Wedding Music - A Whiter Shade Of Pale

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

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Wedding section suggestion: Ceremony (signing of the register)

Style: Popular music

Original Artist Procal Harum

A Whiter Shade Of Pale was released by Procal Harum in 1967 and shot to the top ten and stayed at No.1 for 6 weeks. It is one of the best-selling singles of all time with over 10 million sales worldwide.

This is a great song to blend the traditional pieces (such as The Queen Of Sheba, Canon in D) with the newer popular pieces as it is a pop song but the melody and harmony were composed in a baroque style. Indeed when it is played by a solo instrument you could easily mistake it for Bach.

Keith Reid, the lyricist, got the title and starting point for the song at a party. He overheard someone at the party saying to a woman, "You've turned a whiter shade of pale," and the phrase stuck in his mind. The lyrics, some of my favourite lyrics ever written, continued:

We skipped the light fandango,
Turned cartwheels 'cross the floor,
I was feeling kinda seasick,
But the crowd called out for more.

The room was humming harder,
As the ceiling flew away,
As we called out for another drink,
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale

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