Universal Happiness
From One Song

A music supervisor chats with a wedding DJ

By Janell Vircks, EP, In the Groove Music 

I often get requests for happy. Music that brings joy, celebration, good feelings. Something that pulls everyone out their seat. Who would not want to hear songs like this? Personally I have my own favorites that I use for those days when I need inspiration to clean my house or those rare summer evenings when you have a group of friends in your kitchen well after the hour when we should have gone to bed.

Can happiness in music can be universal despite personal taste? Just ask a wedding DJ, which, I have access to. My younger brother, Ryan. He’s been making nuptial parties fun for over 25 years. I put a call out to him looking for the one song that gets the bride, her friends and the groom’s grandparents dancing, “Well of course it’s Love Shack (B52’s).” Of course, of course. The ear worm hit that brought eternal cash dollars to Cindy, Fred, Kate & Keith.

“Yeah ok,” I said, “but really, give me another one.” And again, without hesitation he said, “Little Willy (Sweet).” Really? A song about never giving up on your dreams, (but we all know the 70’s undercurrent of sexual innuendo going on here, wink- wink), and there goes grandma shaking her thing to this groove. My brother, the guarantor of a festive union event, went into the usual list of crowd pleasers: “We Are Family, (Sister Sledge), Yeah! (Usher), Dancing Queen (ABBA), Shake It Off (Taylor Swift), Uptown Funk (Ronson/Mars) and, from my experience, all new couples love to start their life together with Low (Flo Rida).” We hit the ceiling of happiness here? Collectively perhaps. These are solid choices that everyone may agree on. Ok. I’d dance to these.

After a few laughs I again said, “beyond the usual, reaching deeper into your list, what brings pure joy and smiles?” Did I just push my brother to the corner of his DJ booth like a bridesmaid requesting another Taylor Swift song while shaking my almost empty white zinfandel glass at him? Maybe. He paused for a moment and said, “If I could DJ any song that I thought meant happy for everyone, it would be one of these three: Wobble (V.I.C) – this feel makes you smile endlessly and somehow everyone knows the moves, Move Your Feet (Junior Senior), you asked for happy and this one just about does it, and Get Down On It (Kool & The Gang), a sure bet for all ages”.

Well here we go. Now I got somewhere. We skipped right over Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison), Groove Is In the Heart (Deee-Lite), or the classic song that everyone’s auntie seems to dominate: Cha Cha Slide (DJ Casper). Music does this. It brings out emotional qualities that are pure chemistry. Everyone’s reaction is different. There is no one song of universal happiness but we can share a common list of party favorites and call it a good time and most importantly without judgement. I guess we save our personal jams for those moments alone, when we grab that hairbrush in front of the mirror bursting into full dance mode. It’s a kind of joy that you just can’t explain.

And for me that song has to be….Shadow Dancing (Andy Gibb).

Here is a playlist for your next late night of dancing in your kitchen:

Minneapolis Office

625 2nd Avenue South Suite 102
Minneapolis, MN 55402



Say hello