Captain & Tennille

Wedding Song (There Is Love)

Composed by Noel Paul Stookey

Song Review by

AMG writer Craig Harris notes in his bio of Noel Paul Stookey: "His tune, "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)", written for Peter Yarrow's marriage to Marybeth McCarthy, the niece of senator and one-time presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy, has become a nuptial classic." Not only a "nuptial classic" as performed by that member of Peter, Paul & Mary, but also as re-made by The Captain & Tennille from their Song Of Joy album. Eventually released as a single, A & M - for some reason - feared going four songs deep on Daryl and Toni's sophomore album, waiting for Cyndi Lauper and Tina Turner to show there was nothing wrong with that when the 1980's allowed albums to showcase more of their magic - if they had the magic. Captain & Tennille certainly had caught a wave, or a groove, and Toni's tender approach to Stookey's Top 25 hit from 1971 may not be as lively as The Police and Sting's "Every Breath You Take" (a song that should NOT be a wedding theme if those being so joined took the time to actually hear the lyrics!), its three minutes and nineteen seconds turning out to be far more appropriate than Sting's clever essay and arguably more polished than Stookey's original hit. Patti LaBelle and The Blue Belles went top 40 in 1963 with another song sub-titled "Wedding Song", their "Down The Aisle", and Tennille stays true to her girl group roots with Melissa Tennille, Gary Sims, Clark Burroughs and Toni reaching majestic heights with soaring background vocals on this production. Paul Stookey's guitar is replaced by Daryl Dragon's everpresent keys while Hal Blaine is allegedly there, though his drums and percussion are more felt than heard. It is Jimmy Getzoff's strings and orchestration which add a wonderful diversion to the trademark Captain & Tennille sound, the lead singer taking this all so very seriously. As Civil Unions are becoming more popular one wonders if this song and performance can gather even more interest in the new millennium or if the Christian nature of the lyric would impede that? What this performance does show is how this act had the ability to shift elegantly from the pop they were famous for.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Song of Joy 1976 R2 Entertainment
Greatest Hits 1977 A&M 3:19
Rockin' & Rollin' Wedding Songs, Vol. 1 1992
Various Artists
Rhino 3:21
Ultimate Collection: The Complete Hits 2001 Hip-O 3:19
Captain & Tennille 2001 Remind 3:19
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Captain & Tennille 2005 A&M 3:19
Ultimate Wedding Songs 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:21
Songs of Joy: The Complete C&T Collection 2005 R2 Entertainment 3:20
blue highlight denotes editor's pick