Scottish wedding first dances

One of the most popular types of wedding music we see at a Scottish wedding is that of ceilidh music. Ceilidh has become the traditional type of music for Scottish weddings over the years.

So there is a high chance you will have hired a ceilidh band for your wedding. With this in mind Music for Scotland who offers the top wedding bands in Glasgow have put together a list of the best first dance songs that you could have a ceilidh band perform.

Scottish wedding first dances

The first dance is a personal moment for the bride and groom and often a special song is chosen which holds meaning for the happy couple.

Top 10 Scottish Wedding First Dance Songs for a Ceilidh Band at a Scottish Wedding

So without further “I do”… Here are our top 10 first dance ideas for a ceilidh band to play at your Scottish themed wedding:

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1. Galway Girl (Steve Earle)
2000, Transcendental Blues
Great song – made famous from the film PS I love you. Contemporary Celtic sound and feel that everyone can dance along to. ‘Her hair was black and her eyes were blue…’ great for most Irish brides.

I took her hand and I gave her a twirl
And I lost my heart to a Galway girl


2. My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (Robbie Burns)

Famous Scottish poet/writer Robbie Burns penned this classic, which was later set to music.

Eddi Reader (of Fairground Attraction) does a lovely version. Very much of the ‘old school’ but incredibly romantic, penned by an acknowledged genius.

And fare thee well, my only love,
And fare thee well a while!
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ t’were ten thousand mile.

Here is Eddi Reader’s cover:

3. Fields Of Gold (Sting)
1993, Ten Summoner’s Tales
Not strictly folk, but we’ve slipped it in here for the beautiful melody, and the fact it’s so well known, with potential for stunning harmonies with the right band.

Will you stay with me?
Will you be my love?
Upon the fields of barley
We’ll forget the sun in his jealous sky
As we lie in fields of gold


4. Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison)
1989, Avalon Sunset
Good old Van Morrison. He might not be the best-tempered man on the music circuit, but he certainly knows how to woo in words. Who could resist melting when they’re told; ‘you fill my heart with gladness, take away my sadness, ease my worries that’s what you do.

Have I told you lately that I love you
Have I told you there’s no one else above you
You fill my heart with gladness


5. Feels Like Home (Chantal Kreviazuk)
1999, Dawson’s Creek
A slow, sincere song with beautiful lyrics, all about finding the right person, and feeling that you’ve ‘come home’ at last. It also featured in the film ‘My Sister’s Keeper’. There’s a more pared-down version too, by Edwina Hayes.

If you knew how much this moment means to me
And how long I’ve waited for your touch
If you knew how happy you are making me
I’ve never thought that I’d love anyone so much


6. Falling Slowly – (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova)
2006, Once
This has become a classic, from the film Once. Written by Glen Hansard of The Commitments fame; ‘Take this sinking boat and point it home, we’ve still got time……. Falling slowly, eyes that know me, and I can’t go back.’ Over 3.5 million hits on YouTube – it’s a winner!

Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time
Raise your hopeful voice, you have a choice
You’ll make it now


7. Marie’s Wedding (Various artists)
2008, The High Kings
A traditional tune with Scottish origins, this can be performed as a musical piece, or sung. Lovely up-tempo with a jig feel, ‘step we gaily on we go, heel to heel and toe to toe; round and round and off we go; off to Marie’s wedding.” Perfect for a high-energy start to the night.

Step we gaily, on we go
Heel for heel and toe for toe
Arm in arm and row on row
All for Marie’s wedding

Here’s The High Kings’ version:

8. One Last Drink (Enter The Haggis)
2006, Soapbox Heroes
Strangely enough, this is about a dying man. But he’s having such a good time at his own wake, he puts off dying until the next day. The actual sentiment is lost in the feel of the song – (nobody really gets the story) – it’s just the Reggae/Celtic feel that dominates. Great words, ‘I’ve had a life that’s full, fire up that fiddle boy and give me one last drink, the world is mine tonight….’ Can’t argue with that, can you?!

When the sun comes up
I will leave without a fight
But the world is mine tonight


9. Fairytale Of New York (The Pogues)
1987, Fairytale of New York
A modern classic. Don’t worry about the time of year – there are lots of poetic licenses where this song is concerned. You can be sure of audience participation in this one, even if they don’t know all the words everyone will be joining in on the “you’re a bum you’re a punk” bit at the very least.

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen-to-one
I’ve got a feeling
This year’s for me and you


10. Wish I Had Someone To Love Me (Dubliners)
2006, Live at Vicar Street
A dear old Irish song, sung delightfully by Barney McKenna from the Dubliners. It’s a great tune to waltz to, or simply to lean and sway upon each other if you’ve had too much drink. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.

I wish I had someone to love me,
Someone to call me their own,
Someone to stay with me always


Choose the Best First Dance Ceilidh Song for You

Just be sure when you’ve made your choice to give your Ceilidh wedding band plenty of notice as if they don’t already have the tune in their repertoire, they’ll need time to learn it and do it justice.

The first dance is such an important part of the wedding that they’ll want it to be absolutely
perfect for you.

Listen to our best Scottish first dance songs playlist on Spotify.

Be sure to read these other first dance song lists:


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