A major inspiration for the lyrical content of Only Revolutions was frontman and lyricist Simon Neil's marital experiences and his obsession with a love story by American author Mark Danielewski. He explained to Clash magazine: "I got married last year so a lot of the lyrics are about me and my wife. It's kind of a relationship record in that sense and a record about life. The track 'God And Satan' for instance questions what's there for us when we die. Everyone has lost someone close to them and whenever that happens you do start to question your own existence and you do start to think maybe there is no grand picture after all. But while we're here, we might as well try and make people happy and make ourselves happy. It sounds defeatist but I'm almost happy that there is no happy ending. As far as I'm concerned your happy ending is happening right now."
Neil temporarily lost his wedding ring in a lake during the filming of the video. He recalled to NME: "We shot the underwater bit at 6am and my fingers were so cold and numb. I got in touch with the farmer, who then scuba dived for six hours in this horrible filthy lake and managed to find it with this metal detector. I'll be forever thankful to that farmer."