This song was originally recorded by Bright Eyes for their 2011 album The People's Key. It was covered three years later by Lorde for the soundtrack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 movie. The New Zealand teenager's voice is almost unrecognizably high and fragile on her version of the ballad. "I went into the studio with all intention of singing it low and it just," she told Billboard magazine... I've never sung like that."
Lorde explained why she covered the song during a Twitter Q&A: "To me it felt like the perspective of a divine being (or even a modern-day reader) looking down at the events in Panem," she said. "'No-one knows where the ladder goes' felt like a really sad pretty sentiment after so much bloodshed, for the greater good."