Roy Harper told Mojo magazine that the meaning of this grandly orchestrated track has been misunderstood over the decades. He explained:
"It's about the general human condition - nothing to do with the sexes, per se - but more about how we treat each other. As a young man back then I could see the world was already far from rescue-able. That feeling of hope we'd had in the sixties was gone."
The lush orchestration is by David Bedford. The English composer is best known for his work with Mike Oldfield, including arranging and conducting an orchestral version of the Tubular Bells album.
The song "Sadeness" by Enigma (the one with the chanting monks), got its name from the French novelist Marquis de Sade, who believed sex had to be painful in order to be pleasurable - thus the word "sadism."