Love Song

ValentineI’m not a fan of commercial holidays. In particular, I’m not a fan of the idea of one day a year to mark some emotion or thought I’m supposed to have on schedule. I don’t need a calendar reminder to honor my mother, father, or sweetheart (or to be thankful or charitable).

And I’ve been to the well of romance many times in my time, but (alas) every bucket drawn has evaporated, spilled, or been kicked over. Drought may have dried that well, but I still believe in love.

So for lovers everywhere, a lovely love song…

In fact, this may be the best love song I’ve ever heard! It’s a Peter Gabriel cover of The Book of Love:

The song was written by Stephin Merritt for his group The Magnetic Fields (I’ve never heard of either). I first heard the tune in the Scrubs series finale (and immediately went and bought it from iTunes).

I thought of using it here after hearing it in a South Park episode yesterday. (Just in time for the ironically initialed Valentine’s Day.)

It’s really a beautiful, and rather deep, song about love. The lyrics are worth paying attention to (see below).

As a bonus, here’s another pretty love song I’ve always liked, I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen:

I spent years thinking this was the one the Pointer Sisters covered. Turned out they had covered another Springsteen tune, Fire (you can, perhaps, see the source of my confusion):

I’ve always liked their version best, although the Boss does it pretty well, too! 🙂


Getting back to our headliner, the most excellent Mr. Peter Gabriel, he and I go back to his Genesis days, and I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve played his first solo album (“Car”), and Solsbury Hill is still a favorite tune of mine!

Peter Gabriel CarThe last time I saw him in concert (the tour for the Up album), they were using a new sound system, and it kept cutting out.

It would go from this full-on rock concert to nearly dead silence (you could hear the drummer acoustically, but everything else was electronic). It was intensely weird!

For quite some time thereafter, every time I listened to his tune  Sledgehammer, some part of my mind kept expecting the music to drop out at certain points. Gabriel tried mightily to get through that one, but all the drop-outs during that tune were what caused them to finally stop the concert for 20 minutes to replace the soundboard.

Now, without further ado, here are the lyrics to The Book of Love:

The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It’s full of charts and facts, some figures
And instructions for dancing
But I-I-I-I-I-I-I,
I love it when you read to me.
And you-u-u-u-u-u-u,
You can read me anything.
The book of love has music in it,
In fact that’s where music comes from.
Some of it is just transcendental,
Some of it is just really dumb.
But I-I-I-I-I-I-I,
I love it when you sing to me.
And you-u-u-u-u-u-u,
You can sing me anything.
The book of love is long and boring,
And written very long ago.
It’s full of flowers and heart-shaped boxes,
And things we’re all too young to know.
But I-I-I-I-I-I-I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you-u-u-u-u-u-u,
You ought to give me wedding rings.
And I-I-I-I-I-I-I,
I love it when you give me things.
And you-u-u-u-u-u-u,
You ought to give me wedding rings.
You ought to give me wedding rings.

Stay musical, my friends! You can sing me anything.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

2 responses to “Love Song

  • Lady from Manila

    Well, frankly, “Fire” isn’t my kind of romantic song; I prefer ardent mellower tunes that bring me through rainbows, soft clouds, and gentle seas — or painful love songs that evoke of some overcast sky and deep heartache.

    A little drama can be good for the soul, you know. 😉

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Heh, well taste in love stories and songs may be just as complex as taste in comedy. If you like love songs with pain, USA country music is a gold mine! You might like Lucinda Williams, for instance. Nice blend of country and rock.

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