I Know Everything

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Lyrics
Some people think they know all there is to know
And they tell everyone everywhere they go
But when there’s so much to see
And so much to be
More than we can do
We simply can’t know it all
Or even recall
All we ever knew

I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

And still some people try learning ever more
As if somebody somewhere were keeping score
When there’s a question at hand
Right up they will stand
Putting on a show
Even if they’re not so sure
They just can’t endure
Saying, “I don’t know”

But I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

The more I learn, the more I see more to know
And I’m just fine with what I know even so
And when I’m feeling a yearn
And wanting to learn
That’s alright with me
I start by taking it slow
And say, “I don’t know”
That’s the starting key

‘ Cause I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

Yes, I know everything
Can’t be known by anyone
If you try to know everything
It may as well be none
I know a little, and that’s enough, and it had better be
Because a little for each of us is all we’ll ever see

Story
This song and the album it comes from were written using Appreciative Inquiry and Internal Family Systems. With IFS, we can talk about different parts of ourselves as if they are separate people. Hopefully that clarifies why these stories at times refer to he, she and we!

With the seventh song written for the album, I started an Appreciative Inquiry with a part of me that feels that it knows some worthwhile things but that it’s knowledge mostly boils down to common sense and good judgment, and it often felt that other parts of me kept him quiet because they thought they knew better. As a result, he often felt unsure about what he knew or believed, even feeling like he was stupid and didn’t have anything worth contributing. It would often turn out that the knowledge the other parts thought they had would backfire in some way, but that just made him sad, not confident.

He recognizes that there’s much he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t want to pretend that he does know and have that lead to trouble the way he’s seen happen with others. For him, being okay admitting he doesn’t know something is itself what’s needed in order to be open to learning and to receiving contributions from others. That’s what he’d wanted from the other parts that often kept him quiet — if only they’d admitted that they didn’t know, he might have had openings to contribute something valuable from what bit he knew, helping make some situations go better than they actually did.

The way he saw it, knowledge only makes people knowledgeable, not smart. Someone with a lot of knowledge but not open to taking in more is likely to do misguided things. For all their knowledge, they’re really not very smart. Instead of feeling stupid for not knowing more than we know, we can actually be easier on ourselves, realizing that there’s so much knowledge out there that nobody else can really know all that much anyway. We can appreciate what we do know, recognize what we don’t, and free ourselves up to keep learning whatever we may need to. Through this, he realized that the most important thing he knew was the importance of not knowing things — which really surprised him!

Because this idea was both simple to say but difficult to really own, he wanted the song to be fairly straightforward, simple, and sort of comforting to people. Lyrically, we came up with the twist of the song being called “I Know Everything” but as part of a phrase that actually meant something totally different from these few words on their own. Just like there’s always more out there to know, you have to hear more than just the title to understand the title.

Musically, he wanted something basic, like a simple piano pop ballad, comforting and maybe even sentimental. As we explored ideas, we were drawn to some poignant harmonies, reflecting the varied emotions he’s had about these things over time. A sort of Burt Bacharach feel was developing, and soon enough we were focused on 1970s-style pop ballads, like those of The Carpenters and Barry Manilow. A bit of Billy Joel’s “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” seemed to creep in, too, but even though that song was from 1983, it was itself tribute to similar older songs, so it seemed appropriate. Some songs I’d heard on Sesame Street as a child had a similar feel, and I remembered flutes being used as prominent melody instruments in a number of those songs, so that came in, too. To give the song some direction, Manilow’s “Can’t Smile Without You” gave the idea of adding orchestral uplifts, hand claps and key changes toward the end of the song.

Before recording the vocals, I had imagined certain words being sung with a sort of melodic twist that Karen Carpenter at times did. Even before I had a chance to mention that to Dianne, I heard her doing exactly what I’d imagined. Either it was either kismet, or the writing was so obviously a Carpenters rip-off that no other vocal performance was possible!

The next song written for Everyone's Invited was That's the Key.

Share your own stories — of art or other things that have inspired you, of how you came to do something artistic or creative, of how the OHB’s songs have impacted you, whatever you like — at the Fan Clan.

Credits
Written by and Circle P - Phonorecord Copyright&© 2008 Mark S. Meritt (BMI). All rights reserved.

Dianne Mucci – Vocals
MSM – Instruments

Produced, arranged, recorded and mixed by MSM in the basement in the village, Red Hook, NY, using a MacBook Pro, MOTU Digital Performer 5.13, Native Instruments Kontakt 3, EastWest/Quantum Leap Symphonic Orchestra Gold Complete, Quantum Leap Colossus, EastWest/PMI Bösendorfer 290 Grand Piano, and an M-Audio Keystation Pro 88.

Vocals recorded in the garage on the mountain, Bloomingburg, NY.

Release Date: November 11, 2008
Album: Everyone's Invited
Track Number: 7
Length: 4:34

Written: 7th of the 12 songs for the album, February 2008
Key: Written in Eb, transposed to Ab for recording
Arranged: 5th, starting March 20, 2008
Vocals recorded 4th, July 22, 2008
Mixed: 6th, starting September 19, 2008

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I Know Everything — MP3 Single

Last modified on 1970-03-17 15:52:15 GMT. 0 comments. Top.

From the album Everyone's Invited

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