Stephanie Dosen told the Independent newspaper May 9, 2008 about this song: "It's about a woman who goes through a ritual with the Moon to reconnect with her dead lover. She likens the Moon to a watchman who is winking and very still. When her spectre finally appears she says, 'I feel you, my spectre yet unseen. Did you get the lilies I sent? Did the violin that played make its way through the gauzy curtain?' At the end she speaks a little spell: 'Come find the place where the curtain is thin. Wink at the watchman and he'll let you in.' I like the idea of death being just a gauzy curtain. A thin sheet and a Moon wink are all that separate her from the other side."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.