In August 2009, I received a really wonderful email through a community blog that I love and participate in regularly called MetaFilter. There is a subset of the site where users post their original music, and receive feedback from other users – I’ve posted a good amount of my music on the site and it’s one of my very favorite little communities on the Internet. It’s kind, encouraging, constructive, and extremely supportive.
The email came from a user who’d heard a song I’d posted – an acoustic cover of the Pixies’ Here Comes Your Man – and wanted to let me know that he had used it in a really special way:
Just wanted to drop a line to let you know that my fiancee and I liked your cover version so much that we used it as our first dance at our wedding last month. The Pixies are one of my favorite bands and I put Here Comes Your Man on the first mixtape that I made for my fiancee, way back when. Your version was perfect and watching our friends identify it as the song progressed was awesome (and the older relative set could also enjoy it). When the song picks up a little in the second verse we kicked into a little jig and grabbed all of our siblings and parents to dance on the stage with us. It was completely awesome. Thanks for making awesome music.
Here is the song: [Click to listen]
This was, by the way, several months before I got engaged, and so at the time my reaction was “Wow, that’s so cool!” but didn’t activate my Wedding-dar as it would now. I tucked it aside and forgot about it.
Now, as I plan my own wedding and am considering options for where I want music in the ceremony and reception, what songs I might want, and in general how I want to incorporate music into the whole affair, I find myself even more touched by this note.
The Internet works in mysterious ways. There’s a lot of bad, a lot of callousness, a lot of hiding behind anonymity to spout hatred and bigotry in relative safety. But there’s a lot of good, too. Simply by creating and maintaining this blog, for instance, has connected me to a network of people I’ve never met – and may never meet as long as I live – that I somehow feel comfortable with, even trust. Other wedding bloggers who read and comment on my posts, and whose posts I comment on, are people I know only through a series of pixels on a screen, and yet I appreciate their encouragement and support more than they know. The relationships people form over the internet, I feel, are becoming more and more “valid” over time, as we come to understand how to better use the internet as a social tool and as we learn how to navigate its treacherous – but rewarding – waters.
And in cases like this one, where a complete stranger plucked a piece of myself off the internet and plugged into a very special spot in their own life, well, it’s meaningful to me. In the life story of these two people who fell in love and got married, there’s a short chapter that involves a song found online and worked into a celebration of their life and their love.
Pretty damn cool.
Yesterday, Jessica suggested that Here Comes Your Man might be a perfect tune to play as I walk down the aisle. So who knows, maybe we’ll work that in. Maybe I’ll even carry my guitar with me and belt it out as I stroll towards her, echoing over the sloping lawn into the trees of Tilden Park.
Oh, and a PS – on Sunday, we spent the afternoon taking engagement photos. We had a blast, and we’re entirely certain they’re going to be fantastic.