This song demonstrates Aimee Mann's stripped-down, soulful style of songwriting, reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's Blue album. The lyrics are like a short story, with Mann telling the tale of feeling jaded and "sold down the river" at the giant holiday celebration that happens every summer in the United States: Independence Day, the fourth of July.
A crisp recording of this song is featured in the 2010 live concert film Live at St. Ann's Warehouse.
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.