Michael Stipe wrote the lyrics to this song in response to "Eat For Two
" by 10,000 Maniacs - both songs are about pregnancy. In the late '80s, R.E.M. toured with 10,000 Maniacs, and both groups were very popular on the college rock scene. Stipe and Maniacs lead singer Natalie Merchant shared many of the same qualities, including shyness, awkward dance moves and a quirky charisma, and they became friends, then lovers, then friends again. Stipe credits Merchant with helping to inspire his songwriting, saying, "The work she was doing was real and important - all about the human condition."