Cover me badly: The Magnetic Fields – The Book of Love

I saw Peter Gabriel in May and even though I had to pee for the entire 2 ½-hours he played, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert because this man is such a warm, giving and passionate artist that he does not just hurl out his hits, no, he re-imagines them, he creates an entire visual experience around them and he still believes that his audience can go out and change the world. Call me naïve but I really believe that he still grieves for the world whenever he sings “Biko” and wants to change it for the better (can’t say that for some other charity-musicians I won’t name here).

I have to admit, I thought that I would tear up during “In Your Eyes” because as mentioned over and over again, I have lots of love for that song. But alas, I was incredibly surprised when instead Gabriel’s cover of The Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love” turned me into a big ball of bubbling emotions. Stephen Merritt’s lyrics are absolutely divine and even though I usually don’t do that, I will post them here in their entirety because it was actually the combination of Gabriel’s voice and Merritt’s lyrics that tenderly pulled at my heartstrings.

It’s such a sweet, smart and wonderful song, it really should become the official wedding vow for everyone (chose your own version, the orchestral Gabriel-hymn or the humble Magnetic Fields-pearl).

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
I, I love it when you give me things
and you, you ought to give me wedding rings

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