Walked out, goodbye I swore I never would cry Tore a page of my heart She wants me to be her friend I'm lonely again Tore a page of my heart Oh, tell me who wrote the book of love Was it somebody from above (ha, ha, ha, ha) Surely he must know all the rules (ha, ha, ha, ha) Knowledge not meant for mortal fools Must have been someone from above Tell me, who wrote the book of love In silence the lonely make All their mistakes Tore a page of my heart Someone in Heaven above Show me how to love She tore a page of my heart Oh, tell me who wrote the book of love Was it somebody from above (ha, ha, ha, ha) Surely he must know all the rules (ha, ha, ha ha) Knowledge not meant for mortal fools (ha, ha, ha, ha) Must have been someone from above Tell me, who wrote the book of love Ha, ha, ha, ha...ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha...ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha...ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha...ha, ha, ha, ha Ha, ha, ha, ha...
Yikes, another super-bitter song from Lindsey dripping with sarcasm. It's very postmodern of him to grab the lines from the chorus out of that famous old song and completely darken their meaning, though! In his "book of love," pages get torn out! Although he stews about the girl who just wants him "to be her friend" but leaves him "lonely again," most of his anger here seem directed at that "somebody from above" who has caused love to be so painful. Lindsey caustically remarks that the reasons for all his pain must "not meant for mortal fools" to know. Careful, Lindsey! And the bitter laughter seals the deal. Ouch!
I don't see a caustic bitterness here. I see some irony and self-directed sarcasm. But mostly, there is a tremendous sadness in the realization that a love affair is failing. Lindsey and Carol began to really experience some hard times during the making of Mirage, so I think this song was inspired by the events that warned him that this relationship was headed in the wrong direction. He's doing what he can, but it doesn't seem to be enough, and he's not sure what to do next. (This confusion about what to do is something he discussed at length about Carol after Go Insane came out). He only wishes that there were rules for love, because then maybe he could follow them and figure out how to make this relationship work.
But at the moment of writing this song, he feels that if there are rules, they aren't meant for mere mortals to understand. He even envisions a cruel Greek chorus gleefully laughing at him for even thinking that he could understand the book of love. But I think there are two really important and telling lines in this song. The first one is, "In silence the lonely make all their mistakes." He recognizes that by internalizing his pain and confusion and feelings, he's not doing himself or anyone else any good. He must communicate these feelings. The second one is the last verse; it's an open plea to "someone in heaven above" (the loving God) to "show me how to love." He wants desperately to be happy and make someone else happy and he'll appeal to divine powers if that's what he needs to do. I love this song because he wears his heart on his sleeve.
Want to speculate on "Book of Love"? E-mail me and I'll post your comments.