Slow Like Honey

Songfacts®:

  • Fiona Apple was rather misunderstood in high school. Highly introverted, she didn't talk much but was clearly taking in her surroundings, leading her classmates to wonder what was going on inside her head.

    In "Slow Like Honey," she sings in a menacing manner about how she will "haunt the world inside you," and refers to her "big secret." She has explained it as being in reference to the way other students viewed her during high school. It was Fiona's response to the question of, "What's the big secret?"
  • Apple's sound is very percussive; "Slow Like Honey" is driven by her piano, a vibraphone played by Jon Brion, and drumming by Danny Frankel. It's a very jazz-influenced song in a style similar to the standards Apple studied when she learned piano.
  • It was mostly guys, not girls, who were freaked out by Apple in high school, wondering what she was thinking about and wondering why she was always staring off into space. "No one would come near me because of that and I think that people think that if you're silent then you're like, snobby or something," She said. "Or you're depressed. I was just contemplative. What can I say?"
  • Apple was only 18 when "Slow Like Honey" was issued on her debut album, Tidal. She sounded a lot older, but looked younger, which created quite a contrast. As referenced in the song, Apple didn't seek attention, so doing rounds of promotion was alien to her. Her label, Sony, kept her busy for nearly two years performing and promoting, until finally Apple burned out, canceling a tour in March 1998. When her next album, When the Pawn..., was released in 1999, she did far less press and limited her touring. Afterwards, she waited several years between albums.

Comments: 10

  • Mariah from New York, NyThis relates a lot to me. All I can really sense so far in this song is a woman who is determined to get the guy that she wants. One way or another, she'll make him chase after her. "But my big secret, gonna hover over your life, gonna keep you reachin'". Or "I'll haunt the world inside you". Like she's trying to get inside his head and make it so all he can think about is her...."Gonna win you over, slow like honey, heavy with mood.
  • Fariha from Dhaka, BangladeshI agree with all the comments made here about the meaning of this song but thought I'd chip in my two cents. What I love the most about this song is that it portrays a strong confident woman who knows fully well that a certain man (or men, for that matter) are drawn to her but he doesn't quite know why. The woman, however, knows exactly what it is about her that he finds so appealing and she says "It's my big secret - keeping you coming". She lets him think that she wants his attention ("I'll let you see me, Ill covet your regard, I'll invade your demeanor")but he will have no idea why he is so attracted to her ("and you wonder what it is about me". These mind games are so well-described by her. Kudos!
  • Daniel from Sydney, AustraliaThe live version recorded at the Troubador is fantastic and superior to the album version. An incredible song.
  • Shanna from Spring, TxWhat this song means to me is much the way Fiona Apple herself explained the lyrics. To me this song is somewhat vengeful- especially the last verse where she sings ,"You stand there waiting, trying to attain." And how , while she was misunderstood in her younger life, or perhaps barely was acknowledged at all by those who thought to be above her, yet secretly still wanted their attention, though to shy to ask for it. She felt that she made no long-term impressions as a wallflower but that those people would eventually regret treating her in that way and she will never forget that and will keep them metaphorically captive in her mind "Shall I release you, must I release you". Then because of her talent that no one saw in her, but fame would haunt them over the radio waves, "Gonna hover over your life, gonna keep you reaching," causing them much regret, "When I'm gone like yesterday," as in, it's too late now, "When I'm high like heaven<" fame, "When I'm strong like music," and to me when she states that she is "slow like honey and heavy with mood" that is her expression for the length of time for her to creep under their skin; slow and and heavy and powerful, heavy with mood.
  • Morbidious from Deerlodge, TnI was 25 years old when I first heard this wonderful song. It instantly made me fall in love with Fiona Apple and her music! This song has a special place in my heart and memory....I remember I was at a friend's birthday party (which I was DJing at the time) and it was late in the evening and the party was winding down. There was this girl named Jennifer who was 18 and she had a crush on me. She asked me to slow dance with her, so I put on this song, and we danced together.....it was like magic! I dont think I will ever forget her and how she was with me in that very moment....as if all of time stopped and we were the only two in all of existence. I will cherish that memory for the rest of my life. :] Thank you so very much, Fiona Apple! You are wonderful!
  • Erickoverveen from Amsterdam, NetherlandsThis was the favorite song of filmdirector Theo van Gogh, who was stabbed and shoot death on the streets of Amsterdam by a fundamental muslim (in the morning of 2/11/2004) He loved this song so much and used it in his movie Baby Blue (2001) The song sets the movie on fire. It creates a
    intriguing, mystic mood. Love it.
  • Ash from Charleston, WvThanks. It's funny, too, cause I was very, very high when I wrote that. I'm surprised it made any sense.
  • Dylann from Los Angeles, CaI agree. And she wrote a lot of these SO young. It's incredible how profound she is.
  • Dennis from Chicagoland Burrows, IlASH! you could not be more right. Good luck with the boomstick
  • Ash from Charleston, WvThis song is a lyrical gem. Most of the music anymore consists of a tune first and some words that rhyme second. Fiona Apple is the rare exception. Her music is good poetry first which then just so happens to be set to some pretty darn good music, too. Oh if only the likes of R. Kelly, Kelly Clarkson and 50 Cent could write such lines as "I'll covet your regard, I'll invade your demeanor" or dreams "serve for sweet relieving when fantasy and reality lie too far apart" or even know what the word "discern" means. Then maybe they would actually deserve all of their millions.
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