Yamagata came up with the lyric in a flash of inspiration while running down a mountain in Woodstock, New York, where she does most of her writing.
"It was one of those real gifts from above, channeled," she said in a Songfacts interview
. "You know when artists say something was written in five minutes? That was that song for me. It probably comes the closest to poetry that I'll ever get with the lyric, without much intellectual intention behind it.
It was one of those things where the lyrics were just flooding to me as I was running down a mountain, and I had to keep repeating it to myself until I got back up the mountain where I had a pen and paper and I could write them all down. There are a lot of layers in that song that I think if I had been conscious of sitting down and trying to write that song, it just wouldn't have happened. That one has a special place for me."