David Gray first came up with this song after coming off the road in 2011. "I sat down at the piano," he recalled to Artist Direct
. "I started to get into some somber, moody chords. They sounded interesting. I started sketching a lyric. I said, "I don't want to make this dingy middle age music that vaguely moans about being alive. I want to be saying, 'Hallelujah' in a different way!"
Gray decided to approach Mutineers
in a different way and began to work back from words into music. "It's the wrong way around for me," he said. "Usually, I go from the melody and rhythm into lyrics. In doing so, I had some interesting success. Then, I began to use other people's words."
This song came from a Belgian poem by Herman de Coninck called Just As This Island Belongs to the Gulls
."I took it downstairs, simplified it, and found a chord sequence that began to walk," Gray said. "I started to write. When I wrote the first line, it really got my attention. It was the s--t I was after. I was finding something new, and it was a major shard of light coming through."