The guy in the song goes through a weekend, with each day - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - introducing a new verse. This is what Gray calls a "mathematical" approach to songwriting (Billy Joel did it on "You May Be Right
"), but it's done with a great depth of feeling.
"I've come to reflect on that song and realize there's something that resides in it that has a sort of confessional power, so I'm speaking to myself while addressing the listener," he said in his Songfacts interview. "What other way is there to live but to surrender? Do we really believe in reason? You've got to let go, there's something much bigger. So I've come to appreciate that it has a depth of feeling even though the slightly mathematical songwriting approach I took perhaps belies that.
The beauty is in the music of words themselves, the balance of sibilance and weight, and the onomatopoeic phrasing, the things that just ring, the words that just feel right in the lines, and 'Babylon' really has that. The lyric dances over the melody, and it has this wonderful feeling of two things intertwining very, very naturally, like the tendrils of a vine creeping up a fence. It had this sense of entanglement and entwining that felt very lovely and very natural when I wrote it. But that song was written in stages - it didn't all deliver itself in one go. I had to unpick the puzzle of the chorus, which took quite some time."