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 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 transcendent
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
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 (Magnetic Fields cover) song meanings
Add Your Thoughts

58 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +5
    General Comment

    Sometime 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 23, 2006   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    They 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 Comment

    The part on scrubs with this song made me tear up. Great song for a great ending to a series!

    Steve182on May 14, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    The 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
  • +1
    General Comment

    Wow...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 09, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    You are a nutcase...

    nic-ckon January 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    My 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 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The 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 Comment

    In 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 Comment

    Did 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

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

More Featured Meanings

Album art
Fast Car
Tracy Chapman
"Fast car" is kind of a continuation of Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." It has all the clawing your way to a better life, but in this case the protagonist never makes it with her love; in fact she is dragged back down by him. There is still an amazing amount of hope and will in the lyrics; and the lyrics themselve rank and easy five. If only music was stronger it would be one of those great radio songs that you hear once a week 20 years after it was released. The imagery is almost tear-jerking ("City lights lay out before us", "Speeds so fast felt like I was drunk"), and the idea of starting from nothing and just driving and working and denigrating yourself for a chance at being just above poverty, then losing in the end is just painful and inspiring at the same time.
Album art
Dreamwalker
Silent Planet
I think much like another song “Anti-Matter” (that's also on the same album as this song), this one is also is inspired by a horrifying van crash the band experienced on Nov 3, 2022. This, much like the other track, sounds like it's an extension what they shared while huddled in the wreckage, as they helped frontman Garrett Russell stem the bleeding from his head wound while he was under the temporary effects of a concussion. The track speaks of where the mind goes at the most desperate & desolate of times, when it just about slips away to all but disconnect itself, and the aftermath.
Album art
When We Were Young
Blink-182
This is a sequel to 2001's "Reckless Abandon", and features the band looking back on their clumsy youth fondly.
Album art
Just A Little Lovin'
Dusty Springfield
I don't think it's necessarily about sex. It's about wanting to start the day with some love and affection. Maybe a warm cuddle. I'm not alone in interpreting it that way! For example: "'Just a Little Lovin’ is a timeless country song originally recorded by Eddy Arnold in 1954. The song, written by Eddie Miller and Jimmy Campbell, explores the delicate nuances of love and showcases Arnold’s emotive vocals. It delves into the universal theme of love and how even the smallest gesture of affection can have a profound impact on our lives." https://oldtimemusic.com/the-meaning-behind-the-song-just-a-little-lovin-by-eddy-arnold/
Album art
Midnight
Ed Sheeran
“Midnight” is a song about finding a love that is so true that it provides a calming feeling through every storm. Ed Sheeran reflects on his good fortunes in landing someone with such peace and support and speaks of not fearing the dark days because he knows they’ll all end in the safety nets of her arms. “Well, good morning there / What a way to start the day / With everything laid bare,” Ed Sheeran sings in the first verse, enthusiastic to be waking up beside his woman. He apologizes for missing her calls in the second verse and promises to return them because for him, speaking to her is the most important thing. “Well, I get lost inside my head / In this chaos, you’re my calm / And I will find my feet again / ‘Cause еven the worst days of my life will always еnd / At midnight in your arms,” sings Ed Sheeran in the chorus, revelling in his good luck.