The Meaning Of Romance

Bee Halton at The Bee Writes Love Is In Da Blog 2019 ~ A Music Festival has buzzed us to write about A Love Song from 1949-1958.  I chose ‘The Book of Love’ which is from 1957, twelve years before the summer of love.  This song is also sometimes titled ‘(Who Wrote) The Book of Love’.  It is a rock and roll / doo-wop song, originally by The Monotones who formed in 1955 and were from Newark, NJ.  It was written by three members of the group, Warren Davis, George Malone and Charles Patrick and it was their only hit.  Lead singer Charles Patrick heard a Pepsodent toothpaste commercial with the line “wonder where the yellow went”, and from there he got the idea for the line, “I wonder, wonder, wonder who, who wrote the book of love”.  Davis and Malone worked it up into a song which peaked at No. 5 on the pop chart and No. 3 on the R&B chart remaining there for 11 weeks.  The “boom” part of the song was a result of a kid kicking a ball against the garage, or possibly a batted baseball struck the outer wall of the studio while they were rehearsing.  It sounded good, so they added it to the song.

In 1954, first tenor Warren Davis, second tenor George Malone, baritone John Ryanes, and bass Frank Smith were part of a group called the Travelers.  In 1955, The Monotones consisted of 17-year-old lead vocalist Charles Patrick, 16-year-old first tenor Warren Davis, 15-year-old second tenor George Malone, 17-year-old bass singer Frank Smith, 15-year-old second bass John Ryanes, and his older brother 18-year-old baritone Warren Ryanes.  Charles’ brother James Patrick was originally a member, but he left soon after the group’s formation.  They came together at the Baxter Terrace housing project in Newark, NJ and they adopted their name from a previous group who already had it and were in the process of breaking up.  The six friends and neighbors also began singing with the New Hope Baptist Choir, along with other choir members including Dionne Warwick.

In 1956, they appeared on Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour and won first prize for their version of The Cadillacs’ song ‘Zoom’.  In September 1957, the Monotones recorded ‘The Book of Love’, which was released on the Mascot label in December that year.  The small record company could not cope with its popularity, and it was reissued on Chess Records’ subsidiary Argo label in February 1958.  The record sold over one million copies.  ‘Book of Love’ was the title of an unrecorded tune written by Kodaks featuring lead singer Pearl McKinnon (one of the few girls who led an otherwise-male doo wop group).  James Patrick was a member of the Kodaks, an R&B vocal group also from Newark and this is probably where his brother Charles heard the name of this song.  The Monotones took the title, but they recorded a completely different song.

John Ryanes died on May 30, 1972, Warren Ryanes died in June of 1982, Frankie Smith died on Nov. 25, 2000 and George Malone died on Oct. 5, 2007.  Charles Patrick is 80 and Warren Davis is 79.  Sha-Na-Na sang this at Woodstock in 1969.  In verse two of Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’, he asks, “Did you write the Book Of Love?”

I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who
(Who wrote the book of love)
Tell me, tell me, tell me
Oh, who wrote the Book Of Love
I’ve got to know the answer
Was it someone from above
(I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who)
(Who wrote the Book Of Love)

I love you darlin’
Baby, you know I do
But I’ve got to see this book of love
Find out why it’s true
(I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who)
(Who wrote the Book Of Love)
(Chapter one says to love her)
(You love her with all your heart)
(Chapter two you tell her you’re)
(Never, never, never, never, never gonna part)
(In chapter three remember the meaning of romance)
(In chapter four you break up)
(But you give her just one more chance)
(Oh, I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, wWho)
(Who wrote the book of love)

Baby, baby, baby
I love you, yes I do
Well it says so in this book of love
Ours is the one that’s true
(Oh, I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who)
(Who wrote the book of love)
(Chapter one says to love her)
(You love her with all your heart)
(Chapter two you tell her you’re)
(Never, never, never, never, never gonna part)
(In chapter three remember the meaning of romance)
(In chapter four you break up)
(But you give her just one more chance)
(Oh, I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, Who)
(Who wrote the book of love)

Baby, baby, baby
I love you, yes I do
Well it says so in this book of love
Ours is the one that’s true
(Oh, I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who)
(Who wrote the book of love)
I wonder who (yeah)
Who wrote the Book Of Love

Written for Love Is In Da Blog “A Love Song from 1949-1958”.

11 thoughts on “The Meaning Of Romance

  1. I really like this song!
    I remember the Pepsodent commercial, too. We used to go around singing it. That it mentioned Irium in it’s ingredients got me curious, so I had to go looking around for that information, too, with regards to toothpaste. It was really interesting.
    The American Bandstand performance of the Monotones was good. It struck me as funny, though, that all the shots of the audience showed most all of them chewing gum. Maybe the producers passed out gum to everyone so that when they filmed the program it would look like they were singing along with the performers?
    Anyway, this was a good post…most interesting with a neat song! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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