Kristofferson originally wrote this song about Johnny Cash's struggles with addiction for a sobriety party in the 1970s. He explained to Billboard magazine: "Everyone was supposed to say something inspirational, so I wrote a song. I tried to record this once before with Willie Nelson and my band. When I sang the chorus, they echoed me when I would sing 'Good morning John.' When I got to the line that said 'I love you John,' Willie said 'He loves you John' and we all cracked up laughing. We never finished it, so I finished it myself."
"Abracadabra" was inspired by Diana Ross and The Supremes. Steve Miller first met the girl group when they performed together on NBC's Hullabaloo in 1966, and he wrote the lyrics after spotting Diana Ross skiing in the mountains years later.