Patty Griffin's American Kid album is dedicated to her father (a high school physics teacher), Lawrence Joseph Griffin, who died in 2009. This song, which is both celebratory and mournful, describes him as "such a scrappy guy". She explained to UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph: "He had the Irish fighter thing in him, although a lot of people knew him as this gentle, generous and very kind person, which he was. He grew up in Boston at a time when the Irish were considered lower-class citizens, and I think that really had an effect on him."
Much of the album is done in a way that deals with death and loss, although this song is more about simply celebrating the life that her father lived, and letting her fans know about what kind of a guy he was.
The song also deals with her father's return from fighting in World War II.
This song was a tough one for Griffin to record. Since it is not simply written about her father, but from his point of view, she says it seemed to be a bit more difficult to express what she wanted to say, so she put this song aside. After every other track on the album was completed, she decided to give it another try.