Writing from the viewpoint of someone suffering from small-town claustrophobia, singer/songwriter Lori McKenna says this song is not about her own experiences, but rather from personal observances of growing up in Stoughton, Massachusetts. "The character sort of feels like they're running off, or they want to run off and get the hell out. I know people who have felt that way, but I actually never have felt that way about it. But that's exactly what it's about," McKenna said in a Songfacts interview
She describes writing in character as perhaps a way of "living through everybody else." She continues, "Well, I think that maybe because of the fact that I'm from a really tight-knit family and I live a half a mile away from the house I grew up in, and my husband and I have lived in this house since we were married. Maybe because I really haven't done a lot of traveling. Even my friends that are singer/songwriters, they get in a Geo Prism and they tour the country. They're gone for two weeks at a time and three weeks at a time, then they come back. And I've never really done that, even as a singer/songwriter, because of the kids. I've gone out two days, tops, and things like that. So maybe it's just from the lack of travel. You know, it's easy to sort of take on the idea of somebody who's standing next to you at a soccer game in the morning watching your kids play soccer, and sort of just pick up little things from people when they talk about their lives and things. And maybe it's just because mine hasn't been all that adventurous, I just sort of like to pick out things in other people's lives."