In 1999, Stephen Merritt, leader of The Magnetic Fields released a 3 Volume set of recordings on Merge Records entitled "69 Love Songs" Volumes 1, 2, and 3. As the name suggests, it's an eclectic compilation of 69 pop songs about love. While the different songs vary wildly in terms of style, and some of the songs could be considered higher quality than others, the caliber of the songwriting for the songs is extremely high. Merritt is a wordsmith in the best sense - his songs will make you crack a smile at how incisive and how sincere they are.

Because each song is so well written, and the lyrics are so clever and poignant, this central 69 Love Songs node has been constructed to index each song (**not** namespaced).

This particular noder is not really predisposed to noding the lyrics to every song he's ever heard, but because Merritt has been able to so wonderfully depict every stage of love in these 69 songs, I hope is that they will not only beautify Everything but also provide a handy source of nodes that you can softlink to in order to very nicely express a particular feeling.
Editor's note: In September 2003, we removed cpoyrighted texts. The lyrics to Stephen Merrit's 69 Love Songs fell victim to that change in policy.


69 Love Songs Volume 1:

  1. Absolutely Cuckoo
  2. I Don't Believe in the Sun
  3. All My Little Words
  4. A Chicken with Its Head Cut Off
  5. Reno Dakota
  6. Don't Want to Get Over You
  7. Come Back from San Francisco
  8. The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side
  9. Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits
  10. The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be
  11. I Think I Need a New Heart
  12. The Book of Love
  13. Fido, Your Leash is Too Long
  14. How Fucking Romantic
  15. The One You Really Love
  16. Punk Love
  17. Parades Go By
  18. Boa Constrictor
  19. A Pretty Girl is Like...
  20. My Sentimental Melody
  21. Nothing Matters When We're Dancing
  22. Sweet-Lovin' Man
  23. The Things We Did and Didn't Do


69 Love Songs Volume 2:

  1. Roses
  2. Love is Like Jazz
  3. When My Boy Walks Down the Street
  4. Time Enough for Rocking When We're Old
  5. Very Funny
  6. Grand Canyon
  7. No One Will Ever Love You
  8. If You Don't Cry
  9. You're My Only Home
  10. (Crazy for You But) Not That Crazy
  11. My Only Friend
  12. Promises of Eternity
  13. World Love
  14. Washington, D.C.
  15. Long-Forgotten Fairytale
  16. Kiss Me Like You Mean It
  17. Papa Was a Rodeo
  18. Epitaph for My Heart
  19. Asleep and Dreaming
  20. The Sun Goes Down and the World Goes Dancing
  21. The Way You Say Good-Night
  22. Abigail, Belle of Kilronan
  23. I Shatter


69 Love Songs Volume 3:

  1. Underwear
  2. It's a Crime
  3. Busby Berkeley Dreams
  4. I'm Sorry I Love You
  5. Acoustic Guitar
  6. The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure
  7. Love in the Shadows
  8. Bitter Tears
  9. Wi' Nae Wee Bairn Ye'll Me Beget
  10. Yeah! Oh, Yeah!
  11. Experimental Music Love
  12. Meaningless
  13. Love is Like a Bottle of Gin
  14. Queen of the Savages
  15. Blue You
  16. I Can't Touch You Anymore
  17. Two Kinds of People
  18. How to Say Goodbye
  19. The Night You Can't Remember
  20. For We Are the King of the Boudoir
  21. Strange Eyes
  22. Xylophone Track
  23. Zebra

Stephin Merritt, the mad genius responsible for The Magnetic Fields, was struck by inspiration in a midtown Manhattan gay piano bar. Originally conceived as 100 Love Songs, a musical revue or cabaret, Merritt compromised in number when he realized that 100 2-minute songs, with no downtime or intermissions, would still be a bit lengthy. Eventually, the logistical absurdity of putting on a cabaret with rotating singers and dozens of songs led Merritt to put his ideas on tape (DAT? I have no idea), and 69 Love Songs was born.

Like most of Merritt's work, 69 Love Songs is thoroughly toungue-in-cheek, although many of the songs are incredibly poignant. Merritt places some of his narrators fairly bizarre settings -- a Scotsman leaving for war ("Abigail, Belle of Kilronan"), an encounter with Ferdinand de Saussure ("The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure") -- and writes heartfelt songs of passion, confusion, and loss. Other songs are unapologetically horny and silly, or saccharine. There is a whole set of songs -- "Love Is Like Jazz", "Experimental Music Love", "Punk Love", "World Love", "Acoustic Guitar", and "Xylophone Track" (about death by the blues) -- in which Merritt toys with specific musical styles, pairing them with totally incongruous subjects. Merritt also keeps the genders of his narrators and their lovers (partners, stalkees, whatever) ambiguous -- Merritt is a really, really flaming homosexual -- or turns the expected roles on their head, by writing queer country songs ("Papa Was A Rodeo") and the like.

69 Love Songs is Merritt's masterpiece. It still astounds me that a man cut 2:50:00 of music I like, music that manages to be hilarious, embittered, heartfelt, and playful in two consecutive songs. Some noders have made comparisons between Stephin Merritt and Morrissey, kind of apt given their tendencies for drama, but Merritt's ability to balance self-parody with earnestness makes 69 Love Songs a real pleasure (whereas The Smiths, one of my favorite bands, can be pretty grating).

As for comparisons to Merritt's other work: I really like The 6ths's Wasps' Nests (another album of rotating singers] and The Charm of the Highway Strip (another theme album), although both of those lack the variety and depth of 69 Love Songs. "Take Ecstacy With Me" is the one song that ought to be appended. Really, there is nothing, and will never be anything, quite like this album.

I am not going to append a whole song list; rather, I am going to node songs (not whole lyrics, don't shoot) about which I have non-stupid things to say. Right now, that's none of them.

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