In the song, The Book of Love, the Magnetic Fields takes us through 3 stages of a new love.
The book of love is long and boring
No one can lift the whole thing
It’s full of charts and facts, some figures and instructions for dancing
Stage 1: Irritation, shielded desire, intellectual connection
Love is like a book. It has a ton of things in it that I don’t understand. Understanding this song as being spoken to a new love, we can see how the Magnetic Fields shares our first reaction. I don’t need love. Like a textbook it is heavy and difficult to understand. And yet…
But I, I love it when you read to me.
And you, You can read me anything.
We should talk about it. You’re nice.
Reading is a great conversation starter. Have you ever queried a friend with, “read any good books, lately?” I have. Reading and discussing opens the door to understand the way someone thinks and acts. It opens the door to their values. It opens the door to things you should know about a potential love.
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.
Stage 2: Vulnerability
My opinion? Well music is great, but I don’t like all of it. In this verse, the Magnetic Fields opens up a little bit. Here are my thoughts; here are my views. By opening up the conversation to things potentially controversial, I am vulnerable.
But I, I love it when you sing to me.
And you, You can sing me anything.
And I have gotten to know you well enough, I want you to vulnerable too. Your voice is beautiful, at least to me. Singing is scary, our voice is part of our body. Indeed, it is a short jump from feeling insecure about our voice to feeling insecure about who we are. We know each other now, be vulnerable, it will be ok.
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.
Stage 3: Commitment
Yes, commitment can be scary. But it is a lot less scary when you know someone well, and you know they are safe. Love is still complicated, I still don’t understand it, and there is more to it than we will ever know. But I know you, deeply, and you know me, truly. Truly enough to know that I’m a little bit of a cynic. Truly enough to know that I would rather spend forever with you than any. body. else.
But I, I love it when you give me things.
And you, You ought to give me wedding rings.
William Stonewall Monroe