This song tackles the delicate subject of dementia and its debilitating, all-pervading effect on family. Vocalist Elena Tonra told Q magazine about the lyrical content: "It was one of those songs that just came gushing out," she said. "It was originally about my grandmother and how I feel about Alzheimer's and dementia, and how much her illness affects me. I was trying to see things from her perspective, but it does shift a bit to me talking to my mother as well, and the way that she must be feeling about her own mother."
"It floats around a bit," Tonra added. "Maybe it's one of those things that I just needed to write about that. I probably didn't realize that until I had written it."
The video was directed by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (filmmakers of the Nick Cave film 20,000 Days on Earth). The clip, which follows an old man who cares for a wife suffering from dementia, was the first in a trilogy of interlinked films the group worked on with Forsyth and Pollard after short story writer Stuart Evers adapted the narratives of three Not To Disappear tracks into screenplays. "We definitely wanted to make something that wasn't simply a music video but had a bit of a movie quality to it, so an approach that was maybe more about short movies," guitarist Igor Haefeli told Billboard magazine.
"We shot them in about four days altogether all in a row in a small city in England," he added.
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" was written by Nick Lowe in 1974. The original version with his group Brinsley Schwarz was kind of somber, but Elvis Costello made it a classic with his 1978 uptempo take.