Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Words I Wish I Wrote: My Favorite Fiona Apple Lyrics

Her voice is hauntingly beautiful. Her music is strikingly original. Her videos are quirky and at times downright creepy. Her lyrics are poetry in motion. Love her or hate her, she is Fiona Apple. I happen to love Fiona's music and especially her lyricism. Always have.

Here are a few of the more memorable lines from her four albums to date. Just for kicks, I included the music videos to the songs whenever possible (or appropriate). Enjoy!  ~  JH


"This mind, this body, and this voice
Cannot be stifled by your deviant ways..."
~  "Sleep To Dream"

"I have never been so 
Insulted in all my life
I could swallow the seas
To wash down all this pride
First you run like a fool
Just to be at my side
Now you run like a fool
But you just run to hide
And I can't abide..."
~  "Sleep To Dream"

"Don't you plead me your case
Don't bother to explain
Don't even show me your face
'Cause it's a crying shame
Just go back to the rock
From under which you came
Take the sorrow you gave
And all the stakes you claim
And don't forget the blame..."
~  "Sleep To Dream"

"Once my lover, now my friend
What a cruel thing to pretend
What a cunning way to condescend
Once my love, and now my friend..."
~  "Shadowboxer"

"You creep up like the clouds
And you set my soul at ease
Then you let your love abound
And you bring me to my knees..."
~  "Shadowboxer"

"Your gaze is dangerous
And you fill your space so sweet
If I let you get too close
You'll set your spell on me..."
~  "Shadowboxer"

"So darlin', I just wanna say
Just in case I don't come through
I was on to every play
I just wanted you..."
~  "Shadowboxer"

"But oh, it's so evil, my love
The way you've no
Reverence to my concern
So I'll be sure to 
Stay wary of you, love
To save the pain
Of once my flame
And twice my burn..."
~  "Shadowboxer"

"It's a sad, sad world
When a girl will break a boy
Just because she can..."
~  "Criminal"

"I know tomorrow brings
The consequence at hand
But I keep livin' this day
Like the next will never come..."
~  "Criminal"

"I've got a lot to lose
And I'm bettin' high
So I'm beggin' you
Before it ends'
Just tell me where to begin..."
~  "Criminal"

"I'll let you see me
I'll covet your regard
I'll invade your demeanor
And you'll yield to me
Like a scent in the breeze
And you'll wonder
What it is about me..."
~  "Slow Like Honey"

"Though dreams can be deceiving
Like faces are to hearts
They serve for sweet relieving
When fantasy and reality
Lie too far apart"
~  "Slow Like Honey"

"But my big secret
Gonna hover over your life
Gonna keep you reaching
When I'm gone like yesterday
When I'm high like heaven
When I'm strong like music
'Cause I'm slow like honey
And heavy with mood..."
~  "Slow Like Honey"

"I lie in an early bed
Thinking late thoughts
Waiting for the black
To replace my blue
I do not struggle
In your web
Because it was my aim
To be caught
But, Daddy Longlegs
I feel that I'm finally
Growing weary
Of waiting to be
Consumed by you..."
~  "First Taste"

"Just start the chase
I'll let you win
But you must
Make the endeavor..."
~  "First Taste"

"I'm building memories
On things we have not said
Full is not heavy as empty
Not nearly my love
Not nearly my love
Not nearly..."
~  "First Taste"

"You'll never see
The courage I know
Its colors' richness won't
Appear within your view
I'll never glow
The way that you glow
Your presence dominates
The judgments made on you
But as the scenery grows
I see in different lights
The shades and shadows
Undulate in my perception
My feelings swell and stretch
I see from greater heights
I understand what I am
Still too proud to mention
To you..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"

"You'll say you understand
But you don't understand
You'll say you'd never
Give up seeing eye to eye
But never is a promise
And you can't afford to lie..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"

"You'll never touch
These things that I hold
The skin of my emotions
Lies beneath my own
You'll never feel
The heat of this soul
My fever burns me deeper
Than I've ever shown
To you..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"'

"You'll say don't fear your dreams
It's easier than it seems
You'll say you'd never
Let me fall from hopes so high
But never is a promise
And you can't afford to lie..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"

"You'll never live
The life that I live
I'll never live the life
That wakes me in the night
You'll never hear
The message I give
You'll say it looks as though
I might give up this fight..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"

"You'll say you understand
You'll never understand
I'll say I'll never wake up
Knowing how or why
I don't know what to believe in
You don't know who I am
You'll say I need appeasing
When I start to cry
But never is a promise
And I'll never need a lie..."
~  "Never Is A Promise"

"Darling, give me your absence tonight
Take the shade from the canvas
And leave me the white
Let me sink in the silence that echoes inside
And don't bother leaving the light on..."
~  "The Child Is Gone"

"His body floats
Unweighed down by
Passion or intensity
Yet unaware of the depth
Upon which he coasts
And he finds a home in me
For what misfortune sows
He knows my touch will reap..."
~  "Pale September"

