Wainwright wrote the song as a joke and played it for laughs at concerts. This was in the tradition of his father, Loudon Wainwright III, who amused audiences with songs like "Dead Skunk
" and "White Winos
." The song took a more serious turn after the 2004 presidential election when gay marriage opponent George W. Bush was re-elected. "It was a dark period, and the song became more of a political rallying call about gay rights," he told Rolling Stone
. "It became a literal prayer for the Gay Messiah - very serious, nothing funny about it. Like, we really do need a savior to fall down from the clouds and deal with this."