Wedding Songs – Song of the Day, Stand by Me – Ben E King

stand by me, colorado wedding band mannequin blog

Wedding Songs – Today’s Song of the Day

Mannequin, a Denver Wedding and Event band

Mannequin, a Denver Wedding and Event band

Mannequin is a Denver based Wedding and event band that is quickly becoming the most booked, most referred band in the Midwest! We enjoy bringing our visitors & regular readers some of the most romantic and popular wedding songs and wedding reception ideas and more! To learn more about Mannequin or watch videos of us, click here🙂 ~ Alan Currens

Stand by Me

Stand by Me, Ben E King, Wedding Songs, Mannequin

Stand by Me, Ben E King, Wedding Songs, Mannequin

Our thoughts: Stand by Me is a song familiar to all ages and sung by most everyone. It is a song that makes us feel good and sounds good when we sing it even if we don’t have a great voice. The lyrics are similar to a gospel song, the song itself is based in part on a gospel song, Oh Lord, Stand by Me. As with any good gospel song, there is strength in the words and in the repetition of the chorus. This song symbolizes the trust and faith in the belief that when we stand together, we are not alone. Singing this song reminds us of the promise to be afraid, not cry or fret over our troubles. It brings to mind images of a parent holding their child’s hand, a brother’s arm around his sister, a husband’s arms wrapped around the wife’s shoulders and an individual standing surrounded by their the community. It is a song of faith, love, and unity.

Lyrics – Stand by Me

When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand, stand by me
Stand by me

If the sky, that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
And the mountain should crumble to the sea
I won’t cry, I won’t cry
No, I won’t shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

And darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me
Stand by me

So darling, darling
Stand by me, oh stand by me
Oh stand now, stand by me, stand by me
Whenever you’re in trouble won’t you stand by me
Oh stand by me, oh won’t you stand now, stand
Stand by me
Stand by me

Here it is, our song of the day for the Wedding Songs series in this blog:) I hope you like it and I hope you email me more suggestions ([email protected]). I’d love to know what you think are the best wedding songs of the today or of those that are timeless ~




Ben E King, co-writer and singer

Of all the songs I wrote or co-wrote in my career, this is my favourite. It came at a  strange time, though. I’d just left the Drifters and had to plead with Ahmet Ertegün, the president of Atlantic Records, to find a place for me. He put me to work with legendary songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was like a schooling for me – a kid from Harlem who knew nothing about anything.

There’s been some debate about how the song was conceived. But, as I recall, we’d some time left over at the end of a session, and I was asked if I had any songs in my head. I’d originally intended Stand By Me for the Drifters. The song we eventually recorded wasn’t so different from what I’d come up with. Jerry may have changed the lyrics in places, but not by much.

It was 1960, but in my vocal I think you can hear something of my earlier times when I’d sing in subway halls for the echo, and perform doo-wop on street corners. But I had a lot of influences, too – singers like Sam Cooke, Brook Benton and Roy Hamilton. The song’s success lay in the way Leiber and Stoller took chances, though, borrowing from symphonic scores, and we had a brilliant string arranger in Stan Applebaum.

But Jerry Wexler, a producer at Atlantic, was unimpressed. He hated it because we’d gone into overtime in the studio with an expensive orchestra. I wasn’t trying to make a hit with Stand By Me, though. I was just thrilled one of my songs was being recorded at a time when there were so many great songwriters around, people like Leiber and Stoller, Goffin and King.

I still perform it in all my shows. I’ll do it as long as I’m breathing. I’m so proud it has stood the test of time.

Mike Stoller, co-writer and co-producer Jerry Leiber and I had worked with Ben when he was with the Drifters, starting with the single There Goes My Baby. I was very impressed. For such a young guy, there was a maturity about his style.

When he went solo, our first recording session together in New York produced two hits:Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me. I remember going into our office one morning and finding Jerry and Ben working on some lyrics inspired by an old gospel song, Lord, Stand By Me. Ben demonstrated it a cappella. I walked over to my piano, sussed out the chords, and came up with a bass pattern. When Jerry heard it, he shouted: “That’s it – that’s a hit!”

Jerry always said that bassline made the song. And it’s true that, whenever the record starts, or a band plays it at a wedding, you know what’s coming just through those first bars. Stan, our arranger, came up with the beautiful two-part piece for the strings, too. It’s based on the same chords and bass pattern – and it sounds like something by Borodin or Rimsky-Korsakov.

Jerry and I liked to experiment with percussion. On There Goes My Baby there’s a timpani, and on many of our productions we used multiple drums, playing a Brazilian baión rhythm. On Stand By Me, we had a triangle alternating with the scratching of a gourd, for a kind of sparkling effect. The whole thing – orchestra, Ben, background voices – was recorded simultaneously.

Years later, the director Rob Reiner called me to ask about using the song as the title of a new film. It was 25 years since Ben’s version, and I wondered who they’d get to rerecord it, but Rob said he thought of the film as a period piece and wanted to use the original. I just said: “You’re the boss.” It was a wonderful surprise when it was an even bigger hit this time round.

Song Details From Wikipedia:

According to the documentary History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Ben E. King had no intention of recording the song himself when he wrote it. King had written it for The Drifters, who passed on recording it. After the “Spanish Harlem” recording session, he had some studio time left over. The session’s producers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, asked if he had any more songs. King played “Stand by Me” on the piano for them. They liked it and called the studio musicians back in to record it.

King’s record went to No. 1 on the R&B charts and was a Top Ten hit on the U.S. charts twice—in its original release in 1961, when it peaked at No. 4, and a 1986 re-release coinciding with its use as the theme song for the movie of the same name following its appearance in the film, when it peaked at No. 9, and also in an advertisement for Levi Jeans. It also reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1987 after its re-release, mostly because of the jeans spot, originally reaching No. 27 on its first release.

The song was not released on an album until it had been out as a single for two years. The song appeared on King’s Don’t Play That Song! album.

“Stand by Me” was ranked 122nd on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 1999, BMI named it as the fourth most-performed song of the 20th century, with about seven million performances.

On March 27, 2012, the Songwriters Hall of Fame announced that “Stand by Me” would receive its 2012 Towering Song Award and that King would be honored with the 2012 Towering Performance Award for his recording of it.

The song uses a version of the common chord progression now called the 50s progression, which has been called the “‘Stand by Me’ changes” after the song.

**just a note..both “Stand by Me” and “When a Man loves a Woman” were featured in Levi’s jeans commercials.

Mannequin is Denver’s best band FOR WEDDINGS and EVENTS! Follow our blog for more romantic music and wedding ideas! Learn more about event entertainment from Mannequin or our local colleagues like Diamond Orchestra, Tunisia, Wash Park or Mr. J and the Smooth Expressions.