If you've read this column before, you know two things: (1) I love music and (2) I'm a complete and total idiot. So that being the case, I'm a sucker for a love song that isn't afraid to bring intelligence—or lack thereof—into the picture. Here's the best—and the not-so best—in the world of dumb love rock songs.
"Wonderful World (Don't Know Much)" by Sam Cooke
"Don't know much about history/don't know much biology/don't know much about a science book/don't know much about the French I took/but I do know that I love you." When it comes to dumb love, this soul classic is all you really need to know. Cooke lays it on the line and even admits he doesn't know what a "slide rule is for." Wait, then again, neither do I. Algebra? Is it for algebra? I think that's right.
"Smart Woman (In a Real Short Skirt)" by Jimmy Buffett
"Smart woman got a mind of her own/smart woman that'll take me home." I'm sorry but what comes to mind when you think about bedding the King Parrothead is not intelligence. Fifteen margaritas and some of your grandson's skunkweed in the parking lot? Sure. Bad decisions and the awkward walk of shame away from his tour bus in the morning? Yes. Intelligence? Nope. With this song, Buffett awkwardly makes his case for both beauty and brains, but just comes off creepy and a little sexist to boot. Whatever, the dude has frosted daiquiris coursing through his veins and he probably sleeps on a giant pile of cash, so whatever he's singing about, it's working.
"I Love You Period" by Dan Baird
"I love you period/do you love me question mark/please, please exclamation point." The onetime frontman for the Georgia Satellites, Baird examines the pain of writing a confessional love letter to a schoolhouse crush (okay, a teacher) only to get it returned to you with grammar corrections. Baird makes peace with his lack of grammatical skills and was able to turn this song into a quirky little hit in 1991. That's all well and good, but he never really explains what happened with the teacher after she graded his letter. Anything? I'm willing to bet Mary Kay Letourneau wasn't such a stickler for proper punctuation.
"Mayor of Simpleton" by XTC
"If depth of feeling is a currency/then I'm the man who grew the money tree/some of your friends are too brainy to see/that they're paupers and that's how they'll stay." Next to Cooke, this is about as good as you're going to get. So stupid and so in love, and while the protagonist is a little apologetic about his lack of book smarts, he still can be downright aggressive in his desire to win the heart of his girl. Which, of course, you know he will, especially if he busts out lines like, "When all logic grows cold and all thinking gets done/you'll be warm in the arms of the Mayor of Simpleton." Nothing dumb about that.