Love Love Love


 The Sunset Tree




the Mountain Goats



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Love Love Love is the 12th song on the album The Sunset Tree.


King Saul fell on his sword when it all went wrong
And Joseph's brother sold him down the river for a song
And Sonny Liston rubbed some tiger balm into his glove
Some things you do for money
And some you do for love love love

Raskolnikov felt sick and he couldn't say why
When he saw his face reflected in his victim's twinkling eye
Some things you'll do for money
Some you'll do for fun
But the things you do for love are gonna come back to you
One by one

Love, love is gonna lead you by the hand
Into a white and soundless place
Now we see things 
As in a mirror dimly
Then we shall see each other
Face to face

And way out in Seattle, Young Kurt Cobain
Snuck out to the greenhouse and put a bullet in his brain
Snakes in the grass beneath our feet
Rain in the clouds above
Some moments last forever
But some flare out with
Love love love

Comments by John Darnielle About this SongEdit

  • "This is kind of like 'Cubs in Five', if it were a serious song about death." -- 2005-10-27 - Remis Auditorium - Museum of Fine Arts - Boston, MA
  • "The point of the song is, you know, that we are fairly well damaged by the legacy of the Romantic poets--that we think of love as this, you know, thing that is accompanied by strings and it's a force for good, and if something bad happens then that's not love. And the therapeutic tradition that I come from--I used to work in therapy--you know, also says that it's not love if it feels bad. I don't know so much about that. I don't know that the Greeks weren't right. I think they were--that love can eat a path through everything--that it will destroy a lot of things on the way to its own objective, which is just its expression of itself, you know. I mean, my stepfather loved his family, right? Now he mistreated us terribly quite often, but he loved us. And, you know, well, that to me is something worth commenting on in the hopes of undoing a lot of what I perceive as terrible damage in the way people talk about this--love is this benign, comfortable force. It's not that. It's wild, you know?" — NPR interview with Linda Wertheimer, 14 May 2005
  • "It's not hard to make those of you who don't come from houses like mine uncomfortable, but, uh, I wrote this when my abuser died and it felt good." -- 2017-06-28 - Columbus Theatre - Providence, RI

Things Referenced in this SongEdit

  • King Saul features in 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel in the Bible. He kills himself after losing a battle to the Philistines in which three of his sons also perish.
  • In the book of Genesis, Joseph is sold by his half-brothers who are jealous of his multi-colored coat.
  • Sonny Liston famously used Tiger Balm (a chemical agent that causes irritation when rubbed on the eyes) on his gloves in a boxing match against Mohammed Ali.
  • Raskolnikov is the main character in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novel "Crime and Punishment", who early in the book murders a pawnbroker.
  • The line " in a mirror dimly" is a reference to another Bible verse, Corinthians 13:12: "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." (NIV translation)
  • Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of the grunge band Nirvana; who was found dead on April 5, 1994, having apparently killed himself with a shotgun. The last line in the song "... and some flare out with love, love, love," may be a reference to Cobain's suicide note, in which he said it was "...better to burn out than fade away."

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