And if the world is ending now
Then lets dance, the bad dance
We've been rehearsing our whole lives
Mojo magazine asked Sleater Kinney's Carrie Brownstein what is the bad dance. She replied:
"There are always people who embrace the corruption who revel in the depravity, and I think in that song that there is that almost embracing of the distraction. At the same time, it's an acknowledgment that many of us, especially women, have always been the ones who are most adept at dealing with that mess. In the verses, it is like this corrupt narrator with a megaphone, a deranged creature – but the choruses are more about the choreography of survival that we've always learnt. And we will survive, because we've always had too."
Brownstein added that the song was inspired by the 1969 film They Shoot Horses Don't They? about a Depression-era dance marathon. She said: "I've seen that movie, like, 10 times I find it unfortunately incredibly relevant in almost any era of corruption. I was thinking of that film, that endless cycle of exhaustion. It's probably why it sounds so denominated in a kind of vaudeville way."