Song of the Day #4,338: ‘Shameika’ – Fiona Apple

Another theme of Fetch the Bolt Cutters is the acknowledgement and overcoming of trauma.

That takes a very dark turn on ‘For Her,’ a song inspired by the Harvey Weinstein scandal and Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing. That song packs four distinct musical movements into its two and a half minute running time and includes the jarring lyric “Well, good morning, good morning, you raped me in the same bed your daughter was born in.”

On a lighter note, ‘Shameika’ depicts a moment Apple remembers from her middle school days, when a classmate told her she had “potential” and helped her survive the bullies.

Apple described the incident to Vulture:

I just remember being in the cafeteria, a bunch of girls at one end of the table. I came over to sit with them, and they started laughing at me. So I sat one seat away but still tried to be close to them. Shameika came up, and she was like, “Why are you trying to sit with those girls? You have potential.”

I’d like to think that Shameika is out there somewhere, hearing this song and realizing she had a positive impact on a girl she probably doesn’t even remember.

[Verse 1]
I used to walk down the streets
On my way to school
Grinding my teeth to a rhythm invisible
I used my feet to crush dead leaves like they had fallen from trees
Just for me, just to be crash cymbals

[Pre-Chorus]
In class, I’d pass the time
Drawing a slash for every time
The second hand went by a group of five
Done twelve times was a minute

[Chorus]
But Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential

[Verse 2]
I used to march down the windy, windy sidewalks
Slapping my leg with a riding crop
Thinking it made me come off so tough
I didn’t smile, because a smile always seemed rehearsed
I wasn’t afraid of the bullies, and that just made the bullies worse

[Pre-Chorus]
In class, I’d pass the time
Drawing a slash for every time
The second hand went by a group of five
Done twelve times was a minute

[Chorus]
But Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential

[Bridge]
Hurricane Gloria in excelsis deo
That’s my bird in my tree
My dog and my man and my music is my holy trinity
Hurricane Gloria in excelsis deo
That’s my bird in my tree
My dog and my man and my music is my holy trinity

[Verse 3]
Tony told me he’d describe me as pissed off, funny, and warm
Sebastian said I’m a good man in a storm
Back then I didn’t know what potential meant
And Shameika wasn’t gentle and she wasn’t my friend but
She got through to me and I’ll never see her again
She got through to me and I’ll never see her again
I’m pissed off, funny, and warm
I’m a good man in a storm
And when the fall is torrential, I’ll recall

[Chorus]
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential

[Verse 3]
Tony told me he’d describe me as pissed off, funny, and warm
Sebastian said I’m a good man in a storm
Back then I didn’t know what potential meant
But Shameika wasn’t gentle and she wasn’t my friend
But she got through to me and I’ll never see her again
She got through to me and I’ll never see her again
I’m pissed off, funny, and warm
I’m a good man in a storm
And when the fall is torrential, I’ll recall

[Chorus]
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential
Shameika said I had potential

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,338: ‘Shameika’ – Fiona Apple

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I was intrigued and a bit hooked on this song from the first time I heard 10 seconds of it on one of my daughter’s Instagram stories. Now I can’t hear the chorus and musical break without seeing my girl’s cute head bobbing and dancing.😁 The rest of the song holds up as well though.

  2. Peg says:

    I hope Shameika is hearing and remembering 😊

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