The Ten album was recorded shortly after the first Gulf War began. This song came about when Eddie Vedder was hanging out with Chris Cornell and his bandmate Stone Gossard in a pool hall, when President George H.W. Bush came on television to talk about the United States invasion of Kuwait.
"Why were we doing this? And why were we going off?" Vedder said of his reaction. "It could be interpreted as greed because some people interpret as going off to fight for their country: 'I will walk with my hands bound.' But the thing is it was walking away from it: 'I won't be taken, yet I'll go.'"