Frontman Jim James told Mojo magazine May 2008: "This song is very theatrical. We sung in cartoon voices. They're supposed to sound like angry police officers, highly suspicious of you, knocking down your door. The main character, the one I'm singing, is this paranoid drug addict that the police are coming to get."
"St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" was not written for the movie, but for Rick Hanson, a wheelchair athlete whose 1985 "Man In Motion" tour logged 24,856 miles on his wheelchair in 34 countries while raising $26 million for spinal cord research.