Following is my irreverent writing journal response to the host’s request that we listen to and write about John Mayer’s new song, “Love is a Verb.” With apologies to fans of Mr. Mayer and to the hosts, who intended it to be a very nice and thought-provoking writing prompt.
Love is a verb, according to John Mayer, despite the fact that he goes on to use it as a noun (“when you show me love,” etc.) and that’s true, obviously, because conceptual love is about as useful as hypothetical pizza. The purest everyday example of love-as-verb is your dog, right? When your dog is so excited to see you, just wants to be near you, not only for his comfort but for yours, when he’ll follow you cheerfully just because you are his and he is yours. But I’m not convinced that’s what this song is about. An old friend of mine once said that all music falls into two categories: pirate songs, and love songs. I’m gonna give you a hint right now and let you know that Johnny boy is a scurvy dog. This song is all about Mr. Mayer wanting to get laid, which is of course what all of his songs are about. Horny sonuvabitch, and manipulative, too — we’re all, “Aw, how romantic,” when really all he’s saying is, “that’s great that you say you love me, but would you please shut up and get naked already?”