When asked if the song was about her relationship with then-husband Rodney Crowell or her stint in rehab for drug addiction, Cash told interviewer Alanna Nash: "It's about both. And it's about that same internal process of finding your own truth. I wrote it when I got out of treatment. I was fresh out of treatment, so that was definitely making itself felt in the song. I had just finished reading [actress Shirley MacLaine's autobiography] Out on a Limb, too, and I was concerned with trying to get back on a course of finding some kind of spiritual significance in my life that I had been separated from by drugs for so long. So that was real prevalent in my mind when I was writing it, and it was also just capturing what Rodney and I had been going through."
Cash says she started doing drugs when she was 14. "I was growing up in Southern California, and it was just all there, you know... You do it off and on for several years recreationally, and then one day you wake up and it's not recreational anymore. It's the key emotional element in your life. And that's f--kin' scary."
Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees on their 1967 tour, and it did not go well. The young, mostly female crowd shouted "Davy" when Hendrix sang the word "Lady" in "Foxy Lady" in honor of who they came to see: Monkees lead singer Davy Jones.