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June 2024
Vol. 23, No. 9


Songs I Wish I Wrote – Lindsay White

April 2013

I decided to start this new series because I wonder if there are other musicians like me, who are jealous of other musicians. Not jealous of their fame and fortune, but of their actual music. Most of the time, I can listen to my favorite music with a normal amount of admiration – I feel moved by familiar melodies, I appreciate knowing what’s coming next and noting the nuances that slowly bring themselves to my attention after many, many listens. I am usually inspired to create my own music by the simple act of listening to someone else’s. But sometimes, just sometimes, I let a little green monster grow inside me and I think, “G-dammit, I wish I wrote that; I’ll never write anything that good in my whole life.”

Here is a song that fills me with jealous rage. It is my favorite and least favorite song at the same time.

1. I Know – Fiona Apple: Actually, most Fiona Apple songs leave me feeling inadequate as a writer and musician and singer and woman and, and, and. But man, do I wish I wrote this song. The whole song is absolutely heartbreaking, from its slow, sad rhythm to the self-defeating tone of accepting less love than you need. I usually tear up near the 2:41 mark where she sings and holds the word “patient” like she will hang around for the opportunity to be loved until she runs out of breath. Fiona really twists the knife at the very end, not with words, but with the absence of words. “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 /” And then she doesn’t say “I’ll know!” I just wait for those words to come every time I listen to the song, and they never come, and I want to get in my car and drive to wherever Fiona Apple is and shake those words off of her tongue so I can sleep at night. Do you know how maddening it is to be a writer and observe one of your favorite writers write something so brilliant by not writing it at all? I’ll never find the words or the silence to match something like that!

What is a song you wish you wrote? Email us at with the name of the song and why! We will do our best to feature it in a future blog post!

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