Bassist Nicky Wire penned the song's lyrics by text message and texted them out to vocalist James Dean Bradfield and drummer Sean Moore. He was stuck back home in Wales looking after sick members of his family while his bandmates were recording at Berlin's Hansa studios. Wire explained to The Quietus
: "My Dad was in hospital, and my wife was in hospital, the kids had norovirus and I was just mopping up sick and s--t, amazingly I didn't get ill but everyone else was so poorly. I've never been through so many Flash wipes and so much Domestos in my entire life. I was walking round in rubber gloves. It was proper Howard Hughes, I had face masks on and everything, but there you go."
"Out of misery a flower blossomed," Wire continued. "We'd arranged this two week session in Hansa which I was so looking forward to, and everyone did get slightly better so I thought I might go for the last four days- and then I got snowed in. James said, 'Have you got anything going?' So I texted him that and within two days they'd done that track. I didn't even write it down on paper, which I've never done before."