As Greg Prato
explains in his book A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon
, Shannon Hoon came up with most of this song while the band was on the road promoting their first record. He quotes Hoon:
"One night we were playing in Detroit at this old church that had been converted into a music hall, called St. Andrew's Hall. And after the show, we were standing up in our dressing room, and it had these windows so you could look down and see all the people leaving the club. And I was standing there looking out when I noticed all these people starting to congregate over on the corner. We were arguing about a monitor mix or something stupid from the gig, I don't know. But my attention was caught by all these people on the corner. I thought man... is there a fight going on or something? Then I see someone point up and I look and there's this girl on the edge of the building, 20 floors up. It wasn't someone from the show; it was a hotel next door to the club. I was like, 'Holy s--t, you guys, there's a girl up there.' We had the most horrific view.
There's about two hundred people, all watching by now, and of course you get all the heartless ones that start heckling and screaming when you should really understand that someone for whatever reason is deliberating life or death here. It was unbelievable. There were people yelling 'Jump!' I thought, 'My God, what's going on here?' All of a sudden there was this dead calm, and this girl stood up and she jumped, and we were all standing there. And I mean it seemed like it took forever for her to fall. It was one of those situations where you don't want to look but something in your mind makes you watch and will not let you take your eyes away from it, because you're going to learn something from it. I mean, not only did I learn that monitor mixes were irrelevant to life, it just... phoosh! Nobody was able to say a thing for the next three hours. We just got in the van and drove. Rogers [Stevens - Blind Melon guitarist] had actually left the hall and was down on the street when it happened. It was something that really scarred us all. She was just 26, and no one knew why she jumped. She took her secret with her. They thought she might have tested positive for AIDS, but she wasn't. She wasn't pregnant, she had a job... she just suffered from depression. It could have been anybody. It was really sad. And that's what 'St. Andrew's Fall' is all about."