This overtly confessional song of gratitude to his wife, the actress Nicole Kidman, is the one song on Defying Gravity where Urban addresses the difficulties he encountered in the early days of his marriage. These included some time in rehab after backsliding in a long struggle with substance abuse.
Urban co-wrote this song with Rick Nowels in London as Kidman was shooting the movie Nine there. He told USA Today that Nowels' music "pulled this story out of me, which became quite a confessional - much more intimate than I might have written had I intended to write about (her). It was very instinctual and very much from the heart. We did a quick recording of it, and I took it home and played it for her that night. I think she was very, you know, touched."
Urban said on the Roughstock site that this was written on the first day that he wrote with Rick Nowels. He added: "When I got to the studio, Rick played me various pieces of music. He got to this piano chord progression and a little drum beat and I just loved the mood of the music and started writing the lyric. I really feel that I have been given a life by someone who's loved me in a way I've never been loved before. This was my way of saying 'Thank you.'"
Urban told Country Music TV why he recorded this song quickly: "I think the important thing with that song was to not belabor it too long. Capturing those things in their real form is the most important thing, not worrying about all the other stuff. That's hard to talk about that stuff. It's not meant to be talked about. It's meant to be played and people take from it what they want. But it's something I wanted to be able to do for my wife, too. She's been an incredible strength for me. In the last couple of years, particularly so."
"Sloop John B" is a traditional West Indian folk song, and it was a huge hit for The Beach Boys in 1966. They tweaked the lyric, "This is the worst trip since I've been born" to "...I've ever been on" as a wink to acid culture.