Without discounting the resilience of human love, the song touches on environmental issues like the damage we're inflicting on the oceans. It shares a theme with other tracks on the album, including "As it Was" and 'Would That I," that contain imagery touching on the reality of world problems.
"While there's other songs on there that have doom and gloom and might touch upon it, 'Wasteland Baby' goes straight for it," Hozier told NME
. "It lets us imagine how the worlds might end in a very real sense. But as long as there's people, that 'You and I', there's always potential for kindness and that is something to be hopeful about."