The Fashion Magpie Our Song

Our Song.

Do you have a song that belongs to you and your significant other?

I was reminded, while blissfully marching down memory lane last week, that “our song” was “I Like the Way You Move” by Outkast, from their Speakerboxxx album, which both Mr. Magpie and I loved.  [Ed. note: I am required to here run a correction to the fake news I published in this post that shares one of the all-time most cringe-worthy moments of my life, where I stated that Mr. Magpie’s “all-time favorite album” was Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.  Mr. Magpie came home from work that evening defiant: “That was NOT my favorite album,” he said flatly.  For this reason, I won’t state on the record that Speakerboxxx or Aquemini or ATLiens are among Mr. Magpie’s favorite albums, but…I’m pretty sure all three would rank highly.]

The lyrics of this song are FILTHY (<<I just re-read them and my face contorted semi-permanently into the shocked face emoji), but the beat is incredible and it transports me to warm-weather drives in Mr. Magpie’s boxy Jeep (nicknamed “Party Girl“), which he’d — improbably enough, given his Very Preppy sartorial preferences — had outfitted with a subwoofer and high-end speakers.  You could hear him coming from down the block:

But I know y’all wanted that 808
Can you feel that b-a-s-s, bass
But I know y’all wanted that 808
Can you feel that b-a-s-s, bass

I especially remember an evening not long after we started dating, when he took me to a house party back in Arlington, VA hosted by some of his high school friends.  I felt like a fish out of water, not knowing anyone and still so young, tender, halting in my relationship with Mr. Magpie — and then the song came on.  We had joked about it being our favorite song for some reason or another just a few days prior.  He looked at me from across the room, and it was one of the first moments in our relationship where I felt a thrilling sense of ownership, of intimacy with him: he was mine and I was his, anointed alongside the crass lyrics of Outkast.

So you can imagine that we were back to square one when invited to select a song for our first dance many years later.  Seven years later, to be exact.  Though who’s counting?  [Ed. note: I was.  I had wanted to marry Mr. Magpie since my fourth year of college — two years into dating — and would have married him right out of school, had he proposed.  But all things happen for a reason: our lengthy courtship meant that I had the opportunity to live with my best girlfriend, playing at adulthood while we were still babies, learning to care for our own apartment and deal with issues like mice and spiders all on our own.  It also meant that when we got married, we knew deep down in our souls that we were meant to be together.  Seven years of dating, interspersed with long distance, meant that we were playing for keeps.]

“What will be your first dance?” asked the manager representing the soul band we’d selected for our reception.  We laughed at the thought of ourselves shocking and disgusting all of our loved ones as we paraded out onto the elegant dancefloor of the crown-molding-heavy fanciness of my family’s country club.

“We’ll have to think on that.”

It didn’t take us long, though: we narrowed it down to Aretha Franklin’s “Baby, Baby, Baby,” which is what Mr. Magpie used to call me back then (nowadays, the peculiar and evolving array of nicknames we have for one another is both nauseating and illogical), and Otis Redding’s “Ton of Joy.”  At the end of the day, Otis won, because Mr. Magpie rightly pointed out that it would be easier to dance to its slightly more up-tempo rhythm, and Mr. Magpie was suuuurrrrrious about putting on a performance; we even took lessons.  And, in general, if there’s ever a question, just say yes to Otis Redding.  (How is it even possible for someone to have that amount of soul in his voice?  And he died at age 25!?  His voice has a lifetime and a half of heartache and experience in it.)

“Ton of Joy” is saved on my iPhone and it came on while I was shuffling through a playlist the other day, walking Tilly.  (FWIW, a recipe for feeling all the feels: turn on a nostalgic-leaning playlist and stroll through Central Park while it rains, as I did last Saturday.  As I made the familiar loop around Heckscher Ballfields, rain tapping my parka, the pathway clear ahead of me, and Otis bringing me back to my wedding night, I briefly assumed the emotionality of a pubescent teenager: I was a big heart, teetering around on stick figure legs.)  But I thought to myself: OK, setting lyrics aside, which is more “us”: Outkast or Otis?  Or, rather, how is it that this unlikely pair of performers form two of the tent-poles holding up the canopy of our story together?  The one all quick witted beat, the other slow, balladic soul-wrenching?  There’s something symmetric about it, honestly: it’s funny how the (in my opinion) cinematic story of our getting-together now has an appropriate soundtrack coming together…

What’s the story behind your song?

Cc: Mackenzie, who has a v. funny story about a v. unlikely song they played at her v. gorgeous wedding.


+GUYS, THIS FIELD JACKET IN THE BLUE!!!!  (Am I over-doing it on the ice blue?)

+This looks like a much-more-expensive SEA blouse I’ve been eyeing…but is less than $60!!

+Do I need a wine fridge?  [She asked to everyone and no one in particular.]  Hear me out: I had assumed that a wine fridge would be a major appliance and bear with it a major appliance pricetag, but was surprised to find several well-reviewed ones around $100.  Somehow, despite the fact that my family consists of 2.5 humans, our fridge is always stocked to capacity.  (We cook A LOT.  And there’s always a case or two of LaCroix stored in these, a few six-packs of beer, and an assortment of sparkling and white wine cluttering the shelves.)  I feel like removing the wine from the equation would be a huge space-saver…

+Another chic option if you’re on the white footwear trend.

+This is almost so perfect I can’t look directly at it.

+A SUPER affordable version of the Caroline Constas skirt I’ve been ogling.  (More items in my shopping cart in this post.)


+One of my favorite pairs of sneakers ever, in some cool new colorways.

P.S.  ICYMI, how I met and fell in love with Mr. Magpie.  I’m now realizing I should have titled the post: “How I Met Your Father.”  HA.

P.P.S.  I v. much enjoyed your reactions to my country mouse / city mouse provocation.

P.P.P.S.  Another reflection on a couple’s chosen song — this time, one of my parents’.


  1. I seriously love this post, and talking about meaningful songs! Ton of Joy is a total classic — my brother and best friend each picked That’s How Strong My Love Is (Otis Redding version) for their first dance songs and you can’t go wrong with Otis, I feel! That said, Outkast also holds a special place in my heart (I was SHOCKED when I was driving my 18-year-old cousin back to college the other day and he didn’t know Hey Ya! — which was so integral to my college experience at the very same university! Made me feel so old!)

    My boyfriend and I have a few special songs, one of which is an instrumental song by Brian Eno, and I have a feeling when we get married, we’ll pick something by Sam Cooke for our first dance — another lost-too-soon, full-of-soul singer. 🙂

    1. Ooo, great choice — Sam Cooke is amazing. I’m also always startled by how quickly music comes and goes; I was at a wedding a few years back, and a younger girl in the bridal party had never heard of Whitney Houston. WHITNEY HOUSTON. THE VOICE!!!!?!?!?!?!!?

  2. Otis Redding is a god but Speakerboxx/The Love Below is pure sonic joy—and the soundtrack to my tenth grade formal, where I had my first swig of whiskey, screwed up the courage to dance with the boy who was no.1 on my top 5, and told the principal I liked her dress. Hey ya!
    This also takes me (more recently) back to my husband and my first dance, to Frank Ocean’s “Lost.” Some of the verses are not exactly romantic but it packed the dance floor.

    1. Love that song! Such a cool pick — I bet your guests had THE BEST TIME dancing if your first dance was any indication of the playlist! xo

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