Not About Love – The Depths of Disillusionment in Modern Romance


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Fiona Apple's Not About Love at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Early Hours: A Prelude to Disenchantment
  5. The Wicked Words That Bind
  6. Tasting the Agenda: A Palette Cleansed
  7. The Heart’s Empty Throne: A Meritless Crown
  8. The Anthem of Falling Out: Reclaiming Self

Lyrics

The early cars
Already are
Drawing deep breaths past my door
And last night’s phrases
Sick with lack of basis
Are still writhing on my floor

And it doesn’t seem fair
That your wicked words should work in holding me down
It doesn’t seem right
To take information
Given at close range
For the gag and the bind
And the ammunition round

A conversation, once colored by esteem
Became diologue
As a diagram of a play for blood
Took a vacation; my palate got clean
Now I can taste your agenda
While you’re spitting your cud

And it doesn’t make sense
I should fall for the kingcraft of a meritless crown
It doesn’t seem right
To take information
Given at close range
For the gag and the bind
And the ammunition round

This is not about love
‘Cause I am not in love
In fact, I can’t stop falling out
This is not about love
‘Cause I am not in love
In fact, I can’t stop falling out
I miss that stupid ache

“What is this posture I have to stare at?”
That’s what he said
When I was sitting up straight
Changed the name of the game ’cause he lost it
He knew he was wrong
But he knew it too late
But I’m not being fair
‘Cause I chose to listen to that filthy mouth
But I’d like to choose right
Take all the things that I said that he stole
Put ’em in a sack, swing ’em over my shoulder
Turn on my heels, step out of his sight
Try to live in a lovelier light

This is not about love
‘Cause I am not in love
In fact, I can’t stop falling out
This is not about love
‘Cause I am not in love
In fact, I can’t stop falling out
I miss that stupid ache

Full Lyrics

In the mosaic of modern music, few artists paint with emotional veracity quite like Fiona Apple. Her ability to distill complex emotional experiences into poignant lyrical narratives has solidified her status as one of the most compelling voices of her generation. ‘Not About Love,’ a track from her critically acclaimed album, stands as a testament to her songwriting prowess—a masterclass in the chronicles of heartbreak.

It is a song that cloaks itself in the garb of love’s antithesis, an anthem for the jaded. Apple’s words act as a scalpel, peeling back the layers of an intimacy now marred by reticent apathy. The bruised cadences and scattered tempo reflect a caustic resignation as she navigates the debris of a fizzling romance. Here is an exploration into the emotional architecture of ‘Not About Love.’

The Early Hours: A Prelude to Disenchantment

The song begins with the quiet, introspective imagery of morning—the ‘early cars’ and the lingering, torturous phrases of last night still palpable. These opening lyrics lay the foundation for a narrative steeped in regret, one that suggests the night prior was filled with conversations that were hollow, perhaps fights that meant far less about love than they pretended to.

There’s gritty realism in her acknowledgment of a space tainted by the remnants of insincere words, a floor now ‘writhing’ with the sickness of baselessness. It’s within this poetic canvas that listeners find themselves standing beside Apple, caught in the very act of sifting through emotional wreckage.

The Wicked Words That Bind

Fiona Apple masterfully dissects the asymmetry of power in the song’s chorus. The ‘wicked words’ acting as chains are a metaphor for the manipulations and the ‘information given at close range’ that holds her enthralled. It’s a delineation of emotional warfare where intimacy is weaponized—where closeness becomes the ‘gag and the bind and the ammunition round.’

The profound sense of unfairness stemming from the betrayal of trust resonates with anyone who has ever felt manipulated by a loved one. Apple’s exceptional storytelling ability turns a personal experience into a universal lament over the misuse of love’s intimacies as weapons.

Tasting the Agenda: A Palette Cleansed

Revelation comes with a ‘vacation’ where her ‘palate got clean,’ a metaphor suggesting detoxification from toxicity’s allure. There’s a stride toward enlightenment here, an awakening to the ulterior motives of her paramour. Detecting the distaste in someone else’s intent—’while you’re spitting your cud’—viscerally drives home how she feels fed upon, hinting at a relationship cannibalizing itself.

Apple’s clarity is the pivot to empowerment within the song. The moment the veil lifts and the deception becomes clear is the same moment she begins to distance herself from the agony inflicted by duplicitous affections.

The Heart’s Empty Throne: A Meritless Crown

With piercing scrutiny, Apple explores the disillusionment with the concept of nobility in love. There’s a recognition that succumbing to the ‘kingcraft of a meritless crown’ is akin to self-sabotage. This metaphor serves as a powerful indictment of chasing false royalty within a partner, especially one who reigns with deceit rather than virtue.

The song suggests that to love someone who is unworthy is to hand them a crown they did not earn—to give them a power over one’s heart that they do not deserve. Apple’s exploration here is a cautionary tale threaded with grief over misplaced allegiance.

The Anthem of Falling Out: Reclaiming Self

The song circles back repeatedly to its central refrain: ‘This is not about love.’ Here lies the heart of the piece—the disconnection, the repeated ‘falling out.’ It is in this emptiness, this lament over ‘that stupid ache,’ that the deepest wounds surface. It’s not a celebration of newfound freedom; it’s the ache of longing for an ache that felt like purpose, like meaning.

However, Apple introduces a narrative of recovery: the decision to ‘choose right,’ to gather the fragments of her dignity, and to ‘swing ‘em over my shoulder’ as a symbol of moving beyond the emotional quagmire that’s held her imprisoned. It’s a resolve to live authentically, to seek a ‘lovelier light,’ untainted by the toxic remnants of a counterfeit love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...