Doherty told the NME March 21, 2009: "There's a line 'Was it so long ago/When we first hit the toad' that comes from Wolfman. Together we talk about the first Libs tour." Wolfman is Doherty's friend the poet Peter "Wolfman" Wolfe, who previously collaborated with Doherty on the UK #7 single and Ivor Novello Award-nominated song "For Lovers."
The lyrics for "Mary, Did You Know?" were written by Christian singer and comedian Mark Lowry, after his pastor asked him to write a Christmas musical for their church. Southern gospel musician Buddy Greene later added music to his words.
Eddie Vedder often changes the words when he sings "Yellow Ledbetter." The basic story is about a guy whose brother dies in the first Gulf War. Apparently, bad news in the army is given in yellow envelopes.