The new (royal) addition

Ok, I admit it.  I’m kind of interested in this royal baby stuff.

I choose my words carefully there.  Some people are enamored with the idea and going gaga.  MR was reading me posts off his decidedly more British Facebook feed where people were crying RULE BRITANNIA in all caps.  That’s not me.  Several of my British friends are taking a far more republican slant and expressing their disgust at the hullabaloo over the birth of a baby.   One is annoyed because she is on the verge of giving birth herself and is more focused on her own baby, yet everyone keeps texting her about the royal baby as if she cares.

I fall somewhere in between.  I am absolutely not a monarchist, but I do find all this interesting.  The birth of the prince is historic, because he’s not just another baby, important only to his parents.  One day he will be the King of the United Kingdom, and the remnants of the empire as represented by Commonwealth.  That’s rather a big deal.  This is an event that has been celebrated for centuries, and the lack of a son has caused war and unrest throughout England, brought in new dynasties, and, arguably, paved the way for women as rulers in the Anglo world.  It’s interesting.

I also feel a connection of sorts with Will and Kate.  Prince William is around my age, which is something I’ve always found cool.  I always looked for people who were my age in both life and fiction because it meant they were going through the same stages of life with me.  And indeed, this is certainly true for the Duke and Duchess.  They got married a year before me, and they’ve now had a baby just a few months before me.   Except everyone cares a lot more about what happens to them.

I watched the royal wedding, but this is not surprising, considering how much time I spend watching Say Yes to the Dress and other shows  in the TLC Friday wedding lineup.  Even after my marriage last year, I still get drawn in by the snarkiness of the UK version of Four Weddings (and think how my wedding is better) and the fun of Don’t Tell the Bride (and think how my husband had much better taste).  It follows naturally, then, that I should watch the royal wedding in all its panoply and fabulous dresses.  Seriously–a knockoff of Kate’s dress was second choice for my own wedding dress.

My husband, as I mentioned, is virulently of a different tack.  He posted about exactly how little he cares, and got rather ranty about it.  Last night we were talking and he mentioned that he realized through all of this that he was definitely a republican.  Not in the American sense of the GOP, but in the sense of res publica, a thing of the people, rather than a monarchist.  This got me thinking.  Perhaps I’m interested because I have the luxury of detached interest.  Yes, this is a chapter in history, yes the idea of actual princes and princesses is like a living story book, but this is not my future king.  I may live in the UK, but I’m still an American citizen.  The idea of royalty is the stuff of legends, not reality–all of my government is directly elected by the people.  This all sounds very high minded, and practice has shown that directly electing leaders does not necessarily guarantee better ones (*cough* Dubya *cough*).  On the flip side, the hereditary House of Lords often makes wiser decisions than the crazy-ass Senate.  In then end though, it means that I was raised very republican indeed, and I can’t imagine any other way of living.

Dum dum dee dum…

I have been putting off choosing my wedding processional for a long time, I think because I can’t have my dream of a trumpet player and tympani player.  The fiance thinks this is a needless expense, and when you think about it, he has a point.  We’d be shelling out probably several hundred pounds just to have someone play a grand total of ten minutes of music.  Not exactly worth it, especially when we decided to go for the expensive option for our honeymoon and get one of those villas on stilts over the water.  We’ll probably enjoy that much more.

I actually really like church organs, and if we were getting married in NYC the organist at my church is a fabulous musician and would probably be very helpful in selecting music.  The organist at the tiny English church where I’m getting married only does “Here Comes the Bride” and “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” apparently.  And presumably Mendelssohn to exit.

I don’t mind Mendelssohn.  It’s pretty good for weddings, and appropriately dramatic.  But I hate that Wagner march.  It’s always sounded like a dirge to me.  My future mother-in-law likes the tradition of it, but I just can’t do it.  In all my vague girlish wedding plans, I knew one thing for certain–I would not be having Wagner’s Bridal Chorus.  I think that’s part of my problem with it–not only do I not really like the tune, but there’s nothing about it that says ‘me,’ it just says ‘woman in white marching down aisle.’  And music has always been an intensely personal expression for me.  This is the same reason I have nixed Pachelbel’s Canon, which I truly love, because it’s always in weddings.

What’s more, the type of music I really revel in is perfect for weddings.  I am a huge sucker for movie soundtracks, and all their dramatic swells.  I always have been.  I do like other kinds of music, but more often than not, that’s what I’m listening to on my iPod.  Most of the time this is slightly embarrassing.  When people ask who your favorite musician is, I feel like a popular music star is the appropriate answer if you don’t want to get weird looks.  Certainly this was true back in 8th grade when I was liking Rod Stewart (early 90’s easy listening Rod Stewart) and everyone else was listening to Snow and Kris Kross and Wrexx n Effect (Check baby check baby 1234…I am ashamed to have listened to that song).

I have developed a taste for popular music of all genres, and when we sat down with the DJ to pick songs for the wedding I was happily calling out Rhianna and Lady Gaga and Jay-Z.  (Which is the better New York song–“New York, New York,” or “Empire State of Mind”?  Discuss.)  But I still have a deep and abiding love for Howard Shore, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and this is where I get to let that fly.

The song I really want to march in to is the theme to Jurassic Park.  Specifically track 7 on the CD, “Welcome to Jurassic Park.”  I got the soundtrack for my birthday when I turned 15 from a girl who turned out to be one of my best friends and bridesmaids, and I used to lie in bed listening to that music and daydreaming about the future, about the fabulous lives we were all going to lead.  It’s all very epic.  In case you’ve forgotten, it goes like this.

It would be nice to have this in homage to my past self, and to my fiance, who found that movie so life changing he dabbled with being a geneticist, but unfortunately I think the only reaction it will get is “Is she marching in to dinosaur music?”

There is of course a bevy of classical music to choose from.  I’ve always loved Appalachian Spring by Copeland.  And there’s the Prince of Denmark’s march, which is not only very bridey, but also makes me think of a favorite Prince of Denmark of mine, although Wikipedia says that it’s not actually about Hamlet.  Wikipedia also tells me that it was used at Charles and Diana’s wedding, and let’s face it–nothing is cheesier than an American getting married in England trying to imitate a royal wedding.  Even unwittingly.

The other problem with choosing classical music on a recording is that the feeling is lost.  Classical music is really stirring, but more when it’s performed live, and the swell of the music fills your ears.  So this brings me back to the Entrance of the Queen of Sheba, which, upon listening, is actually a pretty cool piece.

So the conundrum is this–do I put my most personal choices on display and let people comment on the dinosaur music and the fact that I made them listen to a bit of Les Miserables before my entrance?  Or do I go with the live music, which is a beautiful, but safe choice?