in , , ,

Jewish Groom Mortified After Learning First Dance Song His Fiancée Picked Is About Holocaust

Couple having first wedding dance
freemixer/Getty Images

Weddings are a time for celebration and often of remembering those who came before us.

But occasionally a bride or groom’s family history is marred by tragedy and even terror, and it becomes of utmost importance to honor that.

Redditor Downtown_Drummer9399 is a descendant of Holocaust survivors, and this took center stage with some of their brother’s wedding plans.

The Original Poster (OP) turned to subReddit “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) for guidance.

They asked:

“AITA for telling my SIL what her wedding first dance song was about?”

They went on to explain the delicate situation.

“My brother [29-year-old Male, we’ll call him Tim] is marrying a really sweet girl [27-year-old Female we’ll call Carrie] the whole family loves her and is excited for the wedding.”

“She’s made a point of including me [25-year-old female] in the planning and it’s all been going smooth until a few weeks ago.”

“We’re finalizing the design of the invites and Carries added a line for song requests to give the DJ on the RSVP.”

“I mention that it’s a super cute idea and she says she hopes no one requests her first dance song. I ask what her first dance song is and she makes me swear to keep it a secret.”

“I promise and she tells me it’s ‘O Children’ by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. My mouth falls open and she asks me what’s wrong.”

“I ask her if she’s ever really listened to the lyrics and the narrative of the song. She says it’s just the Harry Potter song and changes the subject.”

“I don’t push it but can’t get it out of my head. My family is Jewish and the decedents of survivors. (Carrie is not religious but has happily come with us to synagogue and celebrated holidays with us.)”

“This song is about the Holocaust, having verses about taking the train to the Gulag, being hosed down and inspected, etc.”

“I see my brother the next day and ask him about it, hoping it’s some artistic statement or some thing.”

“He says he’s never really listened to the actual lyrics and only knows it from watching Harry Potter with Carrie and since he’s not super concerned about a first dance (he’s never been a sentimental man) he left it up to her to pick the song.”

“I’m uncomfortable but willing to walk away from it at that point, it’s not my wedding after all. And I think I’m done with it until a few days later when I get a frantic call from Carrie.”

“After I asked about it my brother looked up the actual lyrics as well as a few lyric breakdowns and told her she’d need to pick another song.”

“That the wedding will be done by our rabbi and our survivor grandparents will be there. That he wouldn’t dance to a song that says gulag in it.”

“Especially as Carrie wants the first dance to be recorded and he doesn’t want to watch their wedding videos with their future kids and have to explain the song.”

“He suggested finding some other song that is significant to them, like something from their road-trip playlist, but said he would not dance to O Children.”

“Carrie was livid screaming that ‘Tim never cared about the song before and that I had poisoned him against her, that the whole family would think she was a white supremacist.’”

“(I asked around my relatives and no one has any clue why she’d thing they’d think that about her.) And that ‘I had not only ruined her wedding day but the whole first dance surprise.’”

“I guess Tim also spoke to our mom and she spoke to our grandparents about it and now most of the family knows.”

“Carries is now refusing to talk to me and arguing with Tim about me being invited to the wedding at all while Tim is still steadfast that he won’t have the song played or uninvite me.”


“Edit: my brother knew the song choice before I spoke to him, he’d just never really listened to/looked up the lyrics.”

“Edit 2: thank you to the commenter who corrected me! The lyric is ‘key to the gulag’ not ‘train to the gulag.’”

Redditors weighed in by declaring:

    • NTA – Not The A**hole
    • YTA – You’re The A**hole
    • NAH – No A**holes Here
    • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided:

“NTA. People often get caught up in the music and don’t listen to the words carefully. You may have prevented her from making a major faux pas that wouldn’t easily be forgotten.”

“She is being extremely immature and a real AH for her over the top reaction.” – Glinda-The-Witch

“NTA – someone needs to sit Carrie down and explain the giant a** favor you just did her and your brother.”

“I’m sure she’s more embarrassed than anything right now but could you imagine if people got up and started walking out during their first dance?”

