The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs Vol. 1

All songs written by Stephin Merritt.

Absolutely Cuckoo

Don't fall in love with me yet. We only recently met. True, I'm in love with you, but you might decide I'm a nut. Give me a week or two to go absolutely cuckoo. Then, when you see your error, then you can flee in terror like everybody else does. I only tell you this cause I'm easy to get rid of, but not if you fall in love. Know now that I'm on the make, and if you make a mistake, my heart will certainly break. I'll have to jump in a lake. And all my friends will blame you. There's no telling what they'll do. It's only fair to tell you, I'm absolutely cuckoo.

I Don't Believe In the Sun

They say there's a sun in the sky, but me, I can't imagine why. There might have been one before you were gone, but now all I see is the night. I don't believe in the sun. How could it shine down on everyone and never shine on me? How could there be such cruelty? The only sun I ever knew was the beautiful one that was you. Since you went away, it's nighttime all day, and it's usually raining too. The only stars there really are were shining in your eyes. There is no sun except the one that never shone on other guys. The moon to whom the poets croon has given up and died. Astronomy will have to be revised.

All My Little Words

You are a splendid butterfly. It is your wings that make you beautiful. And I could make you fly away, but I could never make you stay. You said you were in love with me. Both of us know that is impossible. And I could make you rue the day, but I could never make you stay. Not for all the tea in China, not if I could sing like a bird, not for all North Carolina, not for all my little words. Not if I could write for you the sweetest song you ever heard. It doesn't matter what I do. Not for all my little words. Now that you've made me want to die, you tell me that you're unboyfriendable. And I make you pay and pay, but I could never make you stay.

A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off

Eligible, not too stupid, intelligible, and cute as Cupid, knowledgeable, but not always right, salvageable, and free for the night. Well, my heart's running round like a chicken with its head cut off all around the barnyard, falling in and out of love. The poor thing's blind as a bat, getting up, falling down, getting up. Who'd fall in love with a chicken with its head cut off? (Whoa, Nellie.) My wife doesn't understand me. Many dozens hope to land me. I'm for free love, and I'm in free fall. This could be love or nothing at all. We don't have to be stars exploding in the night or electric eels under the covers. We don't have to be anything quite so unreal. Let's just be lovers. (It ain't pretty.)

Reno Dakota

Reno Dakota, there's not an iota of kindness in you. You know you enthrall me and yet you don't call me. It's making me blue: Pantone 292. Reno Dakota, I'm reaching my quota of tears for the year. Alas and alack, you just don't call me back. You have just disappeared. It makes me drink beer. I know you're a recluse. You know that's no excuse. Reno, that's just a ruse. Do not play fast and loose with my heart. Reno Dakota, I'm no Nino Rota. I don't know the score. Have I annoyed you or is there a boy who... Well, he's just a whore. I've had him before. It makes me drink more.

I Don't Want To Get Over You

I don't want to get over you. I guess I could take a sleeping pill and sleep at will and not have to go through what I go through. I guess I should take Prozac, right, and just smile all night at somebody new, somebody not too bright, but sweet and kind who would try to get you off my mind. I could leave this agony behind, which is what I'd do if I wanted to, but I don't want to get over you, cause I don't want to get over love. I could listen to my therapist, pretend you don't exist, and not have to dream of what I dream of. I could listen to all my friends and go out again and pretend it's enough, or I could make a career of being blue. I could dress in black and read Camus, smoke clove cigarettes and drink vermouth like I was 17. That would be a scream, but I don't want to get over you.

Come Back from San Francisco

Come back from San Francisco. It can't be all that pretty, when all of New York City misses you. Should pretty boys in discos distract you from your novel, remember I'm awful in love with you. You need me like the wind needs the trees to blow in. Like the moon needs poetry, you need me. Come back from San Francisco and kiss me; I've quit smoking. I miss doing the wild thing with you. Will you stay? I don't think so, but all I do is worry, pack bags, call cabs, and hurry home to me. When you betray me, betray me with a kiss. Damn you. I've never stayed up as late as this.

The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side

Andy would bicycle across town in the rain to bring you candy, and John would buy the gown for you to wear to the prom with Tom the astronomer who'd name a star for you, but I'm the luckiest guy on the Lower East Side, cause I've got wheels and you want to go for a ride. Harry is the one I think you'll marry, but it's Chris that you kissed after school. I'm a fool, there's no doubt, but when the sun comes out, and only when the sun comes out... The day is beautiful and so are you. My car is ugly, but then I'm ugly too. I know you'd never give me a second glance, but when the weather's nice, all the other guys don't stand a chance. I know Professor Blumen makes you feel like a woman, but when the wind is in your hair you laugh like a little girl. So you share secrets with Lou, but we've got secrets too--well, one: I only keep this heap for you, cause I'm the ugliest guy on the Lower East Side, but I've got wheels and you want to go for a ride. Want to go for a ride?

Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits

If you knew how I long for you now that you're gone, you'd grow wings and fly home to me, home tonight. And in the morning sun, let's pretend we're bunny rabbits. Let's do it all day long. Let abbots, Babbitts, and Cabots say Mother Nature's wrong. And when we've had a coupla beers, we'll put on bunny suits. I long to nibble your ears and do as bunnies do. Let's pretend we're bunny rabbits. Let's do it all day long, rapidly becoming rabid, singing little rabbit songs. I can keep it up all night. I can keep it up all day. Let's pretend we're bunny rabbits until we pass away.

