All I Know

from the album: 
Jimmy & Me (MP3)
Jimmy & Me cover art
audio/mpeg icon
Audio excerpt: First 2 verses and bridge

words & music by Jimmy Webb

Favorite version: Art Garfunkel, Angel Clare, 1973


This song is the most famous one of the entire collection. Though it's been recorded quite a few times, I think the original version is still my favorite. Some have called "Wichita Lineman," another of Jimmy's more famous works, the "perfect song." While I agree that one's hard to beat, for my money, it's this one. It would be hard to find a more sincere, beautiful, heartbreaking ode to loss. There've been so many times in my life when all the wrangling and ranting and raving has all just finally and desperately and drastically come down to this one, glaringly simple truth: I love you, and that's all I know. It's like North on the compass. There's just nothing you can do about it.

On Jimmy's recent live album, he tells the story about how the person who inspired this song told him she thought it was "silly." No, no. Not at all. Anything but. And if there are times when it all has to come down to just one thing, let's face it, there are lots of worse things. After all, love is "the far better way," remember. Maybe we should all make a point of coming down to this one thing more often.

Excerpt from Jimmy & Me album notes.