Early last year I had my first request for Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect.“ It hadn’t been released as a single yet so I downloaded the song from Sheeran’s latest album and gave it a listen. I smiled ear to ear when I heard it because I knew from the first spin this song was going to be a huge wedding song. And I’m not trying to sound like a future-teller or anything, I think everyone who hears the song for the first time can recognize greatness. This is a ballad, a love song, that is great for just about any couple’s first dance. But as I’ve used it more and more I typically introduce it by saying the song is, “well, perfect.” But is it? Is there such a thing as a “Perfect” wedding song?
First of all, I’ve often felt that the best wedding songs are duets. Other than same sex weddings, I think when a first dance can have both genders represented, it makes for a better choice. So in my experience, songs like “It’s Your Love” , “Finally Found Someone” and “Just You and I” are some of the greatest first dances of the last 30 years. By the way, that last one makes the list because it was the Wedding Song at the very first wedding I ever DJed.
So “Perfect” obviously had its flaws until late last year when Sheeran teamed up with none other than Beyonce to release a duet version of “Perfect.” This is the version that I consider to be as near to perfect as you can get. Where the original was all from the male’s point of view, (“well, I found a girl” and “I found a woman”) the duet obviously changes the perspective with each singer. So Sheeran sings the “well, I found a girl” line while Beyonce changes the wording of verse two to “well, I found a man . . .”
But that doesn’t solve the issue of whether the song is “perfect” or not. And as close as this song comes, I have to say the answer is “no.” In fact, I’ve already worked with one couple that wanted me to make an edit to the song to eliminate two lines. The first is “’cause we were just kids when we fell in love.” That lyric is one that makes the song not universal for every couple. Not every couple started dating (or fell in love) when they were kids so if someone is going to analyze each and every word (something I advise couples not to do) that line can stand out for some. As can the line right after that, “I will not give you up this time.” That line implies that this is a relationship that has gone through a break-up and reconciliation. And while that’s not a bad thing, it’s not universal either.
As I’ve stated I don’t think couples should over-analyze ever single word of a song because when you start doing that you may wind up with an instrumental as a first dance because no song can tell your exact story. Still, with this song being the clear front runner for Next Big Wedding Song, I thought it was important to point out that, like many relationships, the song is GREAT but not PERFECT.