When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King,
What He Knows Throws The Blows When He Goes To
The Fight, And He'll Win The Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters
The Ring, There's No Body To Batter When Your Mind 
Is Your Might, So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your 
Own Hand, And Remember That Depth Is The Greatest
Of Heights, And If You Know Where You Stand,
Then You Know Where To Land, And If You Fall It
Won't Matter, 'Cuz You'll Know That You're Right

"No thing I do don't do no thing
But bring me more to do
I do imbue my blue unto myself
I make it bitter..."
~  "On The Bound"

"Please forgive me for my distance
The pain is evident in my existence
Please forgive me for my distance
The shame is manifest in my resistance
To your love..."
~  "To Your Love"

"I would've warned you
But really, what's the point?
Caution could but rarely ever helps..."
~  "To Your Love"

"And when I think of it
My fingers turn to fists
I never did anything to you, man
But no matter what I try
You'll beat me with your bitter lies
So call me crazy, hold me down
Make me cry, get off now, baby
It won't be long till you'll be
Lying limp in your own hand..."
~  "Limp"

"I was staring at the sky
Just looking for a star
To pray on, or wish on
Or something like that
I was having a sweet fix
Of a daydream of a boy
Whose reality I knew
Was hopeless to be had
But then the dove of hope
Began its downward slope
And I believed for a moment
That my chances were
Approaching to be grabbed
But as it came down near
So did a weary tear
I thought it was a bird
But it was just a paper bag..."
~  "Paper Bag"

"Hunger hurts, and I want him
So bad, oh it kills
I know I'm a mess
He don't wanna clean up
I've got to fold,
'Cause these hands
Are too shaky to hold
Hunger hurts, but starving works
When it costs too much to love..."
~  "Paper Bag"

"I may be soft in your palm
But I'll soon grow
Hungry for a fight
And I will not let you win.
My pretty mouth will frame the phrases
That will disprove your faith in man
So if you catch me trying to
Find my way into your heart
From under your skin
Fast as you can, baby
Scratch me out, free yourself
Fast as you can..."
~  "Fast As You Can"

"How can I fight
When we're on the same side?
How can I fight beside you?"
~  "The Way Things Are"

Extraordinary Machine

"I'm good at being uncomfortable
So I can't stop changing all the time..."
~  "Extraordinary Machine"

"If there was a better way to go
Then it would find me
I can't help it, the road
Just rolls out behind me
Be kind to me
Or treat me mean
I'll make the most of it
I'm an extraordinary machine..."
~  "Extraordinary Machine"

"I seem to you to seek a new disaster every day
You deem me due to clean my view and be at peace and lay
I mean to prove I mean to move in my own way, and say
I've been getting along for long before you came into the play..."
~  "Extraordinary Machine"

"Everything good, I deem too good to be true
Everything else is just a bore..."
~  "O' Sailor"

 " I'm a frightened, fickle person
Fighting, cryin', kickin', cursin'
What should I do?"
~  "Better Version Of Me"

"I don't want a home
I'd ruin that
Home is where my
Habits have a habitat
Why give it a turn?"
~  "Better Version Of Me"

"Those boon times went bust
My feet of clay
They dried to dust
The red isn't the red
We painted, it's just rust.
And the signature thing
That used to bring a following
I have trouble now
Even remembering..."
~  "Tymps (The Sick In The Head Song)"

"I opened my eyes
While you were kissing me
Once more than once
And you looked as sincere as a dog
Just as sincere as a dog does
When it's the food on your lips
With which it's in love..."
~  "Parting Gift"

I bet you could never tell
That I knew you didn't know me that well
It is my fault, you see
You never learned that much from me..."
~  "Parting Gift"

"And from the first, to the last time
The signs said 'Stop'
But we went on wholehearted
It ended bad, but I love what we started..."
~  "Parting Gift"

" I took off my glasses
While you were yelling at me
Once more than once
So as not to see you see me react
Should've put 'em
Should've put 'em on again
So I could see you see me
Sincerely yelling back..."
 ~  "Parting Gift"

"I was never focused
On just one thing
My eyes got fixed
When my mind got soft
It may look like I'm concentrated
On a very clear view
But I'm as good as asleep
I bet you didn't know
It takes a lot of it away
If you do..."
~  "Window"

"Because the fact being that
Whatever's in front of me
Is covering my view
So I can't see what I'm seeing
In fact, I only see
What I'm looking through..."
~  "Window"

"What you did to me made me
See myself something different
Though I try to talk sense to myself
But I just won't listen..."
~  "Oh Well"

"What you did to me made me
See myself somethin' awful
A voice once stentorian is
Now again meek and muffled
It took me such a long time
To get back up the first time you did it
I spent all I had to get it back
And now it seems I've been outbidded..."
~  "Oh Well"

"Please please please
No more melodies
They lack impact, they're petty
They've been made up already
Please please please
No more maladies
I'm so tired of crying
You'd think I was a siren
But me and everybody's
On the sad same team
And you can hear our sad brain screaming..."
~  "Please Please Please"

