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Love makes the world go round

Posted by Smokey Stover on September 27, 2008 at 18:52

In Reply to: Love makes the world go round posted by Delphine Sutherland on September 26, 2008 at 15:48:

: Can anyone tell me about the proverb 'love makes the world go round'? Where is it from, wot it means etc.

Our Archive has a discussion of that question, at


Apparently, it was once a literal belief. According to the New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy,

"Love is the principal force behind human life. In medieval theology, it was held that love literally set the universe in motion." See:

I'm not sure that the authors of this work are talking about human love; they may be referring to some Biblical dictum. Clearly it's human love "that makes the world go round"--for humans.

The praises of love do not, perhaps, extend as far back in time as the first human writing, but they still go pretty far back. "Amor vincit omnia" is part of a line from Vergil's Eclogues (Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amor--Love conquers all, let us yield to love).

If we broaden our notion of human love to include sexual love, then it is clear that it is love, indeed, that makes the world go round for humans, since without it there would be no humans. And without love, there would be no joy in living. The merry-go-round would be silent and dead.