Frontman Ric Ocasek explained the inspiration for the song in an interview with Spinner UK
: "That song's a little bit topical, I guess. The lyrics in the song, it's all about 'heartache's waiting to strike' and 'too many screamers wearing a mask,' which is all kind of a sad scenario. But it's got happy music and a happy melody. It's almost like 'Just What I Needed
,' where you're looking for someone to bleep and you don't realize the song is not really that positive. Sometimes it's just subconsciously things pull you in. It can be a sad song that pulls you in subconsciously. The lyrics to 'Sad Song' are a sad state of affairs and you just get pulled along with them all. Maybe it's media, maybe it's the general ambiance of life."