"The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover)" as written by and George Malone Warren Davis....
The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the damn thing
It's full of charts and facts and figures
And instructions for dancing

But I
I love it when you read to me
And you
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 love it when you sing to me
And you
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 love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings

And I
I love it when you give me things
And you
You ought to give me wedding rings
You ought to give me wedding rings


Lyrics submitted by ButNeverOutgunned

"The Book of Love" as written by Stephin Merritt

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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The Book of Love (Magnetic Fields cover) song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentSometime when you have nothing better to do, go to your local bookstore and browse the self-help section. It may surprise you how many books there on on relationships and sex. When you are finished, go to your local music shop and ask for some good love songs. Notice the baffled look on the clerks face. There's just too many to mention. To wrap up your excursion, check out the local flower or gift shop...especially during Valentines.

    The book of love IS long and boring, full of words, songs and items that are supposed to show you the way and tell you how it's supposed to be.

    But ultimately it boils down to two people. Oh sure, they may borrow songs, writings and items from the "Book of Love" and enjoy giving and getting them, but ultimately each story is different.

    The wedding ring is our culture is ment to be the ultimate symbol of love. While it may look like a thousand other rings out there, it's unique in what it represents to it's wearer that one thing they found with a little help from or perhaps despite of "The Book of Love".
    Arbiteron January 22, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThey Used this in the Final Scene of Scrubs it was a great way to end the series
    Sgt_barba13on May 07, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe part on scrubs with this song made me tear up.
    Great song for a great ending to a series!
    Steve182on May 13, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWow...I had really hoped someone was going to explain things to me...but if he's saying you ought to give me wedding rings...then that puts the whole song into a new perspective.
    bono_212on December 08, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentYou are a nutcase...
    nic-ckon January 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy own interpretation is as follows: "The Book Of Love is LONG and BORING", basically straight-off-the-bat saying that the idea of love, throughout history, is irrelevant. What is expected from love and everything that develops from love whether true or untrue is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is spending time with one another. Not expecting anything more, or over-analyzing every aspect, rather just spending time with that one you love and keeping it as simple as that. Nothing has to transcribe, nothing has to fit conventional ideas of love and relationships, rather that you should just enjoy spending time with your significant other.

    All the kitschy, cliche elements to love "Heart-shaped boxes" etc. doesn't convey the strength or love between two people in love, rather that spending time and enjoying the others company should be the main indicator of the strength of a relationship.

    Then at the end the message of "the wedding ring" is repeated, as it is seen as an important icon of love.
    fnamuson July 25, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThe point of this song is to show that love is not rational. The "book of love is long and boring". If love were a book, say a textbook, it's a deep, complicated subject and reading about it would be long and it would be boring. In fact it's too complicated, it's too heavy, so much so that "no one can lift the damn thing".

    And it's tedious to talk or read about it. The best analogy for tediousness is the book would have to be "full of charts and facts and figures". And even more ludicrously, it has "instructions for dancing", as if you could learn how to dance by just reading about it! You kinda have to do it to learn it, just like you do for love -- you learn about love by being in love.

    But who cares about the "book"? All I know is that when I'm in love, I love everything you do, even you read me a stupidly long and boring book about love! So read what you want to me, even charts and facts and figures, and I will love it. And the book has music in it. Again, some of it is fantastic and some not, but as long as you're singing it to me, I will love it. Love is irrational, as long as you're with me and no matter what we're doing together, I'll love it and I'll love you.

    And the book has things in it that are nearly incomprehensible, that even the oldest and wisest of us, are "all too young to know." Love is too complicated for even the smartest of us, no matter how many years of learning about it and thinking about it that we do, we'll always be "too young." Love is unknowable, how can there be a damn book about it?!

    And finally, since I love you as much as I do, hmmm. well, -- ahem. Just a thought here! I'm just too shy to say... Well here goes anyway: You should give me a wedding ring. Or better yet shower me with wedding rings! And you know I'll love it when you buy me a ring because "I love it when you give me things". Marry me. Even though I have a cynical edge and that I think that the book of love is long and boring, marry me anyway. It's a crazy thought that we are in love, because it is all irrational but marry me anyway.

    John
    Jaaz42on April 17, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe book of love can apparently be quite long and boring—presumably a balance thing—or else love can just be boring. Talk love to many people and they begin yawning. Mention love songs to some musical aficionados and they start harping about songwriters who morphed into weenies when they fell in love. Gabriel could have merely been asked to sing this song for the soundtrack of “Shall We Dance?” but the project could have appealed to him because he recalled—I’m laughing—the bag of bulgur wheat and the silly little picture book of love and maybe even “Liberty?” but maybe not. I’m dreaming, as usual.
    sillybunnyon September 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn 2004, Gabriel performed a cover version of "The Book of Love," a song by The Magnetic Fields, on the soundtrack to the film “Shall We Dance?.”
    The Magnetic Fields is a band led by the New York City singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt. Albums released by Merritt under the name "The Magnetic Fields" usually consist of synth-pop music in a 1980s style underlying clever lyrics, often about love, that are sometimes ironic, sometimes bitter and sometimes celebratory.
    sillybunnyon September 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDid you say we lost our clipper?
    Did you say our turn is done?
    No more packets from your princess?
    No more wild and crazy fun?
    I’ve got to see tall clippers
    I’ve got to sing and shout
    I want to carry on—as if my time was running out
    I’ve got to roar with laughter—and ponder how you blow
    While the ice cakes keep a’cracklin’
    And it seems you’re lost in snow
    I want them lights in my daily mail
    I don’t mind if I do
    Remember my address?
    Could you send me one?—maybe two?
    Red Jacket’s gone?
    And Dancing Wave?
    Guiding Star, as well?
    Then what of Golden Era?
    Oh my god!—this is hell!
    Goodbye to Love romancing
    And her nutty feathered flock
    Goodbye to all the laughter
    I really miss that shock
    Goodbye to daily love letters
    Could they come back to me?
    Surely you remember my address
    So gee—I mean—couldja?
    Couldja see?
    Gee.

    Bill Adams [paraphrased]
    sillybunnyon September 07, 2006   Link

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