Many of the tales told on National Ransom are sad, heart-rending stories. Costello explained to Spinner UK why he concludes the album on a positive note. Said the singer: "I take it from that we're in a moment that we've been in before in many other circumstances, that people are all sharing the experience of song. We're going over the edge of a cliff maybe here. I think the humanity in the characters, all the little struggles that are described in these songs, I always hope that we'll take it out that really the best that we can find within ourselves in these times is not the appeal of fanaticism, intolerance - that's the truth of it. That's why I think songs are worth singing and worth hearing and being together. That's why the record ends like it does, with 'Voice in the Dark,' which is a hopeful song. So there has to be something better within us than all of that. I'm looking for that, even the smallest bit of light in the picture in all of these songs. I'm trying to find some beauty in all of this, otherwise it would truly be intolerable. There wouldn't be any reason for us to make any more records or sing any more songs."