Tithe Barns, Sixpence None the Richer and “Kiss Me”

The other week I wrote about the evils of Facebook (link here), or rather the fact you can never admit over there, to having anything other than a dazzlingly perfect life. I decided that when the chips are down we have to keep our troubles to ourselves, but it turns out I was wrong – An old friend who also has a poorly parent messaged me, and offered to step up to the plate in terms of caring duties so that we could all go to the ball! Well, a wedding to be precise, down in Royal Berkshire. This time the couple weren’t Royal, but it was still a grand old affair where one of our own tied the knot with someone who back in the day would have been called a Sassenach. The bride, having grown up in our street, invited most of the neighbours and despite no two journeys being the same, we all (even 91-year-old Albert) managed to make it down to the other end of the country on time. Scotland came to Englandshire for a day, and even in the warm and muggy weather, kilts made an appearance.

The wedding itself was held in a place called a Tithe Barn which I had never heard of before because I’m pretty sure we don’t have them in Scotland, but it was absolutely beautiful and all very rustic, so the decoration of choice tied in with the surroundings – Lots of sunflowers, ivy, hessian and the pièce de résistance, a wedding cake constructed with a stack of artisan cheeses. (The eagle eyed amongst you will also have noticed some Swizzels Love Hearts and disposable cameras on the table, but hey, there had to be a few modern-day concessions.)

IMG_5269
The Wedding Cake: A cheesecake!

But of course this is supposed to be a music blog so what song ties in with a wedding themed post? I have written about a previous wedding we were invited to on these pages (link here) but that was a very different affair, where at the end of the evening I coerced Mr WIAA into joining me for the full seven minute “re-enactment of the lyrics dance” to Bohemian Rhapsody – The cringe moment I suffered the next day was almost worse than the hangover, but this time a ceilidh band was provided which means you need to stay sharp in order to perform the sometimes complex dance routines. Less alcohol was consumed so luckily for me, no cringe moments.

The ceilidh band were good, although our neighbour who is a retired PE teacher adept at Scottish Country Dancing (it’s part of the curriculum up here) got a bit fed up with the 10 minute explanation of the “steps” that preceded each dance. Looking around he quickly assessed the situation and said to the band, “We’re all Scottish here, we know the steps, so just get on with it” – A bit brusque and to the point, but it did save a lot of time which in turn led to more dances, so all good.

thCT1C1ZFHBut earlier in the day during the meal, music was played – It was a digital “mix-tape” of the bride’s favourite songs, and listening to it I realised an awful lot of them have appeared in this blog. But then again her parents are around the same age as us, so the music she grew up with will also have been their favourites, and then the music she discovered herself will have been the same as that played by darling daughter, once she started taking an interest. All the songs had a romantic theme but this is the one that stayed with me for the rest of the day – Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer. Somehow it was just perfect for our rustic setting, what with the bearded barley, the green, green grass, the milky twilight, the moonlit floor and the fireflies dance.

Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer:

It occurred to me I knew nothing about Sixpence None the Richer other than they did really well with that song, reaching No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart in 1998, when our bride would have been aged only nine. Turns out they are primarily a Christian Rock outfit from Texas and the name of the band was inspired by a passage from the book Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Despite only reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Chart, Kiss Me had great longevity, spending 35 weeks on the chart in total making it the 6th best-selling record of the year. It has also been used on several film soundtracks which is why I must have it in my collection.

220px-KissMe

So, “What’s it all about?” – I have mentioned this here before, but as Hal David wrote in the lyrics to the song Alfie, it’s all about love and could there be anything more loved-up than a wedding? The music playing in the background was all about love, romance and kisses and our bride and groom certainly had that glow about them on their big day.

Here’s the thing though – As per that very recent Royal Wedding, both sets of parents are no longer together, so as is often the case at weddings nowadays, there was the tricky business of who sits at the top table, who gives the bride away and who is left out altogether. But despite all this, youngsters don’t seem to have been put off the idea of marriage and willingly spend a large chunk of their hard-earned cash on their nuptials. My generation on the whole have not been great role models for marriage, but cupid’s arrow is still alive and well it seems, and the instinct to settle down with another is as strong as ever. I wish our young couple all the best for the future and I have a sneaking suspicion they are going to do just fine.

Until next time….

