This song finds Michael Fitzpatrick singing about the desire to break down the protective mechanisms that one has in place but that are keeping you from being present in a relationship. "That comes from a very personal place for me," he said. "I carried the twisted family dynamics I saw as a kid into my adult relationships and found them to be a massive hindrance. So the question became, 'Am I going to burn down this relationship with this baggage I've carried my entire life?'"
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.