Jackson Browne uses biblical imagery in this song, where he makes a point that salvation can be attained outside the church.
"It's got an apocalyptic theme running through it and it's meant to be kind of a gospel song," he said in a radio interview
. "I employ this gospel language: 'stand before the father,' 'sisters of the sun.' But it's turning that around 180 degrees so it's not about religion, it's about society."
"You have to have an idea in a gospel song," he added, "and if it's not going to be Jesus, it has to at least be salvation. It's a way of lovingly, and in a friendly way, refuting the traditional and conventional messages of redemption having to do with the straight and narrow. I staked a lot on that song because it was that combination of social awareness and paying attention to what's going on around you with that inner search for spiritual meaning."