I Want You To Love Me

Album: Fetch The Bolt Cutters (2020)
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Songfacts®:

  • Fiona Apple doesn't need to be in love to write a love song. She started writing "I Want You To Love Me" about the man of her dreams - a man she had not yet met. Apple's songs usually evolve over years. When she started this one, she was unattached, but in 2015 she got back together with Jonathan Ames, a writer she dated from 2006-2010, so the song became about him. They broke up a year later, so the meaning turned once again to a conceptual love; Apple reserves the right to change the meanings of her songs based on life circumstances.
  • The song gives a glimpse of what Apple is looking for in a relationship. There are no walks on the beach, romantic dinners or other lovey tropes in this one - she's looking for something more intense and ineffable. It's clear this guy needs to have his own thing going on. "I am the woman who wants you to win and I've been waiting, waiting for you to love me," she sings.
  • Apple gets metaphysical in the second verse:

    All my particles disband and disperse
    And I'll be back in the pulse


    This was inspired by a revelation she had at a meditation retreat she went to in 2010 at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. After days of intense meditation, she felt a throbbing. Surrendering to it, she had a vision of a pulsating space that formed between the other women on the retreat.

    "I knew then what life and death was. It's this pulse," she told Vulture. "We all share it, and it sounds so cheesy. But it wasn't in my head; it was out of it. It was among us all. It was something we were all in together. It was like this place of home, this pulse we would all be in. I felt like I had found it and everything felt so beautiful."

    This feeling of enlightenment stayed with her after the retreat, but eventually faded away. In this song, she's trying to recover it by getting "back in the pulse."
  • This is the first song on the Fetch The Bolt Cutters, Apple's fifth album and her first since 2012. Typical of Apple, it's highly percussive and unpredictable. She's credited on the track as playing "Casio drums," which is probably the digital electronic percussion we hear at the beginning of the song before the full instrumentation kicks in. Her main collaborators on the album were drummer Amy Aileen Wood, bass player Sebastian Steinberg (ex-Soul Coughing), and multi-instrumentalist David Garza. It was mostly recorded in Apple's home studio.

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