Exile in Guyville
was written by Phair as a song-by-song reply to the Rolling Stones' 1972 album, Exile on Main St.
and this song corresponds to "Tumbling Dice
." Phair recalled to Rolling Stone
in a 2010 interview: "I remember thinking the most important song happens at the fifth song. Because in my mind 'Tumbling Dice' is the big radio hit. I was like, I need to do the big radio hit there, which is funny because 'Never Said' ended up being the radio hit off that record for me, and I don't think Matador would have gone with that just because I said so. I think that was the natural song to play on the radio and make the video for. 'Never Said' was one of those times where I was showing I could be just as unaccountable. 'Tumbling Dice' is really about, again, I'm picturing all the guys from Urge Overkill, hey man, you may get to go home with me tonight, you may not. I may show up at the bar and be available, and I might not. You gotta roll me and see how it's going to roll. I was playing that same game. 'I don't know what you're talking about, I never said nothing, you can't pin that on me.' I was playing the female version. Most women don't spend their lives sitting in bars maybe going home with people, but we often spend our lives socially networking, 'No, I never said that about you behind your back!'"