This song is a reminder to be good to yourself and others. It's a very positive message, but it does come with some gripes, as G. Love gets political in the last verse, wondering why governments are spending money on bombs instead of food for the hungry.
"It was a simple message, and that's what I wanted it to be," G. Love told Songfacts. "It works too because of the call and response, and it's a wonderful message. The music is kind of all the same chords - I just flipped the changes when I got to the breakdown. But it's just a simple song with a catchy hook and a profound message."
Lyrically, this song is a lot easier to navigate than many of G. Love's earlier songs, which are packed with rapid-fire lyrics. This was by design. When he toured Brazil with his Brushfire Records labelmate Donavon Frankenreiter, he noticed how the crowd was getting into Frankenreiter's songs despite the language barrier.
"When I would get on stage, I had so many words in my songs that people would find it hard to latch on to them," G. said in his Songfacts interview. "When we went home, we went to this surf camp and we played for the kids. I wanted to write a song with a really simple message that these kids and anybody around the world could latch into, and that phrase, 'Peace, Love and Happiness,' just jumped into my head."
G. Love gave his buddy Allen Jasper Thomas a writing credit on this song because Thomas had a song with the same title from years earlier. The songs are different, but G. Love thinks he may have subliminally taken the title, so sharing the credit was the karmically correct thing to do.
G. and Thomas hung out in the early '90s when they were both playing the Boston area. Both ended up with record deals: G. with Epic and Thomas with Geffen as part of his group Jasper & The Prodigal Suns.