“I understand the moment she pictured is not going to come to pass, but she’s joining a family that has generational trauma that cannot be ignored.”

“If she wants to make this her hill to die on, so be it, but I would seriously be rethinking my partner if they could not see besides themselves regarding something like this.”

“You did good OP. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.” – CuriousTsukihime

“NTA. You’re a hero for saving her from future embarrassment and regret. Hopefully one day she’ll fully understand why that song was not appropriate for your family.” – FurryPayaso

“NTA. you didn’t tell her what it was about/an interpretation of what it’s about.”

“You asked her if she knew. Then, knowing how your family would feel about it, asked your brother if he knew. He didn’t.”

“You still didn’t say anything. Your brother then looked it up, didn’t like it, and wants to change it. So Carrie is upset her soon to be husband has an opinion.”

“Carrie needs to get a grip. And a new song. I’ve never heard it and looked up the lyrics.”

“Why on earth would someone want that for their first dance?!? A wedding is hopeful and full of promise. That song seems to be about sadness, lament and death.” – Lacroix24601

“NTA. Future SIL is a fool. You saved her from a huge embarrassment that will be recorded and remembered, and she’s angry at you?”

“News flash: “O Children” makes sense for HP bc Voldemort was a supporter of blood purity, remember that tiny detail and the battle that was fought?”

“Genocide is on-theme for HP — does Carrie want that theme for her wedding?”

“Tim has the right idea. Hopefully this behavior is out-of-character for Carrie.” – ggcc789

“NTA! Carrie wtf. Honestly the biggest red flag here is that Carrie would be willing to overlook this song’s meaning instead of respecting her future husband and his family.”

“You did not overstep by informing your brother of this. Good luck with the wedding” – theOGcarebear

“NTA. She’s upset for now but later on she’ll be happy she didn’t have her first dance be to a song with Holocaust references in it.”

“Sometimes being a good friend is telling someone what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear.” – Emergency_Ad_5935

“NTA, there are different interpretations of that song, but if your brother says “no” and your family will be hurt, then hell no, put your foot down.”

“Also, I’ve never seen the Deathly Hallows so I had no idea that was a Harry Potter song.” – TheLadyEve

“NTA – Her response is whack-a-doodle. She takes no time to reflect; only deflects hate while screaming.”

“This is an extreme reaction. I was waiting for her to thank you after she read the lyrics in context of your family Hx.”

“You did nothing wrong. Knowledge is power. You mentioned interpretation: How do you misinterpret Gulag…the cleaners have come..etc.”

“There is nothing right about playing this song during your brother’s wedding. It’s also OK if you don’t go. Ceremony’s are public (typically) and you can be present then.” – DesertSong-LaLa

“NTA wtf is wrong with your SIL.”

“I don’t care if it was my favorite song ever, if I found out it was a holocaust song there is no way it would be played at my wedding and my family isn’t Jewish(but someone I know is/could be).”

“But she’s marrying a Jewish man and into a Jewish family, I would be weeping and begging forgiveness for my ignorance.”

“To think she’s more upset about a song than the impact of this on her partners family is disgusting and if I were your brother I’d be rethinking about the relationship and if he really wants to marry this person.” – Giggle_interrupted

“Definitely NTA, you probably saved everyone from a great embarrassment, even if she doesn’t realize it.”

“Besides, why is she even angry at you? You haven’t told anyone but your brother, who has looked up the meaning of the lyrics and made this decision by himself” – HyperPipi


“When wedding planning, I remember coming across multiple articles along the lines of ‘popular wedding songs that sound romantic that aren’t.’”

“James Blunt’s Beautiful being a good example of one that was on multiple lists.”

“It’s so easy to hear a chorus, or see a portion of a song in a movie and think it’s romantic.”

“You did your future SIL a huge favor and hopefully her reaction was just wedding planning stress.” – ErikaWasTaken

Honestly, a strange choice for a wedding song in the first place.

Written by B. Miller

B. is a creative multihyphenate who enjoys the power and versatility of the written word. She enjoys hiking, great food and drinks, traveling, and vulnerable conversation. Raised below the Mason Dixon, thriving above it. (she/her)