34 Meanings
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Love Love Love Lyrics

King Saul fell on his sword
When it all went wrong
And Joseph's brother sold him down the river for a song
And Sonny Liston rubbed some tiger balm into his glove

Some things you do for money
And some you do for love love love

Raskolnikov felt sick
And he couldn't say why
When he saw his face reflected
In his victim's twinkling eye

Some things you'll do for money
Some you'll do for fun
But the things you do for love are gonna come back
One by one

Love love is gonna lead you by the hand
Into a white and soundless place

Now we see things
As in a mirror dimly
Then we shall see each other
To face

And way out in Seattle,
Young Kurt Cobain
Snuck out to the greenhouse
And put a bullet in his brain

Snakes in the grass beneath our feet
Rain in the clouds above
Some moments last forever
But some flare out
With love love love
Song Info
Lyrics © BUG MUSIC
Submitted by
Submitted on
May 03, 2005
34 Meanings
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This song blew my mind until I was listened to Weekend Edition on National Public Radio and heard John interviewed after The Sunset Tree's release.

When asked about this song he said:

"the point of the song is we are very well damaged by the legacy of the romantic poet, that we think of love as a thing that is with strings and is this force for good and then if something bad happens thats not love...I don't know so much about that I don't know that the Greeks weren't right, I think that they were, that love can beat a path through everytihng, that it will destroy alot of things on the way to its objective which is just its expression of itself. You know my stepfather mistreated us terribly quite often, but he loved us and well, that to me is something worth commenting on in the hopes of undoing aot of what I percieve is terrible damage, yet we talk about love as this benign comfortable force: it is wild."

Well, the first time I heard the song was on an episode of [adult swim]'s "Moral Orel", and the plot of it was a sad one, so when I listened to the song again to hear it in it's entirety, I already had an idea that it wasn't neccesarily celebrating love, just talking about it, especially since there's the repeating line "Some things you do for money, some things you do for love".

And, love is an odd force.

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"Crime & Punishment" is probably my favorite novel of all time. Raskolnikov is a university dropout who stumbles upon the idea that he and larger-than-life historical figures (like Napoleon) are "overmen," people who are remarkable and thus above the moral scrutiny and justice that govern the rest of humanity. He believes that the fruits of his labors will be so completely worth any "sins" he may commit to achieve them that those sins will be pardonable. To prove this theory, Raskolnikov decides to murder his pawnbroker.

The sickness John describes in the song is pivotal to the book. Raskolnikov follows through with the murder, but the guilt and disgust it brings him drive him to confess, thereby undoing him and his theory. Had Raskolnikov murdered the woman for money, he wouldn't have been tortured as he was, as he'd have achieved his goal of robbing the pawnbroker. Similarly, if he'd killed her for fun, he'd have satiated his bloodlust.

Instead, he killed the woman out of love: love for his own idea.

@Sussex Hey man I made an account just to reply despite being 12 years late but and I love your input but I wanted to add something about Crime and Punishment and how it relates to the song.

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Just a couple of points besides they typos.

It is King Saul that commits suicide not King Sol. This is a reference to King Saul in the books of Samuel in the bible.

And the killer is Raskalnikov, a character in Crime and Punishment

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In case anyone else is wondering who Sonny Liston is, he was a boxer who allegedly put something to "blind" his opponents on his glove when he wasn't doing so well in a fight. (I might be the only person who doesn't know enough about boxing to have heard the story about Liston and Cassius Clay before, but I figured I'd throw it out there.)

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The song and Darnielle's quote above reminds me of what Nietzsche says in Beyond Good and Evil: "That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." I think that's the message of the song - love is a force separate from morality that causes people to do things that can be good (as the "legacy of the romantic poets" says love always is) or bad (as most of the examples in the song are, just like, as John says, his stepfather mistreated them but still loved them).

The 1 Corinthians verse - "Now we see things as in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face" - comes towards the end of the very famous chapter on love, the one that's read at wedding ceremonies, with the list - "Love is patient, love is kind..." The chapter describes the qualities of love and talks about how all actions are meaningless if not done with love and love will endure beyond our prophecies, our languages, our knowledge. Verse 12 is about the time after the judgment/second coming when we have "put away childish things (13:11)". The final verse of the chapter is "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love," meaning that those three continue to exist eternally. I've always thought 1 Cor. 13:12 was a powerful statement that one day we will understand why things happen; now we can only interpret the world narrowly, because we can't see the whole, but when we're with God we will be able to understand the meaning behind the tragedy in the world.

John seems to be attacking Corinthians' list of only the positive qualities of love and rejecting the idea that doing an action with love automatically transforms it into a good action, while affirming the epistler's statement that love is a constant.

I don't think so. I think he's only emphasizing "but the greatest of these is love" without actually mentioning it. And while I do believe he is questioning many of the positive attributes Paul ascribes to love, I think he's also trying to bend them; we interpret love as a positive thing, as we do kindness and patience, but can't those all be misconstrued?

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It's already been said, but this song demolishes the idea that love is an inherently benign force, the stuff of Hallmark cards and heart-shaped candy boxes.

Love of self, love of fame, love of money: all of these things are "love" too, and yet they create havoc and misery whenever they are unleashed. Saul loved power; Joseph's brothers loved money; Liston loved winning; Cobain loved his self-respect.

Any lesser emotion would cause a man to pull back at some point. Lose interest, re-evaluate his priorities, take stock of his life. But all of these examples were love pushed to their logical

John does a lot of stuff with love pushed far beyond the polite and simple, into a realm of dark and fog where nothing makes sense and hate, fear, jealousy, rage, etc. all enter the mixture and make it into something unique and terrifying, yet still "love" in the broader non-commercial definition of the word.

The album Tallahassee is the same thing, just applied to relationships. Hate and love intertwined.

JD is a lyrical genius.

My Interpretation
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Hab - Love isn't some hunky dorey, warm, fuzzy force...it's so powerful that it can destroy and cause harm in its expression, so to speak. As displayed by his stepfather doing horrible things, but not being an unloving father.

Short n sweet, his last line in the quote sums it up - love is wild.

Amazing song.

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I agree w/SunsetRubdown, and would take it a step further. I think this song is a slightly sarcastic jab at mushy love songs, and it is an ode to self-love, which is the motivating force in all of the actions described in the song. The song even speaks to the way that self interested actions can reveal to us our true natures, as in these lines: "Now we see this/As in a mirror dimly/Then we shall see each other/Face to face," and in Raskolnikov's [

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love has no definition it has been tamed into a soft joyous thing in human minds, though it isn't. Love isn't anything, it just is; in all of it's glorious and devious manifestations.

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Damn! a typo of my own.

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