Song of the Day #1,535: ‘Valentine’ – Fiona Apple

I’m approaching all of the artists in this musical genome series from the perspective of the categories I’ve defined, so in those terms it’s pretty clear that I’m a huge Fiona Apple fan because she’s a) a ‘Piano (Wo)man’ and b) ‘Melancholy.’

But if you were to ask me why I love Apple’s work apart from the context of this project, I wouldn’t mention either of those things. I would say I’m a Fiona Apple fan because of her voice, and because of the passion she pours into every lyric and melody she writes, every word and note she performs.

But ‘Passion’ and ‘Good Voice’ don’t qualify as genome categories, at least not for me. I can point to a few examples of those qualities among my favorites but not the same broad swath covered by the categories on which I’m focusing.

And to be sure, the piano is an essential element of Fiona Apple’s appeal. Not just for its sound, but for its imagery. I consider the piano the most expressive instrument, and the loneliest. A pianist is apart from the rest of the players — if there even are other players — in a way a guitarist never is.

You didn’t see my valentine
I sent it via pantomime
While you were watchin’ someone else
I stared at you and cut myself

It’s all I’ll do cos I’m not free
A fugitive too dull too flee
I’m amorous but out of reach
A still life drawing of a peach

I’m a tulip in a cup
I stand no chance of growing up
I’ve made my peace, I’m dead, I’m done
I watch you live to have my fun

I root for you, I love you
You, you, you, you

I made it to a dinner date
My teardrops seasoned every plate
I tried to dance but lost my nerve
I cramped up in the learning curve

I’m a tulip in a cup
I stand no chance of growing up
I’m resigned to sail on through
In the wake of tales of you

I root for you, I love you
You, you, you, you

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,535: ‘Valentine’ – Fiona Apple

  1. Dana says:

    This is where your genome project becomes incomprehensible. You love apple, but not for the two categories in which you place her, but for other attributes you don’t otherwise categorize.

  2. Clay says:

    No, I’m saying that those aren’t the reasons I would give off the top of my head. That doesn’t mean they aren’t contributing factors. Would I like Fiona Apple as much if she played the guitar and wrote only upbeat songs? Well, that wouldn’t be Fiona Apple.

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