Song of the Day #4,002: ‘I Know (Live)’ – Fiona Apple

Before the well-timed Josh Rouse concert, I had another plan for my 4,000th Song of the Day.

I’ve always said that I don’t have a favorite song, but there is one song I know for certain has to be on any list of my five or ten favorite songs, and that is Fiona Apple’s ‘I Know.’ This heartbreaking ballad is the final track on Apple’s 1999 album When the Pawn… and it’s a stunner.

I stumbled across today’s live performance of the song several months ago and stashed it away for the right time. I had it pegged it for #4,000 before calling an audible earlier this week. Rather than wait around for another special occasion, I’m giving it its due now.

This recording is part of a film called Largo that captures a series of performances at the celebrated L.A. club. Artists such as Apple, Aimee Mann and Elliott Smith have shown up regularly, as well as comedians like Zach Galifianakis, Janeane Garofalo and Louis C.K. Performer/producer Jon Brion has held a longstanding residency at the Largo, showing up once a month to try out new and old material.

The club has a strict no-camera policy, so what happens at the Largo stays at the Largo, making it a perfect testing ground for musicians and comedians working on new sets.

But in 2008, a film was released documenting a night at the club (it’s unclear whether it was all shot on the same night). It features no talking heads or title cards, just a series of performances filmed in rich black-and-white. Jon Brion appears, along with Louis C.K., Galifianakis, singer-songwriter Andrew Bird and others.

The highlight of the film is Apple’s performance of ‘I Know,’ embedded below, but the whole film is available to stream for free on Vimeo.

[Verse 1]
So be it, I’m your crowbar
If that’s what I am so far
Until you get out of this mess
And I will pretend
That I don’t know of your sins
Until you are ready to confess
But all the time, all the time
I’ll know, I’ll know

[Verse 2]
And you can use my skin
To bury secrets in
And I will settle you down
And at my own suggestion
I will ask no questions
While I do my thing in the background
But all the time, all the time
I’ll know, I’ll know

I can’t help you out
While she is still around

[Verse 3]
So for the time being, I’m being patient
And amidst this bitterness
If you’ll just consider this
Even if it don’t make sense all the time
Give it time
And when the crowd becomes your burden
And you’ve early closed your curtain
I’ll wait by the backstage door

[Verse 4]
While you try to find
The lines to speak your mind
And pry it open, hoping for an encore
And if it gets too late, for me to wait
For you to find you love me, and tell me so
It’s ok, don’t need to say it

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,002: ‘I Know (Live)’ – Fiona Apple

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    On our drive to Gainesville, I was playing DJ and played Apple’s “Shadowboxer.” Had I known your adoration for today’s SOTD, I would have played this instead. Maybe on the drive back….

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