Paul Simon sings here of heavenly imagery, namely "a triangle of white light in the sky." The track's roots lie in a visit he paid to wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. It was also inspired by the funeral of a teacher that the singer knew, who was murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
An experimental session in March 2013 with a group of Flamenco musicians provided the initial rhythmic premise for Stranger to Stranger and supplied the grooves that were the basis for this song as well as "The Werewolf," "Wristband" and "Stranger to Stranger." Simon said in the album's liner notes.
"The first rhythmic premise of Stranger to Stranger came from my enjoyment of Flamenco music, particularly hand-clapping and dancing heels on a wood floor. Jamey Haddad, percussionist in my band, knew a group of Spanish Flamenco musicians living in Boston, and we brought them down to New York for an experimental session. Two clappers, one dancer, a cahon player, and Jamey on frame drum, put down the grooves that were the basis for four songs on the album."