The “Love” Songs of Bon Jovi, and Our Pool of First Dance Songs

I. Love. Bon. Jovi.

I know it’s such a Jersey thing, to be a Bon Jovi fan, but I can’t help it! I have just about all of their hits, and I even faithfully buy their new albums. When Living on a Prayer comes on, my arms instantly shoot up to start pounding the air and my head instinctively bangs up and down. It just never gets old.

While Mr. Martini and I were talking about our “soundtrack” for the wedding, we started shooting back and forth titles of well known love songs. Then suddenly he asked, “What about Bon Jovi?”

I responded, “What about Bon Jovi? He doesn’t really have many love songs”¦”

He answered, “What about Always, or Bed of Roses, or I’ll Be There for You?”

I replied, “Those aren’t really love songs at all.”

Then it got me thinking.

I’ve been to four Bon Jovi concerts and every time he performs these songs, all the ladies scream bloody murder (including me) and take their bras off (ermm.. not me). In fact, at my second Bon Jovi concert several years back, I actually witnessed a proposal! No joke, Bon Jovi “selected” a girl from the crowd and brought her up on stage. All of a sudden her boyfriend came out from backstage and got down on one knee to propose to her. Through tears she said yes, and they proceeded to hug and slow dance while Bon Jovi sang Bed of Roses.

At the time I was intoxicated with Bon Jovi’s voice (Ok, fine. Maybe it was the beer), and I thought it was one of the most romantic things a guy could ever do. Later I realized ”“ wait a second”¦ Bed of Roses is not a love song, at least not to me. Sure it seems like one; Bon Jovi croons “I want to lay you down in a bed of roses.” But in the same song he also says, “”˜Cause a bottle of vodka is still lodged in my head, and some blonde gave me nightmares, I think that she’s still in my bed.” Say wha??? It’s sweet when he says, “Now as you close your eyes, know I’ll be thinking about you,” but he also says, “Tonight I won’t be alone, but you know that don’t mean I’m not lonely.” I’m sure that song meant something dear to them, but it didn’t seem like a very good first song for us to dance to.

Who can forget the romantic chorus of Bon Jovi’s Always?

And I will love you, baby – always
And I’ll be there forever and a day – always
I’ll be there ’til the stars don’t shine
Till the heavens burst and
The words don’t rhyme
And I know when I die, you’ll be on my mind
And I’ll love you – always

But in the same song the following lines are also sung:

Its been raining since you left me, now I’m drowning in the flood

Now your pictures that you left behind, are just memories of a different life

When he holds you close, when he pulls you near, when he says the words you’ve been needing to hear, I wish I was him ’cause those words are mine, To say to you ’til the end of time

And then there’s everyone’s favorite, the classic I’ll Be There for You. I have to admit my heart fluttered more than once while listening to his words:

I’ll be there for you
These five words I swear to you
When you breathe I want to be the air for you
I’ll be there for you
I’d live and I’d die for you
Steal the sun from the sky for you
Words can’t say what a love can do
I’ll be there for you

Perfect first dance song, or so it seems. In the same song he also sings:

I guess this time you’re really leaving, I heard your suitcase say goodbye. Well as my broken heart lies bleeding, you say true love, it’s suicide.

Still, I definitely wanted to incorporate a Bon Jovi song into our wedding somehow. I’ve already requested that our band sing Living On a Prayer”¦ this of course is an absolute must. But it’s a song for everyone to go nuts to and have fun to. I wanted one Bon Jovi song that would be about us. But how?

I decided in the end that I am going to ask our band to play Bon Jovi’s Born to Be My Baby as our entrance song. It’s fun, it’s upbeat, and the lyrics have nothing to do with the bad breakups that he can’t seem to stop singing about.

As for our first song? The possibilities are endless. I think I’ve narrowed it down to about 50 of my favorites. Not kidding. Mr. Martini and I don’t really have a “song”, so I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect love song with the perfect lyrics. I thought it might be fun to post a few audio clips of some of the songs that are at the top of our list. Unfortunately we have to make some final decisions soon, as the band needs all our information about three months before the wedding. Because of that, I’ve been on “love song” overload these past few days.

I like this song. It’s simple, meaningful, and already on the band’s repertoire. We are allowed to request three songs that are not on the list, but we have to provide CDs and sheet music for each song three months prior to the wedding date. Note: the song above is a remake of the original Lonestar version, sung by Duncan James.

