This song was originally written as a new track for a greatest hits compilation that Bon Jovi intended to release. Jon Bon Jovi told The Daily Mail
October 23, 2009 that the plan was to release a career-spanning retrospective, which would allow the group to recuperate after a tiring trek around the world. He could write a few new tracks for the hits compilation while catching up with domestic matters. "I was determined to take it easy for a while," said Jon. "And you could have etched those words on my forehead. The plan was to go home and work towards putting out the Best Of record." However as often happens with such plans, circumstances changed leading to a rethink and a new focus. Jon explained: "Well, I went home and began writing. I came up with a few boy-girl tunes and a rehab song, but, to be honest, it wasn't going very well. Then, in the space of two months, the world changed. Lehman Brothers crashed, the sub-prime loan scandal broke and America sent George Bush packing and elected a black President. Suddenly, there was subject matter flinging itself at me. I wrote a song called 'When We Were Beautiful,' but it didn't feel right for a hits album. It felt like the first bookend of a new record. So I got the band together and we began working. We were on a roll, and I quickly realized we needed to make a new album. Holding on to new songs is never right. If you have a body of work, you have to go with it. So we kept writing and came up with 24 songs. Nine months down the line, we wrote 'We Weren't Born To Follow
,' about working people picking themselves up by their bootstraps in hard times. That was the second bookend, and it gave us an album."