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Album: Not Released on an Album (2014)
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Songfacts®:

  • Fiona Apple composed this haunting ballad for the opening titles of Showtime's drama series The Affair, which ran from October 12, 2014, to November 3, 2019. The singer-songwriter was approached by the show's creator Sarah Treem to pen a new song inspired by the show's narrative, which explores the fallout of an extramarital affair.

    Treem said: "Fiona Apple has been my favorite songwriter since I was 16. I am honored and humbled that she has chosen to lend her talent to our opening title sequence. If our show can approach one-tenth of the depth and complexity of her song, I'll be very happy."
  • The song was produced by California based songwriter and session musician Blake Mills, who has played on tracks for the likes of Conor Oberst, Kid Rock, Weezer, Norah Jones, Dixie Chicks, Pink and Lana Del Rey.
  • In the song, Apple sings from the perspective of a dead woman that screamed into a canyon at the moment of her death, creating an avalanche that killed a man. The man's widow then meets another woman and has a child, which is identified in the song as "you" ("met your daddy and they made you"), implying that the whole song is meant to be a statement to the offspring.

    Sung in a haunting a cappella, the song's chorus has Apple stating:

    I have only one thing to do
    And that's be the wave I am and then
    Sink back into the ocean
  • From the age of 16, the executive producer of The Affair, Sarah Treem, was a fan of Apple. She and the creative team for the show built the title sequence around Apple's lyrics, and even incorporated the theme of the lyrics into the vision for the show. In 2014 she tweeted, "We built the title sequence around Fiona's song. The idea that actions have 'echoes' or unforeseen consequences became crucial to both of us."

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