Much of So Beautiful Or So What finds Simon singing about religion and spirituality. Spinner asked the Jewish musician if that was a conscious decision, or something that just emerged naturally in the writing? He replied: "Probably more the latter. I was very surprised myself that five of the first six songs had either god in it or some sort of religious reference, like 'Getting Ready For Christmas Day,' which is hardly a religious song. In fact, none of the songs are religious. They're not really about religion. There's a couple of them that are speculating about god.I don't know where the impulse comes from, once the beginning of a song comes. I recognize when there is a line that is interesting to me, like when I began 'Love And Hard Times' with 'God and his only son,' I was immediately interested in the song because I was thinking, 'Now, what am I gonna say about this?' Really, it's not even my religion. I don't actually feel I have any religion, but anyway, I wondered what it was that was going to come out.
Once the second verse came around, and God said, 'We gotta get out of here; these people are slobs,' I then said to myself, 'The rest of the song is going to have to be a straight love song. That's just enough cynicism. We don't need to go anymore.' That creates part of the tension that makes the last line of the song feel like it's a release and a relief. I didn't plan any of that. I never do. I don't write lyrics first, anyway. I write music before I write lyrics."