‘The Wedding’ started life in 1958 as a Spanish song written by Chilean songwriter Joaquin Preito. His version was called ‘La Novia’ which translates as ‘The Bride’ and it was originally recorded by Prieto’s brother Antonio. Some time later a guy called Fred Jay did some translating and produced the English lyrics. Jay would have success writing songs such as Percy Sledge’s hit ‘What Am I Living For’ as well as co-writing a number of Boney M’s hits.
The English translation of ‘La Novia’ was a big hit in 1964/65 for Julie Rodgers as it went to 3 in the UK, 10 in the US and topped the Australian charts. Jody Wayne released his version in 1970 and it would spend 3 weeks at the top of the Springbok Top 20. The song has a slow circular beat with an organ giving it a ‘churchie’ sound. To this Wayne brings a strong, bordering on operatic, vocal and is able backed by an angelic choir.
Rodgers’ 1964 version is slightly faster and builds to a dramatic orchestral number which seems to capture the joy and excitement of a wedding. Hers is a catherdral wedding version. Wayne on the other hand looks at the more solemn side of the ceremony as he slows things down and the lack of a big orchestra, replaced by a small church organ sound makes his a more intimate affair. And while people can dream of big weddings in cathedrals, the reality for most people is a ceremony at their local church and perhaps it was this kind of spiritual feel that Jody tapped into that caused the song to have been snapped up by brides and brides-to-be (and possibly some grooms and grooms-to-be) as a song by which to remember that special day.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 1 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40485 (CD)