OK. I have to admit that this song is super high up there as possibly becoming our first dance song. Right around the time I was obsessing over New Kids on the Block in junior high school, I was at the mall with my now MOH and happened to come across a sign outside a music store that claimed Firehouse was inside signing their album. We had no idea who Firehouse was, but they seemed pretty popular, so we decided to stand in line. We actually bought their cassette tape so that we’d have something they could sign, got free posters, awkwardly said hello to these crazy-haired men, and went home on our merry way. Little did I know that this was the band that would eventually sing one of my favorite 80s rock ballads of all time. I’ve always thought to myself – if I get married one day, I will dance to this song with my love of a lifetime. I brought up the idea to Mr. Martini, and he actually liked the idea. when I thought it would be rejected like a guy trying to penetrate a “girl circle” in the middle of the dance floor at a club. I guess we really are meant to be!

This was my FSIL’s first dance song. When I first heard the lyrics, I didn’t think there was a song that was as romantic as this one. Here’s a little trivia for you – our wedding date is the same exact date as my FSIL’s! She joked that she was upset at losing two babysitters on all their future anniversaries. We think it’s hilarious because it was definitely not planned at all, and we didn’t know it was their wedding date until the venue was already booked. How funny would it be if we used the same first dance song as well?

This was the first song that Mr. Martini sent to me, during the super long AIM conversations that counted as our pre-dating period. We were swapping our favorite songs, and he really only sent it to me because he thought it was just such a great one. I didn’t realize until later what the lyrics were saying. I truly love this song.

The first time I heard this song was when Mr. and Mrs. Monkey danced to it at their wedding. I almost fainted from the cuteness of the song! For months after, it was on repeat 24 hours a day and even now it’s still one of my top faves. I could steal the song idea (heh heh), but I would never be able to come up with a dance that is remotely close to the cuteness of their first dance to this song.

I spend a lot of money on iTunes. Once every couple of weeks I like to browse their top 100 downloads for any good, recent hits. I heard this song and immediately fell in love with it. I made Mr. Martini listen to it and he liked it too. If we decide on doing a choreographed dance for our first song, it will definitely be to this one.

How did you pick your first dance song? Does your song have sentimental meaning to you, or did you try to pick based on what the song lyrics meant to you?


Mrs. Martini

New Jersey
Wedding Date:
March 2015
As of Monday...
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  1. penguin Member
    penguin 3490 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:59 pm

    I think even with those few weird lines, you guys seem like you’re a total Bon Jovi couple and it would be cool if you picked one of those songs for your first dance! As long as you’re FEELIN IT!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Rochelle, Guest @ 1:04 pm

    We really like Billy Joel so we chose “I love you just the way you are” for our wedding song. It fit us perfectly! Bon Jovi would be great to dance to!

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    katie, Guest @ 1:22 pm

    i love bon jovi too!! i always, i mean ALWAYS sing “it’s my life” at karaoke b/c it’s just an awesome song. your list of potential first dance song is so good. i never knew there was a different version of “amazed” by lonestar! i like this version much better so thank you for sharing!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    cdl, Guest @ 1:36 pm

    Please, please please pick Bon Jovi’s “Always” and do it for me. The DH and I have been at odds over the first dance song for as long as I can remember. I wanted “Always,” (or another power ballad), he wanted Not Power Ballads. We settled on “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney, but I beg you for all us Monster Ballad fans out there: Always.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Kirsten, Guest @ 1:48 pm

    My husband danced wit his mom to Bon Jovi’s “Thank You For Loving Me” – which could be a great first dance song as well!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 1:48 pm

    You get extra Bride Points for actually bothering to listen to the lyrics–ALL the lyrics–of songs you’re considering.

  7. hotcocoa Member
    hotcocoa 2098 posts, Buzzing bee @ 1:58 pm

    I love love love Bon Jovi and Monster Ballad (right there witha ya cdl!). I had the same “is this a love song or not” experience with Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” (or the Tori Amos cover version, which is my all time favorite song). Mr. HC and I analyzed at length whether the lyric “I could drink a case of you and still be on my feet” means “I can’t get enough of you” or “You don’t intoxicate me.” Debate still open.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    KSW, Guest @ 2:06 pm

    I heart Bon Jovi!!! I’d dance to it if I could ever convince FI, but alas that will never happen!!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    beth, Guest @ 2:15 pm

    I am sooo glad someone else is obsessed with lyrics of the 1st song as well. My FI was fixed on a song because he loved the laid-back, swingy vibe of the tune. I promptly vetoed it because it mentions ‘pain’ and ‘crying’ about fifty-bazillion times! He says no one will notice. Um… yeah right!

