Caleb explained to The Village Voice: "The song is kind of about the unfortunate story that has happened that's kind of been pushed under the carpet. No one really likes to talk about it. But yeah, the beginning of the song's about the beauty and the freedom of the way that it was, and then by the end of it it's about, you know, how it's all been taken away. And you kind of still have the hope that, even though it's been forgotten somewhat, you know, I like to think that some of us still have that spirit inside of us. You know, as far as the living your life with a smile on your face and wanting to go and dance and enjoy all the beauties we have. I mean, I guess in a way it's kind of me trying to pardon myself from my party lifestyle.
Yeah, Manhattan, I think it means the hilly island, or something like that. As soon as my friend... I was playing it and I said, 'Man, I think I'm going to call this song "Manhattan," and I hadn't even written the lyrics yet, and he said, 'Yeah, man. That's a Native American word.' And I was like, 'Really?' And I already had the first line, "I like to dance all night and some of the day." And it worked out."