Raleigh Ritchie sings here of feeling a Gene Kelly moment coming on. He told Billboard magazine the urge to spin or dance a few steps is something that happens to him all the time: "I had a Gene Kelly moment today," Ritchie said. "Just this morning! I got out of the shower, and I was listening to some music and I spun around in my towel. I have those moments daily. I think it's important to have those Gene Kelly moments where just for a split second you're out of reality, and you can just spin around or something."
The lyrics to "Heartbreak Hotel" were written by a steel guitar player who was once a dishwasher repairman. He was inspired by a newspaper story about a man who killed himself and left behind a note saying only, "I walk a lonely street."