Turner has history degree from the London School of Economics, and often makes historical references in his songs. Regarding the line, "Let's be 1905, but not 1917," he said in his Songfacts interview
that it deals with the two Russian revolutions; the 1905 effort failed but the 1917 revolution succeeded. "It's much easier to glorify something that fails than something that succeeds, because if it succeeds then you have to deal with the real‑life consequences of it," said Turner. "So there's something in that."