The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be

The cactus where your heart should be has lovely little flowers, so though it's always pricking me, my ardor never sours. The cactus where your heart once was has power to rend and flay. I stick because I'm stuck, because I just can't tear myself away.

I Think I Need a New Heart

Time stands still. All I can feel is time standing still as you put down the keys and say "Don't call me, please" while the radio plays "I Think I Need a New Heart." You've lied too, but it's a sin that I can't tell the truth, cause it all comes out wrong unless I put it in a song, so the radio plays "I Think I Need a New Heart" just for you. "I Think I Need a New Heart." Cause I always say "I love you" when I mean "Turn out the light," and I say "Let's run away" when I just mean "Stay the night," but the words you want to hear, you will never hear from me. I'll never say "Happy anniversary," never stay to say happy anniversary, so I think I need a new heart. Give me time.

The Book of Love

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 love it when you read to me, and 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 love it when you sing to me, and 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 to young to know. But I love it when you give me things, and you ought to give me wedding rings.

Fido, Your Leash Is Too Long

Fido, your leash is too long. You go where you don't belong. You've been digging in the rubble, getting bitches in trouble. Fido, your leash is too long. Fido, your leash is too long. I don't know where I went wrong. You scare me out of my wits when you do that Shitzu. Fido, your leash is too long. Fido, you've gone far enough. I must have all of your love. You've just run out of luck. I don't care what you foxhounds do, but your leash is too long.

How Effing Romantic

How effing romantic. All the stars are out, twinkling twinkling twinkling, and fluttering about. What a tacky sunset. What a vulgar moon. Play another charming Rodgers and Hart tune. How effing romantic. Must we really waltz? Drag another cliche howling from the vaults. Love you, obviously, like you really care, even though you treat me like a dancing bear. Toss your bear a goldfish as it cycles by. Don't forget to feed your bear or it will die.

The One You Really Love

I do believe our love's in danger. I might as well be loving air. You look at me like I'm a stranger. You look at me like I'm not there. I gaze into your eyes of blue, but their beauty is not for me. You're thinking on someone who's gone. You're dreaming of the one you really love. I made you mine, or so it seemed. Though he is dead he haunts your dreams. I might as well be two feet tall. You never will love me at all. You're dreaming of the corpse you really love.

Punk Love

Punk love, punk love, punk rock love.

Parades Go By

I'll linger here, your ring upon my finger dear, and sing till dawn a song of you and me and what and why, for time is all I have to keep between these walls. And half asleep, the days go by, a million little nights and days go by, and I don't mind. Parades go by. So many beautiful parades go by. Leave me behind. I'll sit and stare. How could I venture anywhere and let the centuries fall where they may, but never die? For I have loved, and so I lost the world above. Beyond the moss...

Boa Constrictor

I spend my evenings alone talking to your picture, babe. Love is wrapped around my heart, like a boa contstrictor, babe. My mother should have murdered me; what jury would convict her, babe? For love is wrapped around my heart, like boa constrictor, babe.

A Pretty Girl Is Like...

A pretty girl is like a minstrel show: It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, you go. It just isn't the same on radio. It's all about the makeup and the dancing and the... Oh, a pretty girl is like a violent crime: If you do it wrong you could do time, but if you do it right it is sublime. I'm so in love with you, girl, it's like I'm on the moon. I can't really breathe, but I feel lighter. A melody is like a pretty girl: Who cares if it's the dumbest in the world? It's all about the way that it unfurls. A pretty girl is like a pretty girl.

My Sentimental Melody

I'm a hopless romantic. You're a terrible flirt. Cool and unfazed, you're always amazed when someone gets hurt. I live on the blue planet that I saw in your eyes, but now I can't stay knowing it's made of beautiful lies. But my sentimental melody, like a long-lost lullabye will ring in your ears down through the years, bringing a tear to your eye. Goodbye. Love can kill people, can't it? Well, it still may kill me. Each drop of rain is a glass of champagne. It's sweet and it's free. When I drink I don't panic. When I drink I don't die. When I'm far gone, it's all just a song, just beautiful lies.

Nothing Matters When We're Dancing

Dance with me, my old friend, once before we go. Let's pretend this song won't end and we never have to go home, and we'll dance among the chandeliers. And nothing matters when we're dancing. In tat or tatters you're entrancing. Be we in Paris or in Lansing, nothing matters when we're dancing. You've never been more beautiful--your eyes like two full moons--than here in this poor old dancehall among the dreadful tunes, the awful songs we don't even hear.

Sweet-Lovin' Man

There's an hour of sunshine for a million years of rain, but somehow that always seems to be enough. When love falls from the sky, nobody ever asks why. You just take it or you leave it where it was. But there's just one kind of love you can spend your life dreaming of. For the love of a sweet-lovin' man, some have travelled far and wide, some have given up and died. For the love of a sweet-lovin' man, some have broken down and cried, some have turned to dust inside, but I'll stay right here and hide in the arms of my sweet-lovin' man. Until you've had sweet lovin' there's no lovin' worth the name, but you can go blind from crying all the time. And who said life was easy, and who said life was fair? Well, I wish you well, but keep your paws off mine. You can't buy one at the mall, but he'll come if you just call.

The Things We Did and Didn't Do

All the things I knew I didn't know and didn't want to know that you told me just to tell me later that you'd told me so come flooding back to me now--come on, come flooding back to me now. All the things you said you'd never say and you said anyway. The things we did and didn't do come flooding back to me now.

Copyright (c) Sep 1999 by Rusty Spell and Love and Letters Music