The actress Rebecca De Mornay dated Cohen in the early 1990s. She recalled to Uncut
in 2014 how she ended up producing this track. "Leonard was at my house, and I had a synthesizer," she said. "He was off in a room, playing a song that I'd heard him play over and over for a couple of years, that he just wasn't sure what to do with. I went in and said, 'That's it! Exactly like that!' I think he'd moved the lyrics around, because they'd never had that effect on me before. I said, 'It's universal, I'm telling you, like "Silent Night
," or "Auld Lang Syne
," so why don't we bring in a gospel choir?' And he turned and looked at me very strangely. And he said, 'I want you to produce this song."