James Taylor was inspired to write this song by various events he witnessed in Canada, including a Hindu parade and wedding during two different trips to Toronto. The main inspiration was an incident when Taylor and his Cuban-born percussionist Luis Conte followed a flatbed truck carrying musicians during Montreal's jazz festival. "I stuck with it for about 10 blocks," he recalled to Jam! Music. "But Luis, I spoke to him the next day, we were playing a gig, and he said, 'No man, I ended up 10 miles out of town. I just followed it all night long.'"
"The thing that was amazing was to see his connection to the music because it was authentic, true Afro-Cuban stuff," Taylor continued. "And the idea was the frozen man, which is one of my ways of thinking of myself, gets thawed out by this process, it sort of takes him by surprise, sort of wandering in downtown Toronto, he sort of comes across this flatbed truck, basically cooking it (musically) on the street."