On Weddings, Trusting God, and “Save the Last Dance for Me.”

Has anyone heard of the back-story to the song, “Save the Last Dance for Me”?

It is beautiful, touching, and you might need a tissue. I included it in my chapter on trusting God for Delight: A Joyful Journey to Biblical Womanhood. Here is a short excerpt from 7.4 Saving the Last Dance?”:

I love wedding receptions. Living in the sparse state of Wyoming gives me few decent opportunities to dance. My husband dislikes dancing, but he tags along because he knows it makes me so glad. One of my favorite songs for a wedding reception is Save the Last Dance for Me. With a latin flair and lyrics about devotion, it makes a great crowd pleaser between toasts and cake.

docpomusThe songwriter, Doc Pomus, actually wrote Save the Last Dance for Me about his own wedding reception. (Jeff Cochran, 2010, likethedew.com*) Pomus was born in June 27, 1925; at age six, he lost the use of his legs due to polio. Unable to dance at his wedding, he encouraged his bride to enjoy herself with other men on the dance floor. The only catch was: she must promise to save the “final dance” for him. He says, “don’t forget who’s taking you home, and in who’s arms you’re gonna be, save the last dance for me.”

I do not believe that the act of dancing is wrong, as long as the movement brings honor to God and respect to both partners. Still, any style of dance has the potential to bring connection and intimacy between partners. That connection, though trivial, is why the man in the song warns his bride not to give her heart to anyone.

Many girls need the same warning about their own relationship with God. After joining the dance, she willingly lives her life by trusting God’s leading. But every once in a while, she chooses to place her trust in someone else. She lets a new dance partner “cut-in” for a while; transitioning easily into his arms, she trusts every lead by the new partner. In her mind, the girl is always planning on coming back to full trust in Jesus; till then, she will explore and have her fun, always saving the last dance for Him.

last dance 2

Pomus’s lyrics display the devoted yet sensitive nature of the songwriter. He is jealous for his bride, not in a sinful sense, but in a way that makes him long for her to prove her loyalty. The apostle Paul reflects a similar jealously that God has for us: “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Corinthians 11:2)

The popular worship hymn, How He Loves, puts it this way: “He is jealous for me, He loves like a hurricane and I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of his love and mercy.” (How He Loves, by John Mark Mcmillan)

You may have heard some girls say, “sure, I believe in God, but I’m going to get my fun out of the way before I really follow Jesus.” These aren’t the “dance alone” girls. They aren’t being control freaks over their life; instead, they are allowing other people or things lead them. The girl who chases after anything but God is like a bride dancing with every other man in the room; we might think she doesn’t trust her one husband.

Anyway, I have always loved Michael Buble’s rendition of the song, but knowing the story makes it so much sweeter. Every time I hear the song, I will surely remember my relationship with God. These lyrics inspire me to greater devotion…. to display my love and trust for my Savior.

Want to go deeper? Read this full note here.