The lyrics were derived directly from a special experience that happened to co-writer Josh Osborne. "A couple of years ago I won a Grammy for 'Merry Go 'Round
' with Kacey Musgraves," he shared with Taste of Country
. "That all takes place in L.A., and my wife and I were staying at this hotel and I just remember that night... it was such an amazing moment."
After the Grammy parties, the excited couple went back to their hotel drinking champagne, staying up all night drinking champagne. "So many of those images were just stored in my mind, because this whole night in my mind," Osbourne said, "this is gonna sound ridiculous, but this whole night was sort of champagne-colored in my mind, but I'd never really written about it."
When Osbourne got together with his two co-writers, Ross Copperman already had a track prepared. "He started playing that music that became 'Setting the World on Fire,' and it just already felt emotional, and it felt alive, and it felt like a moment to me," Osbourne recalled. "And Matt Jenkins - not knowing my whole story that night with the Grammy stuff - Matt was like, 'I have this line I'd written down on a piece of paper about, 'We got drunk on La Cienega Boulevard.' And I don't know what it means, but I love the poetry of a line like that, how real it sounds.' And I just was like, 'Oh my god.' So then in my mind, this song became, let's just write about that moment, let's just write about that night."