"I Do" - Same Sex Wedding Song
The Ceremonial Song for Same Sex Marriages
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News Articles About "I DO"
HERE COME THE BRIDES/GROOMS
A gay-wedding anthem
Written By KRISTEN LOMBARDI
Article from The Boston Phoenix
Last month, right around the time that gay and lesbian couples began getting married in Massachusetts, Steve Pratt discovered the perfect gay-nuptials song. The Worcester justice of the peace and professional wedding planner had been frantically searching for the proper music to play during the slew of same-sex marriages he has scheduled throughout the summer. Before then, he had been relying on the standard straight-wedding stock — Pachelbel’s Canon in D, "Ave Maria," and several Barbra Streisand songs. Then he heard the lyrics of "I Do," a simple, soft ballad reminiscent of works by 1970s icon Karen Carpenter.
"I loved the song immediately," Pratt remembers. After all, it is not a spin-off of wedding tunes for heterosexuals, nor is it an unoriginal cover. Instead, it’s a full-fledged sentimental love song written especially for gay men and lesbians in celebration of their right to legally wed. "It touched my heart," he says earnestly, "and I knew if it touched my heart, it would touch others’."
Recently, Pratt began touting "I Do" to gay Bay Staters tying the knot, and has heard nothing but rave reviews. "People are like, ‘Oh, my God. This is just beautiful,’ " he says. This month, the song will be featured during five of Pratt’s same-sex ceremonies. That, it seems to Pratt, makes "I Do" what he calls "one of the biggest hits in the same-sex-wedding world."
The mastermind behind the tune is none other than Maryann Sfarzo, a fiftysomething straight woman from California. Sfarzo, who sings for a living, got the inspiration for what’s billed as "the first ceremonial wedding song for same-sex marriages" after watching the gay-nuptial frenzy in San Francisco in February. She and her husband, Ron — a full-time police officer and part-time keyboardist — had traveled to the city after Valentine’s Day, when Mayor Gavin Newsom began marrying gay and lesbian couples at San Francisco City Hall. The festive scene moved Sfarzo. "I was totally impressed with the joy the gay community was feeling," she says. "People were so thrilled to be able to get married and make their relationship legal."
So she returned home with an idea: she would write a special wedding song for gay and lesbian couples, so they wouldn’t have to borrow the standards. She penned the lyrics, keeping the struggle for civil-marriage rights in mind. ("The road that led us to this moment was not an easy climb./The world would not accept us as we lived our lives.")
Within a week, she and her husband had recorded it and, days later, it was being played on the airwaves by the Bay Area’s KGO-AM radio.
Ever since, "I Do" has ranked high among altar-bound same-sex couples. Sfarzo has fielded orders for copies of the song through her Web site (www.idoo.us) from such far-flung places as Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and, of course, Massachusetts. Later this month, she and her husband expect to travel to New York City, where they will perform "I Do" during the third annual Gay Pride mass wedding. In July, they will hand out free copies of the song to newlywed gay and lesbian couples who have booked a Bahamas cruise with R Family Vacations, the gay-family-friendly travel company co-founded by Rosie O’Donnell, her partner, Kelli, and Gregg Kaminsky.
Naturally, Sfarzo is thrilled with the song’s sudden success. In 20 years, she predicts, the issue of gay marriage "won’t even be discussed. Gays will be married and that will be that." For now, though, she’s witnessing history and, as she puts it, "We are just thrilled to be able to be a small part of it."
In Worcester, Pratt would have to agree. "At the moment," he says, "this is the biggest hit in the same-sex-wedding world. It’s definitely the nicest."
Article from The Boston Phoenix - HERE COME THE BRIDES/GROOMS
A gay-wedding anthem BY KRISTEN LOMBARDI Issue Date: June 11 - 17, 2004
Posted on Sat, Mar. 20, 2004 - San Jose Mercury
COUPLE HOPING SONG HITS THE RIGHT NOTE
BELMONT PAIR PUSH THEIR TUNE `I DO' AS ALTERNATIVE MUSIC TO PLAY AT SAME-SEX WEDDINGS
By Sean Webby
Mercury News "Here Comes the Bride" doesn't quite sing for gay couples thinking marriage, especially the guys in tuxes. And ``Chapel of Love'' may seem out of kilter to some standing on the steps of a rebellious City Hall.
