Song Analysis

Hungarian Wedding Song

Sunday 25 September 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

"Hungarian Wedding Song" is one of the short and silly B-Sides of Boys for Pele. It is sung from the point of view of a woman who’s waiting for her fiancé to marry her. The last verse about dead people rising to come to the wedding seems to indicate the bride is actually defunct.

It has a gothic tale tone which can remind Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, an animated picture in which a young man unknowingly promises marriage to a dead woman murdered just before her wedding. Of course, Burton’s movie was made in 2005 and it’s an original story but the director has always drawn his inspiration from many influences. Foremost, he is known for being a big Edgar Allen Poe fan and often confessed it was a major influence of his. Poe is also one of Tori’s favourite writers and biggest literary influences. I couldn’t find a text which could relate to "Hungarian Wedding Song" (don’t hesitate to tell me if you do !) but Poe often talks about dead people in his writings and sometimes dead people are the heroes of his short novels or poems. It’s also fairly possible another gothic tale share similar elements.

Although the song is pretty silly and could have been improvised by Tori in the spot of the moment, it could also jokingly refer to an hungarian wedding tradition: during the procession to the church, some male relatives ’kidnap’ the bride and the groom has to bargain and pay a large ransom. It’s of course a fake kidnapping and the money is later returned to the married couple. So if Tori was inspired by this tradition, in this case, the groom would have not paid the ransom and the bride questions if he really wants to marry her, then imagine herself dead because if it was a real kidnapping she would have not been returned to her fiancé. That is pure interpretation of course (and maybe it’s a long strectch) and I guess you could find many others. Funny to note how many views you can get out of a Tori song… even with seven lines !

It also has to be noted the song can be seen as a counterpart of the Pele B-Side "Graveyard," in which the narrator goes to the grave of a relative. "Graveyard" was on Caught A Lite Sneeze US single while "Hungarian Wedding Song" was on the first part of the UK single.