How to Say I love You


The Mysterious Beings are known for their trenchant political commentary, searing indictments of society and, of course, being extremely cool. But there is a soft underbelly to the band, and it’s that underbelly that is on display in this sentimental little song.

I wrote the song one warm summer night at Beau Strokes’ ancestral cabin in the woods five miles beyond Black Mountain, North Carolina.  Beau had just met up with his childhood sweetheart (and cousin) Desiree, and was attempting to pitch a little woo in her direction with the aid of some particularly noxious moonshine that he had retrieved from under a stump behind the outhouse. Desiree’s fourth marriage had just ended badly, and she was on the lookout for another dollop of true love. All it needed was a few honeyed words, or in fact any words at all, but Beau is famously a man of very few of those, and even half the jar of moonshine had failed to loosen his tongue.

They had been sitting for an hour on a fallen tree in front of the cabin in a silence broken only by the amorous calls of tree frogs far more adept in the ways of love than poor old Beau, while Dee and I sat idly strumming our guitars on the porch, when the words to the song took shape in my brain and, in a desperate attempt to help move things along, I started singing.  Beau picked up his fiddle and let it do the talking. It would have taken a much colder heart than Desiree’s to withstand the eloquence of Beau’s fiddle and the instrument was crushed when she flung herself upon him while he was still only about half way through his solo. Desiree is a big woman.  It cost Beau seventy-five bucks to get it repaired.


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