So a Peninsula couple has penned a song whose synthesized strings and message of love's perseverance may soon echo from progressive places across the country. It's called "I Do." And Maryann and Ron Sfarzo, the musical couple who wrote it, think it might be the first wedding song penned for same-sex unions.
"The door has been closed so many times for them," Maryann Sfarzo said. "So I go: "I should write a song!" "She wrote the lyrics. "They have the same feelings as we do," said Ron, a 56-year-old Menlo Park patrol cop. "People are people. If you don't have love, you have nothing." He composed the music. "We are the perfect couple to write this song," continued Maryann, a former insurance agent who declined to reveal her age. "We understand the feelings of people."
"I Do" is just the latest oeuvre of the two musicians, whose collaborations have included a patriotic tribute to America after Sept. 11, 2001, called "America, Our Country/America, Our Home"; an ode to Oahu, "Oh, My Sweet Honolulu"; and an unused theme for the Jerry Lewis telethon.
The latest song flashed into Maryann Sfarzo's head as she watched the morning news broadcasting San Francisco's historic rush of gay unions. The line of couples outside City Hall to be married thrilled and inspired the Sfarzos, who have been married 35 years. And over the subsequent week, Maryann began filling up Post-Its with her lyrics.
"The road that led us to this moment was not an easy climb
The world would not accept us as we lived our lives as one
But we stood by each other and here is where we'll stay
Our love is true and faithful as I say "I do" today."
Maryann Sfarzo said she wrote her lyrics to be inspirational, focusing on the romantic mood rather than the political edge of a controversial movement. "I don't write lyrics that will create a major issue," she said. "I just don't go there. I think about the world as a happier place."
Gay couples and others interviewed about the idea said they were unsure whether "I Do" is the first song about same-sex unions, but it was a good idea all the same. Marty Courson, a San Francisco lawyer who was married March 2, had no soundtrack to his marriage at City Hall. It just wasn't a priority when he barely had time to e-mail everyone so they could be there. "We heard "Going to the Chapel" so many times I couldn't count,'' Courson said. "Might as well pen a new one." Tony McIntosh, who's been singing with the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus for 19 years, was there that weak singing "Chapel of Love," "Freedom Is Coming" and the national anthem. He said it was a good idea to broaden the repertoire.
``Songs are written all the time about special occasions in our lives,'' McIntosh said. ``But I've never heard of anything on this topic.'' Michelle Hodges, a certified wedding consultant for more than 17 years in San Jose, said the musical options for gay and straight couples are so many that ``Here Comes the Bride'' is used in fewer than half of the processionals she oversees. There's Handel's "Water Music,'' if you like classical. Or many like Pachelbel's Canon in D or Bach's cantata, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."
"One of the advantages that same-sex couples have is that they usually won't get married in a church, and that gives them a lot of freedom in their choices of music,'' Hodges said. "You'd be surprised to see how many people use the Beatles 'When I'm 64.' ''
The Sfarzos are busy promoting the song, sending it to radio stations from the Bay Area to Provincetown, Mass. They also sent copies to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and Rosie O'Donnell and her spouse, Kelli. At the same time, Maryann is pushing a bouncy new workout ditty called "Jazzersize.'' We are trying to get it to Richards Simmons,'' Maryann said. "But who knows where this all will take us. It's a tough business. Doors open and doors close.''
Contact Sean Webby at firstname.lastname@example.org or (650) 688-7577. Fax (650) 688-7555.
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Beverley Bradford - 11:36am Sep 13
Ron: My name is Bev. You and your wife Maryann wrote a song in 2004 and we used it at our wedding. We still love the song. It was Ido. I still cry over it. We are a gay couple , that song was so appropriate. Yes we are still together 32 yrs. And still very much in love. When our computer crashed we thought we lost the song, but low and behold I found the disc. Thank you so so much. It will be our song forever.
Bev & Linda