The lyrics are from an essay called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" by columnist Mary Schmich. It first appeared in 1997 in the Chicago Sunday Tribune
, although the article was originally wrongly credited as being a collegiate commencement speech delivered by author Kurt Vonnegut. In the book 1000 UK #1 Hits
by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, Baz remembered, "I was working with my assistant, Anton Monsted and Josh Abrahams on a remix of 'Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)' when Ant showed me an email of these words that appeared to be Kurt's graduation speech. His simple observations and ideas seemed to provide a profoundly useful guide for getting through life. We wanted to record it but only had two days and didn't know how to get hold of Kurt. Ant went onto the Internet and discovered that a student had taken Mary's speech and linked it to Kurt's name in the style of a chain letter. To us it didn't matter who wrote it, it made sense and struck a chord with those who had read it, that we decided to record it."