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    lou, Guest @ 2:17 pm

    Oh, THANK YOU for actually thinking about the song you chose.

    I’ve heard so many inappropriate songs at weddings. The last one I went to kicked off the party with ‘Band of Gold’. Hmm…

  11. Member
    bulldoggrl 96 posts, Worker bee @ 2:49 pm

    Bed of Roses is actually about him having an affair on the road…not so much what you want.

    Born to be my Baby is my fiance and I’s SONG…we LOVE it, it is my ringtone for him…we also wanted to use it as a first dance, but it is too upbeat…but have you checked out their album “This left feels right”? It has that song to a MUCH slower tempo. My fiance hates that version, but that’s just him. We’re going to use the original during our slideshow and dance to something else we have yet to decide.

    Good luck, and go Bon Jovi!!!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    Lauren, Guest @ 2:50 pm

    My husband surprised me with our song and he chose “Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional. LOVED it. I loved being surprised with our dance too – so fun!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    HistoryBride, Guest @ 2:53 pm

    We’re having the same problem! We’ve never really had a song, just a bunch of music that we both like (Most of it’s Nickleback, which sounds amazing but the lyrics can be awesomely depressing.)

    The only thing that comes close to a ‘song’ for us is the theme song to the show Firefly. Unfortunately the chorus is “Take my love, take my land, take me where I cannot stand, burn the land and boil the sea, but you can’t take the sky from me.” That whole ‘take my love’ thing puts a damper on the first dance song.

    We might use Wedding Day by the BeeGees because it’s sweet and we know it’ll make FFIL cry, which is adorable.

    Also … always been a huge Bon Jovi fan!!

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristin, Guest @ 3:24 pm

    The song that my husband and I classify as our song is “I Miss You” by Incubus. Most of our dating relationship was long distance. So it fit. But not to dance to, just after you’ve been declared husband and wife. 😛
    So we chose Alison Kraus’ “When You Say Nothing At All.” It had always been my favorite!

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    cincybride, Guest @ 3:46 pm

    We did our entrance to Born to be my baby as well. I am a HUGE Bon Jovi fan and we had to pay him tribure. He actually has a song called Diamond Ring that we considered using as our first dance. Love love Bon Jovi!

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Cristina, Guest @ 5:12 pm

    Oooo… I LOVE your taste in music… I love, love Bon Jovi as well… for our wedding we used ‘Thank you for loving me”… so perfect and for our wedding highlights video we used “Love of a Lifetime” by Firehouse… I love those monster ballads…

  17. Member
    smileybride 13 posts, Newbee @ 5:20 pm

    OMG I LOVE BON JOVI! to a point where it’s a little obsessive… =)
    fi and i love bon jovi and also thought of them for our first dance. and yes, most of them dont really fit as first dance songs.
    we are going with amazed by lonestar (this is technically “our” song so we’re gonna go with this even though i love bon jovi!) but we decided (or i decided) that we’ll have more of “our song” moments throughout the night. which will definitely include most of bon jovi’s songs… like always, bed of roses, i’ll be there for you, and others.
    pick your favorite from your list as the first dance song and then play the others throughout the night.
    and i love the idea of born to be my baby as the entrance song! thanx for the idea! =)

  18. frenchbulldog Member
    frenchbulldog 1088 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:33 pm

    This reminds me of my Presentation Ball (like a Deb ball for a Charity org I was in) when I was 18… we had to pick a song to play over a video of pictures of us growing up and I wanted Alison by Elvis Costello (since that is where my parent got my name) but my parents wouldn’t let me use it b/c the lyrics weren’t so happy… I ended up w/ Rainbow Connection :)
    FH and I are in a similar predicament – we don’t really have a song either except for Girl From Ipanema and that is a weird first dance song.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    sweetlilgator, Guest @ 7:13 pm

    I totally understand your predicament. I, too, am a Bon Jovi nut. And I also swooned over the melodies before realizing what the words were actually saying! In the end, I think we’re going to go with Dave Matthews “Steady As We Go”…had to weed out quite a few of his songs as well thanks to rather unsavory lyrics. What is it with these songwriters?! Don’t they know that sweet melodies = possible first dance songs = lyrics that may be sung in front of Grandma?! :) Sheesh!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    gigglebride, Guest @ 7:50 pm

    How funny — I was at that same concert a few years ago where the guy (who was friends with the guitar player) proposed to his girlfriend on stage to “Bed of Roses”!!!!! I was crying like a baby and said then that I could never get married because no proposal would ever top that, haha. 😉 I’m glad I’ve since changed my position.

