Moral Of The Story
by Ashe

Album: Moral of the Story: Chapter 1 (2019)
Charted: 31 71

Songfacts®:

  • Ashlyn Rae Willson is a San Jose, California singer-songwriter who records under the name of Ashe. She put an "e" on her stage moniker to pay homage to one of her major inspirations, Carole King.

    Ashe attended Berklee College of Music, graduating with a major in contemporary writing and production in 2015. For the next two years, she specialized in dance and house music, collaborating with the likes of Louis the Child' ("Right to It") and Shaun Frank ("Let You Get Away"). Ashe also inked a music publishing deal and helped Demi Lovato write her 2017 single "You Don't Do It For Me."

    After signing to Mom + Pop independent label, Ashe released her debut EP The Rabbit Hole. This song is from her second EP, Moral of the Story: Chapter 1.
  • Ashe penned the song after filing for divorce, as she tried to make sense why the relationship failed. She concludes that, "In the end, it's better for me." Speaking to Earmilk, Ashe explained:

    "It's hard to accept when you've made a mistake in love or life. But realizing all those mistakes have made you who you are and have helped shape the life you're in you puts a different light on things."
  • Billie Eilish's brother and songwriting partner Finneas co-wrote and co-produced the track. Finneas and Ashe both have the same management company (Best Friends) so have known each other for several years. They met up for coffee in Highland Park, Los Angeles one day and afterwards, Ashe played Finneas the rough demo of "Moral of the Story." He immediately came up with some ideas for the song.
  • "Moral of the Story" features in the Netflix teen romcom To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. It soundtracks a scene when Lara Jean (Lana Condor) is in a trance, following an argument with her boyfriend Peter (Noah Centineo). Following the film's broadcast on February 12, 2020, the song entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time.
  • Ashe wrote the song in February 2017 in West Hollywood with Noah Conrad and Casey Smith. The San Jose native recalled to Billboard that as soon as she arrived at the session she told the other two she'd just filed for divorce. They responded, "We're going to write a good song today."
  • "Moral Of The Story" took less than three hours to write. "I just described the situation, and Casey was writing down what I was saying," Ashe recalled. "It just kind of fell out really quickly. A lot of good songs tend to do that."
  • During the chorus, Ashe sings:

    You can think that you're in love
    When you're really just in pain


    But the final chorus is slightly different as Ashe croons:

    You can think that you're in love
    When you're really just engaged


    It was Billie Eilish who suggested the change of lyric. Ashe recalled to Genius that a day after she played the song for Finneas, he gave her a call with a recommendation from his sister. Billie's message was, "You got to change 'in pain' to 'engaged' on the very last chorus.'"
  • Niall Horan hops on the song's remix, which Ashe released on June 17, 2020. The new version features a fresh second verse from Horan. "It feels like he was in the room the day we wrote it, as if he had been there all along and I just didn't know it," Ashe said of the ex-One Direction singer's contribution. "This is the most personal song I've ever written/released, and I needed to know Niall was going to treat it with the same vulnerability and care. He absolutely exceeded those expectations."

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