Unusually for Radiohead, this song finds lyricist Thom Yorke ruminating in a direct way about sexual relationships.
This song was premiered by Thom Yorke in the of summer 2005, when he performed "House of Cards" as part of a 5-song solo acoustic benefit for the Trade Justice Rally at London's Methodist Central Hall.
In an interview with Pitchfork Media, the interviewer commented that this song appeared to be warmer than many of Thom Yorke's previous songs. The Radiohead vocalist replied: "I'd guess one doesn't really need reminding of the ice outside at the moment, do you? It's maybe a good thing to try to make music that feels reassuring in some ways - something that's got a good feeling, a good vibe about it."
Some of In Rainbows was recorded at Tottenham House in Wiltshire England, a Grade-I listed building, which dates back to the 1720s. The house had a haunted ambiance, which imprinted itself onto the album. Bassist Colin Greenwood explained in an interview with Mojo magazine February 2008 how the producer Nigel Godrich took advantage of this: "Nigel recorded the smudges and fingerprints of those rooms and put them back into the sound later, like the reverb on the 'House Of Cards' vocal. His computer is like a rattle bag. He can pick out any sound, irrespective of where he recorded it, then map it on to a track we recorded somewhere else. Amazing."