  21. seabreeze Member
    seabreeze 972 posts, Busy bee @ 8:04 pm

    UGH. You hit a nerve with me, Martini! We recently spent HOURS looking for dance songs… it was so painful!! Details coming soon.

  22. Member
    December 485 posts, Helper bee @ 8:06 pm

    Hehe, our song is Sweet Child of Mine by Guns N Roses… not a good first dance song. But a really good Bon Jovi love song is Save the World — relatively happy, nice lyrics and awesome music. :)

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    miss cupcake, Guest @ 8:51 pm

    my fiance and i love bon jovi too! i was thinking about “i’ll be there for you too” but the lyrics weren’t right. originally our 1st dance song was going to be “you and me” by lifehouse, but then the fiance said it wasn’t doing it for him. so then he played me bon jovi’s “thank you for loving me” which i heard for the first time and i was tearing up because i knew it was the song!

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Taye, Guest @ 10:09 pm

    We’re not having a first dance, but if we were we decided it would be to Lucinda Williams’s “World Without Tears.” It’s definitely not a conventional love song, but it’s meaningful to us, and it’s sort of a love song to the world rather than to just one person.

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    Sara, Guest @ 10:22 pm

    We haven’t decided on a first dance song yet, but “Lucky” is right up there. It’s the only one I’ve played for my guy so far that he likes.

    Plus, how can you resist “lucky i’m in love with my best friend/lucky to have been where i have been”

    so sweet :)

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    melodicsighs, Guest @ 10:23 pm

    aww, i just saw jason mraz this past weekend, and when he performed “lucky”, i decided it would be such a perfect first dance song – or even cuter if a couple were to perform it. haha. :)

  27. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 7:34 pm

    @katie: thats the best kareoke song EVER!

    @Kirsten: i love that song too. i considered using that song also!

    @gigglebride: what a smalllll world! and i thought the same as you – i thought, wow… no man would ever come up with a proposal better than that!

    @Miss Sea Breeze: LOL it definitely sounds painful. i can’t wait to read about it!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Ellen, Guest @ 10:58 pm

    I love Bon Jovi…been to 16 concerns… can take the girl out of jersey…..sadly my fiance is not the biggest fan so no first dance song here. My best friend just got married and their first dance was to “thank you for loving me” it was fabulous. I highly reccommend it!

  29. martini Member
    martini 270 posts, Helper bee @ 11:17 pm

    @Ellen: SIXTEEN CONCERTS?! (i wrote out the word sixteen for emphasis). Good God woman! i bow down to you, master. i am but a mere padawan.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Newport Nuptials, Guest @ 4:19 pm

    I love Bon Jovi and I think it is a Jersey thing! I was never into Bon Jovi until I spent a couple summers in New Jersey, now I’m obsessed. I have the same reaction to Livin on a Prayer! It’s a definite for our wedding.

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    kristi, Guest @ 12:56 am

    I LOVE Bon Jovi too! Did you think of “all about loving you” or “thank you for loving me?” Not sure if you mentioned these I couldn’t get your entire post bc of a computer glitch! Good luck!

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Maggie, Guest @ 10:08 am

    My husband and I are huge Bon Jovi fans and we used seat next to you as our wedding song.

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Denise, Guest @ 7:12 am

    I am a huge Bon Jovi fan, and when I get married I would love to have at least 2 Bon Jovi songs played at my wedding. The 2 best love songs in my opinion are “Thank You For Loving Me” and “Born To Be My Baby”. I also had thought that “Always” was a love song but it really is not, every Bon Jovi song is fantastic as you can feel the passion through the lyrics of the song. I think “Born To Be My Baby” sounds like a perfect entrance song, I go to see them in concert every year that they come to New Jersey or New York. I went last month to MetLife Stadium and as usual the concert was phenomenal. I took my boyfriend with me, who was not really a JBJ fan but did like a few songs and by the time the concert was over he was telling me how I have converted him into a fan! :-)

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    chillycold, Guest @ 1:04 pm

    My H2b and I are both big Bon Jovi fans too – but as you say there are so many “love” songs that are actually about break ups so I too have spent days listening intently to the actual lyrics of every song. In the end we are compromising slightly – not on the quality of the song or the lyrics or how much we love it, but we are going with a Richie song instead – All that really matters. Sums it up perfectly and still retains that element of Bon Jovi. Rest assured we will be making sure the band put in at least one or two proper Bon Jovi classics throughout the rest of the night!!

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