liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
[personal profile] liv
Here we go, the middle of the list hits A song that you would love played at your wedding.

As you probably know, I'm already married, and I had my wedding five years ago. We had a ceilidh the evening before instead of a disco the evening after, played by The Big Round Band, but I think I never actually had a set-list. I remember there was a very cool song with bouncing and hugs with a title that was apt for the last day of singlehood, but that's not much help in identifying it!

Because the date of our legal wedding and therefore our anniversary is 29th February, we have a bit of a connection to the operetta Pirates of Penzance where leap day is a plot point. The amazing [personal profile] deborah_c played the overture for us as entry music (and went way above and beyond to make sure we had music at our wedding at all, when we and the venue were pretty clueless about sound tech). The relevant bit is not one of the really famous songs from the show, but it seemed more sensible to have the overture with recognizable motifs than just the paradox song:
Though counting in the usual way,
Years twenty-one I've been alive,
Yet, reck'ning by my natal day,
Yet, reck'ning by my natal day,
I am a little boy of five!
One of my favourite memories of the ceremony is my three best friends from college singing two songs for us in lovely three-part harmony. One of them [personal profile] pseudomonas chose: How great delight by Thomas Tomkins, which is about the singer wishing they could kiss and talk at the same time:
Love, since thou canst do wonders, heap my blisses
And grant her kissing words, or speaking kisses.
And the song I most associate with getting married is the incredibly romantic one that [personal profile] siderea sourced for us: Tant con je vivrai by Adam de la Halle.

The words are:
Tant con je vivrai
N'amerai autrui que vous
Jà n'en partirai
Tant con je vivrai
Ains vous servirai
Loiaument mis m'i suis tous
Tant con je vivrai
N'amerai autrui que vous
Which is 13th century French and means something like, For as long as I live / I will love no other but you / I will not leave you / For as long as I live / So I will serve you / Loyally [something I can't figure out] / For as long as I live / I will love no other but you. So it's a bit exclusive for a poly couple, but it's so pretty and romantic that I don't care.

We also really wanted to have something for communal singing but not religious. And English people are basically quite bad at having songs that large groups of people know well enough to sing, so we settled on the imperfect compromise of the XKCD version of Boom-de-yada.

I have no intention of having any more weddings to choose music for. I'm already married, as are all my partners. And maybe poly people aren't supposed to say this, but I really think I've found my people and hope not to end or change my current relationships. Friends who have looked into these things in more detail think it's not actually illegal to have weddings, in the sense of ceremonies indicating lifelong romantic commitment, to more than one partner, as long as you don't try to register the relationship as a marriage for legal purposes. But I am not really sure of the details and anyway at the moment we don't have any desire to be married to more people than our existing spouses, even if it is (or became) legally ok.

It is fair to say that I never intended to get married the first time either, so maybe I'm wrong. I suppose we've vaguely talked about the possibility that those of us who are EU citizens may need to marry those who are not for immigration reasons and safety, but I really really really hope it doesn't come to that and if we were in that situation there wouldn't be any singing and dancing, just whatever paperwork we needed for survival. And hypothetically my current relationships might come to an end and then I might find a new person who really wanted to get married to me. But then the song I would choose would depend so much on the person and the circumstances that I can't really speculate what it would be, and I don't really want to because it involves imagining the ends of relationships I really want to keep.

I'm not in general a fan of the wedding tradition of the First Dance to a romantic song. Partly because I'm not much of a dancer, and partly because I think there are better ways to do symbolic consummation. And then finding a song which is lyrically appropriate is surprisingly hard; a lot of songs in the style that's appropriate to slow-dance to are really breakup songs, or at best they're hugely monogamy-assuming and heteronormative. As [personal profile] elf pointed out in this meme, a lot of poly-friendly songs are about casual hey we're just doing this as long as we both like it relationships, which is kind of wrong for a wedding.

I think it was [personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait who pointed out that the most inappropriate possible song for a wedding is She moves through the fair, since it mentions our wedding day but primarily as a euphemism for death. I am very fond of it, mind you. And I have attended a wedding where the big romantic moment Song was Hey, that's no way to say goodbye by Leonard Cohen, which is a gorgeous song but way depressing if you go past the opening lines:
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm,
Your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm,
Yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new,
In city and in forest they smiled like me and you

I never daydreamed about my ideal wedding when I was single, so I never had a concept in my mind of what song I would love played. If I happened to be in a relationship where we had a song that was meaningful to us as a couple, then perhaps I'd choose that, but I can't help myself thinking about the detailed interpretation of the words. So, just out of interest, do any of you know any songs which are good for weddings, talking about serious relationships but not about possessiveness? Or songs that are good for non-religious communal singing?

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-24 09:20 pm (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
I don't exactly mean that I feel I ought to wish for an unlimited number of partners. It's more that there's a whole poly philosophy about not looking for a soulmate and being open to relationship configurations changing as people change. And I sort of believe that, if I thought my current partners were happier without me then I would care more about them being happy than about trying to make them stay with me. But also I feel slightly guilty about really really hoping that won't happen.

I am familiar with that philosophy, and it looks like the death of polyamory to me.

Look. The fundamental premise of polyamory as an ethical movement is that poly is no different than mono, except that poly allows for multiple partners. Certainly that poly is not inferior to mono! Polyamory has always positioned itself as about love – like is baked into the name – and relationship, not just sex. Polyamory as a concept is (or at least was) constructed in opposition to swinging and to just sleeping around; the term was also invented in contrast to the pre-existing term "open marriages", in which one has a single priorized emotional/romantic relationship and other relationships which are merely sexual.

Polyamory has always – until now! – been about being able to make multiple sexual/romantic relationship commitments. There's other words than "polyamory" for all the other things.

But now, there's this idea that if you're a real poly person, you wouldn't ask your partner to make any sort of commitment to you. You know, like is normal among monos. Monos make promises to stick together with their – exclusive – partners all the time. It's called "marriage". But these days, polys have gotten the idea that it's terribly selfish to ask a partner to make a commitment to one to stick with one, because, oh noes, they might someday be happier without one. Monos have a solution for this; it's called "divorce".

Basically this philosophy says that intrinsic to poly is that poly people can't make romantic commitments the same way mono people do. This philosophy says that in poly, there can be no group marriages, no small stable exclusive systems, really no marriages at all.

This philosophy says that poly people can't – and shouldn't – make the sorts of promises to one another that actually make people family to one another. It renders all poly relationships to dating.

I have no problem with anybody who wants to live their life like that; I don't think anybody's required to settle down and get married, whether to an individual or to multiple individuals or to a group.

But I believe the promulgation of the notion that somehow a small group of people who want to commit their lives to one another isn't poly – and, worse, that wanting relationships others to commit to you – hoping, wishing for polyamorous marriage – makes one a Bad Poly – is obscene – and a debasement of what poly is, possibly to its destruction.

If there is a forced choice between having multiple partners and having committed partners, where then is poly? If poly has no place for commitment, is poly a good place for people?


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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