This was written at the same time The Coral were recording their 2007 album Roots & Echoes.
The song was inspired by the Scottish anthropologist Sir James George Frazer's book The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Frontman James Skelly explained on his record label's website: "It's inspired by the book, about the link between magic and religion and science, that was the idea behind it, and also it was about thinking you're friends with someone but when it matters you only thought they were there, but they never were."
Sir James George Frazer (1834-1941) won acclaim with the publication of The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion in 1890. The book was a pioneering work on the origins of religion and sociology on a comparative basis, and it had a considerable influence on writers such as D H Lawrence and T S Eliot.