Heavy Balloon

Album: Fetch The Bolt Cutters (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about depression, with the "heavy balloon" representing the weight one feels when dealing with it. Apple has dealt with depression her whole life, which can be debilitating. "It's almost like you get Stockholm syndrome with your own depression - like you're kidnapped by your own depression," she told The New Yorker. "People with depression are always playing with this thing that's very heavy."
  • Apple came up with the image of the heavy balloon after a conversation with a boyfriend who told her about his father, who seemed to constantly weighed down by his depression.
  • This is a hopeful song, as Apple finds her strength in the chorus:

    I spread like strawberries
    I climb like peas and beans


    She came up with these lines after reading a gardening book for children that explained how strawberries spread out sideways while peas and beans climb upward. "That was just a little fact I thought was very, very cute," she told Vulture. "And uplifting, and like, 'I'm all right, it's okay, don't worry about me. I'm like strawberries, I'm going to spread myself out and take over this whole garden.'"
  • This song was inspired in part by the TV series The Affair, which ran on Showtime from 2014-2019. Apple did the theme song for the show and is a big fan. The character Alison suffers from depression that plays into this song.
  • Fiona Apple pledged to donate two years of sync income from "Heavy Balloon" to Seeding Sovereignty, a nonprofit that advocates for racial equality in America. If the song doesn't feature in any TV or films before June 2022, the singer will contribute $50,000 to the cause.

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