This song is about the Lewis Awakening, a spiritual movement on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, where Colin Macleod is from. The Awakening was led by the preacher Duncan Campbell in 1949, and is legend in the area. In a Songfacts track by track
, Macleod explained:
"There was a house in Arnol where they were having a prayer meeting one night - they called it a 'movement of God.' There was a spiritual revival going on and lots of people coming to faith - there were lots of things happening.
In this area there wasn't anything happening, and this old man was praying and issuing an ultimatum to God, saying, 'If you're really there then make the walls of this house shake.' And as he said it, as the story goes, the house began to shake and he was put in his place.
The song goes from his perspective, not of the scenario at the time but more of his feeling of being small in that position, and how you would react to something like that."