wait four minutes to see if this is some kind of sick joke, and then I locate the bag with all the gifted envelopes and remove the one I carefully stuffed with a twenty dollar bill because that is BULLSHIT.
9. “Happy” by Pharrell
Is this one a little strange? While I’m not saying it goes off or anything, it seems like pretty safe stuff for even the most conservative wedding. The beat is decent, and it’s legitimately just a song about being happy. Your mom can even do that fun little dance with her hands that she pulls out once every five years when a cousin gets married. Who hates this?
8. “Wobble” by V.I.C.
I have an aversion to line dances. I’m sorry. I think they’re one of the more awkward sights to see at a wedding, and I’m the guy who tried to hit the quan at his own wedding. That being said, I understand why DJs keep them in their back pocket in case, god forbid, nobody is dancing. It’s easy enough that anyone with anything resembling rhythm can get out there and not completely fail, and there’s always that one little niece or nephew that knows the entire dance who absolutely kills it. At the time it’s cool, but it just emboldens the kid into doing way too much dancing the rest of the night and it just gets awkward. Go home, Knox; it’s time for bed.
7. “Hokey Pokey”
Be more white. You can’t. No one is doing this.
6. “Electric Slide” by Marcia Griffiths
Y’all are gonna act like this doesn’t go? K.
5. “YMCA” by Village People
No one has attempted this since 1988. If your DJ plays this, kindly have security remove him from the building and take control of the AUX. It might be too late to save it, but you have to at least try.
4. “Cupid Shuffle” by Cupid
3. “Macarena” by Los Del Rio
2. “Cha-Cha Slide” by DJ Casper
This is a murderer’s row of safe group dance songs that COULD absolutely tank your wedding. Emphasis on could, because if you have six people out there and five of them are bridesmaids and the other is the bride, you have a problem. On the other hand, there’s a slight chance any of these songs could pump a little life into the reception. Not likely, but it’s possible. You ever been dragged begrudgingly from a table by your wedding date to go awkwardly stumble through one of these? Of course you have. I’m saving it for “Shout”, babe.
When I hear these drop at a reception, I assume someone’s aunt is salty that she hasn’t recognized a song since “Rock The Casbah” played 20 minutes earlier and made some verbal threats to the DJ. “Macarena?” You can’t do that ironically anymore. “Cupid Shuffle?” I mean, you can do worse (see “Macarena”) but damn, just play “Gold Digger” again.
1. “Chicken Dance”
I have been to many weddings across this great land, and I have never even heard rumblings of a chicken dance being attempted. It just doesn’t happen in 2018 America. Rightfully so. Unless the Polka King of the Midwest himself, Gus Polinski, is there to play it, I don’t want it at my wedding.
There you go. You can check out the entire list here if you haven’t had enough. And if I insulted a song that you played at your wedding, please take it as a personal attack on your wedding. Stay safe..