If you see an acoustic guitar sitting near the alter of a wedding, there are 5/4 odds that you’re about to hear the arpeggio picking pattern of the perennial Wedding Song (There Is Love). And the odds are even more likely you’ll hear it on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 countdown this weekend.

Noel Paul Stookey a.k.a. Paul from Peter, Paul and Mary wrote the song as a wedding gift to his band mate Peter Yarrow. It’s been performed countless times since that wedding on October 18,1969, but because the lyrics were drawn almost directly from biblical passages (Matthew 18:20, and Genesis 2:24), Stookey wouldn’t take credit for writing the song, and created the Public Domain Foundation in 1971 to distribute any royalties gained to charity (over $2 million).

They say it’s better to give than receive, well this song was both. Paul said it was almost mystical in the way it came to him after he prayed to God for the song. He said he didn’t feel like it was coming from him, it was moving through him in a divine way. Many songwriters describe this phenomenon… they are just acting as conduits, and the song just “comes” without effort, as if it were tapped from some infinite and ready source. The Wedding Song was released and sputtered before reaching the Top 20, but that didn’t stop other’s from recording covers. The Letterman in 1971, Matthew’s Southern Comfort, James Last and Petula Clark in 1972, The Captain and Tennille in 1976, and Peter’s discovery Mary McGregor in 1978. At some point in the early ’80s the song experienced a renaissance and grew to be a wedding essential. Get a tissue ready, here’s Paul performing the original. I now pronounce you… song and listener.

Powered by WordPress.com VIP