I’m at that time in my life where friends of mine are starting to get married. For the most part, I’m using the word “friends” in the Facebook sense, meaning they’re usually acquaintances in my same age range as myself. And while I’m happy for those declaring everlasting love to one another, the insufferable cynic in the back of mind that can’t help but question “what makes you think you can do better than your divorced parents?”
Sure, you could partially blame that thought on the recent dissolution of my longest-termed relationship, not to mention the fact that my parents recently divorced after thirty years of marriage. I’m pretty sure none of those matters factor into my late night Tina Turner solo sing-alongs. What’s love got to do with? Pretty sure it’s nothin’.
"But Nick” you might interrupt, “this isn’t about you. This is about the eternal love we share between one another."
Right. I get it. I understand how nice that lifetime commitment and a few tax advantages sound, but remember that one time you tried to sled down that grass hill and you broke your nose? That was fun! There ain’t a tax break for fun!
Yet even with all this tying the knot mumbo-jumbo (or maybe in spite of it) I’ve found myself gleefully replaying The-Dream’s gleefully cynical “Wedding Bells.” Coming off two marriages and a recent split from Def Jam, The-Dream could’ve mailed in a standard R&B ballad. I’d probably like it, but I wouldn’t believe it.
But with humor, braggadocio, and the delivery of someone who might be in love, The-Dream one again proves he’s one of the top songwriters in R&B.
Opening with 808 claps and an orchestral loop, Dream kicks off “Wedding Bells” by stating that the divorce rate is “about sixty percent” with the reason being “there’s too many people on yo’ shit.”
He segues into the chorus, describing the follies of his previous marriages by referring to himself as “Mr. have a wedding, just to have a party,” and later comparing them to sports terminology (“two down and I’m workin’ on this hat-trick”).
If those lyrics sound fun, they don’t hold a candle to the rest of the song. Downplaying any heartache or toil of those previous relationships, “Wedding Bells” makes marriage seem as simple and carefree as a night in a club where everyone just popped the best molly. When people get married after six months of dating, “Wedding Bells” is the song that plays in their heads. And there’s no reason it shouldn’t. Why put so much pressure on the most important day in your life when you can at least have two more?