The song title is part of a mantra used to assist in bayonet practice - "How does the grass grow? Blood, blood, blood!" Producer Tony Visconti explained to Rolling Stone: "It's about the way that soldiers are trained to kill other soldiers, how they have to do it so heartlessly. 'How Does the Grass Grow' is part of a chant that they're taught as they plunge their bayonets into a dummy."
The references to girls wearing "nylon skirts and sandals from Hungary" and boys riding their Riga mopeds appears to place this song somewhere in the Eastern Bloc during the communist Soviet era.
Bowie revives one of his earliest musical loves when he samples the hook motif from The Shadows' "Apache," sung as a "yah-yah-yah-yah."
Dido helped shut down a Neo-Nazi Web site after learning it was using "White Flag" to promote its hateful messages. Owners of the site had misinterpreted the track as racist and thought they represented their white supremacy views.
Movie director Michel Gondry played live drums on the Late Registration track, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind filmmaker happened to be in the studio on a day when producer Jon Brion was setting up a drum kit