"Please please please
No apologies
At best they buy you time
Until you next step out of line
Please please please
No more remedies
My method is uncertain
It's a mess but it's working
And maybe if you tried it out
You won't like it when you're crying out..."
~  "Please Please Please"

"There's solace a bit for submitting
To the fitfully cryptically true
What's happened has happened
What's coming is already on its way
With a role for me to play..."
~  "Red Red Red"

"And it doesn't seem fair
That your wicked words should work
In holding me down
No, it doesn't seem right
To take information
Given at close range
For the gag
And the bind
And the ammunition round..."
~  "Not About Love"

"This is not about love
'Cause I am not in love
In fact I can't stop falling out
I miss that stupid ache..."
~  "Not About Love"

"But I'd like to choose right
Take all the things
That I've said that he stole
Put 'em in a sack
Swing 'em over my shoulder
Turn on my heels
Step out of this sight
Try to live in a lovelier light..."
~  "Not About Love"

"If you don't have a point to make
Don't sweat it
You'll make a sharp one being so kind
And I'd sure appreciate it
Everyone else's goal's to get big headed
Why should I follow that beat
Being that I'm better than fine..."
~  "Waltz (Better Than Fine)"

The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than The Driver Of
The Screw, And Whipping Cords Will Serve
You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do

" Every single night
I endure the flight
Of little wings of white-flamed
Butterflies in my brain
These ideas of mine
Percolate the mind
Trickle down the spine
Swarm the belly, swelling to a blaze
That's when the pain comes in
Like a second skeleton
Trying to fit beneath the skin
I can't fit the feelings in
Every single night's alight with my brain..."
~  "Every Single Night"

 "What'd I say to her
Why'd I say it to her
What does she think of me
That I'm not what I ought to be
That I'm what I try not to be
It's got to be somebody else's fault
I can't get caught
If what I am is what I am
'Cause I does what I does
Then brother, get back
'Cause my breast's gonna bust open
The rib is the shell and the heart is the yolk
And I just made a meal for us both to choke on
Every single night's a fight with my brain..."
~  "Every Single Night"

 "So I'm gonna try to be still now
Gonna renounce the mill a little while
And if we had a double-king-sized bed
We could move in it and I'd soon forget
That what I am is what I am
'Cause I does what I does
And maybe I'd relax
Let my breast just bust open
My heart's made of parts
Of all that surround me
And that's why the devil
Just can't get around me
Every single night's alright
Every single night's a fight
And every single fight's alright with my brain..."
~  "Every Single Night"

"I guess I just must be a daredevil
I don't feel anything until I smash it up
I'm caught on the cold, caught on the hot
Not so with the warmer lot
And all I want is a confidant
To help me laugh it off
And don't let me ruin me
I may need a chaperone..."
~  "Daredevil"

"You didn't see my valentine
I sent it via pantomime
While you were watchin' someone else
I stared at you and cut myself.
Its all I'll do 'cause I'm not free
A fugitive too dull to 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 watched you live to have my fun..."
~  "Valentine"

"I made it to a dinner date
My tear drops seasoned every plate
I tried to dance but lost my nerve
I cramped up in the learning curve..."
~  "Valentine"

"You like to captain
A capsized ship
But I like watching you live..."
~  "Jonathan"

"How can I ask anyone to love me
When all I do is beg to be left alone?"
~  "Left Alone"

"I could liken you to a werewolf
The way you left me for dead
But I admit that I provided a full moon.
And I could liken you to a shark
The way you bit off my head
But then again I was waving around
A bleeding open wound..."
~  "Werewolf"

"We can still support each other
All we gotta do is avoid each other..."
~  "Werewolf"

"Nothing wrong when
A song ends
In a minor key..."
~  "Werewolf"

"I don't appreciate
People who don't appreciate..."
~  "Periphery"

"Remember when we argued
On the concept of regret?
You were an expert even then
But not me, not yet
Now all you gotta do's
Remind me that we met
And there you got me
That's how you got me
You taught me to regret..."
~  "Regret"

'Member how I asked you
Why are you so mean?
You didn't know how to react
To bein' seen
I tried to be your friend
You made me shamed
So I'm getting even
And there you got me
That's how you got me
You taught me to be mean..."
~  "Regret"

"Member when I was so sick
And you didn't believe me?
Then you got sick too
And guess who took care of you?
You hated that, didn't you?
Didn't you?
Now when you look at me
You're condemned to see
The monster your mother
Made you to be
And there ya got me
That's how you got free
You got rid of me..."
~  "Regret"

"If I'm butter, if I'm butter
If I'm butter, then he's a hot knife
He makes my heart a cinemascope screen
Showing the dancing bird of paradise..."
~  "Hot Knife" 

"I'm a hot knife, I'm a hot knife
I'm a hot knife, he's a pat of butter
If I get a chance
I'm gonna show him that
He's never gonna need another
Never need another..."
~  "Hot Knife"

One last video link. And yes, I know Fiona Apple
didn't write the song -- it was The Beatles. But she
performs the song so well and the video is
so inventive that I had to include it here:

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