Wedding in Berlin

Writers - Tennant/Lowe
First released - 2020
Original album - Hotspot
Producer - Stuart Price
Subsequent albums - (none)
Other releases - (none)

The most divisive song on the album among fans—who in no uncertain terms tend either to love it or to hate it—and surely one of the most divisive of their career. First called "Married," the Boys wrote this ecstatic dance song in Berlin (appropriately enough) in May 2015 as a wedding present for friends of theirs. It was, in fact, played at the wedding reception, serving as the newly married couple's first dance. Soon after the wedding they considered releasing it to the public, but only after revising its lyrics to make it "less specific," such as by deleting or replacing the names of the couple for whom it was written.

After a hopping "techno" opening, it quickly and repeatedly interpolates the opening theme from Felix Mendelssohn's famous "Wedding March" from 1842, often played at the conclusion of wedding services.

Although written for a heterosexual couple, the song includes an affirmation of "marriage equality":

We're getting married
A lot of people do it
Don't matter if they're straight or gay
We're getting married
Because we love each other

Even so, the lyric is extremely simple and highly repetitive by PSB standards: "We're getting married, married, married" sung over and over again. (One reviewer has described it as "deliberately dumbed down.") It's even a little goofy, if I may put it like that, albeit in a thoroughly charming way. But the most curious thing about the track is its oddly dissonant opening and conclusion. I had originally thought that it might be the sound of wedding bells played in reverse, but my digital analysis proves that there's more to it than mere "reversal." Shortly after the album's release, the Pet Shop Boys revealed that this "eerie sound… is the bells of the church of St. Matthias in Goltzstrasse, Berlin. Neil recorded them on his phone while crossing nearby Winterfeldtplatz." It was then digitally manipulated by Stuart Price to create the sounds heard on the album.

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