Kiss Me Lyrics
(Song by Matt Slocum)

Kiss me out of the bearded barley
Nightly, beside the green, green grass
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band
And make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling
So kiss me

Kiss me down by the broken tree house
Swing me upon its hanging tire
Bring, bring, bring your flowered hat
We’ll take the trail marked on your father’s map

Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor,
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band
And make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling
So kiss me

Kiss me beneath the milky twilight
Lead me out on the moonlit floor,
Lift your open hand
Strike up the band
And make the fireflies dance
Silver moon’s sparkling
So kiss me

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

9 thoughts on “Tithe Barns, Sixpence None the Richer and “Kiss Me””

  1. Despite being together ten years and having a child together, the other half and I remain resolutely unmarried. Part of the reason for this is a rejection of the money people spend on the ceremony, and the feeling that weddings are all about making yourself the centre of attention for the day, and neither of us likes being the centre of attention in that way. That said, we always feel sorry for the bride and groom who seem to spend the whole of “their” day working the room, making sure they divide their attention equally between all guests, and being unable to actually enjoy themselves.

    There are other reasons for our unmarried status, but it does seem an awful lot of time, effort and expense to put yourself through for a day you really can’t appreciate in the way you ought to. Perhaps that’s why the wedding video is so important – it gives them a chance to enjoy it later.

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    1. Yes it did occur to me that many of the regulars to this place are most definitely in long-term relationships but not actually “married”. Not unusual nowadays and to be honest it’s often the couples who have the biggest, flashiest weddings who fall by the wayside a few years down the line. All the focus on one big day without really thinking about the realities of the long-haul.

      The couple who got married have actually been together for quite a few years and have a child together, but they obviously felt the need for a big bash and watching them on the day they seemed to really enjoy it with no pressure on them to work the room or divide their attention – Both quite gregarious characters also so don’t think they felt self-conscious or anything. As for the Tithe Barn style wedding, still quite pricey but not nearly as bad as it could have been as you provide your own drinks, décor and lots of the food. I was quite impressed with the barn I must admit – 15th century with amazing roof beams. At one point during the meal a spider dropped down from a beam onto someone’s plate – Protein for free!

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    2. Although you don’t always have to do it the traditional way, Rol! Mr SDS and I got married as a formality (it sounds awful, I never wanted to do the marrying thing but we thought it was the only way we’d be able to get a house together and I was seriously worried about becoming homeless at the time!) and we did it for £9.50 or thereabouts (the licence fee) plus a slap-up meal for 4 down the local Italian. We wore jeans and leather jackets and swapped skull-and-crossbone rings bought off a stall at Camden Market. And over 30 years later…. well, suffice to say it all worked out!

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    1. Yes, although I moaned about FB the other week, I did get a positive response to my post from one kind soul, so it looks as if I now have cover for other trips down the line – We are not alone!

      The Tithe Barn was amazing – Pretty sure I’ve never seen one like it in Scotland, understandably I suppose.

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  2. Sounds like you had great fun down here in Sassenachland, Alyson! As in my reply to Rol, not a wedding person myself, but as long as people enjoy what they do whatever way they want to do it, then that’s great – and seems your couple did. Love the sound of the cheesy wedding cake, nice and different. Yes, tithe barns are a thing down here!
    Some years ago I was doing quite a bit of artwork for wedding stationery for a company in Essex; I was amazed at the tales they told me about people’s requests – thousands of pounds spent on the most ostentatious things imaginable, and sadly so much seemed to be more about status and showing off to the guests than about the reason behind the celebration.. I bet very few of those marriages made the test of time, somehow….

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    1. I’m noticing that my “Wedding Posts” aren’t my most popular, and I’ve a feeling I might be one of the few around here who did do the whole white wedding thing, but as long as the couple in question are doing it for the right reasons I enjoy the whole spectacle of it. I loved the tithe barn – We do small castles up here by the bucket-load but tithe barns, not so much.

      Like you I am aghast at the amount of money some couples (and their parents) spend on such affairs – No need for it at all and the emphasis is on that one day of ostentation as opposed to the whole reason behind it. The poor groom often gets forgotten about in all the build-up and like Charles in 4 Weddings. possibly changes his mind at that alter! The wedding we attended was just lovely and great that so many neighbours made the trip down. The cheesy wedding cake did look great.

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