Marling explained that this track about mortality from her debut album was rooted in fear. "I was in the midst of an incredible bout of fear of death. I still to this day don't really know why. I was obsessed by age. The thought of getting older terrified me. It was such a dark image; now I couldn't think any more differently. Once you've got that background to it I'm sure the lyrics sound a bit simpler," she told Daniel Rachel, author of The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters.
New Order took the title for "Blue Monday" from an illustration, which read "Goodbye Blue Monday," in the Kurt Vonnegut book Breakfast Of Champions. The image referred to the invention of the washing machine improving housewives' lives.