The Hours is a British band formed in 2004 by former Pulp member Antony Genn and keyboardist Martin Slattery, who had previously toured with Shaun Ryder's group Black Grape. Both Genn and Slattery were also part of Joe Strummer's group The Mescaleros. This was the first single released by The Hours.
The song's lyrical content contains uplifting exhortations to achieve and the song name checks various people whom have accomplished feats against the odds. The title refers to Muhammad Ali's famous boxing match against George Foreman in Zaire when the champion at the time Foreman was overwhelming favorite to defeat the much older Ali. Other individuals mentioned in the song include Nelson Mandela, who became South African president after spending twenty seven years in prison and Ludwig Van Beethoven, who continued to compose classical music masterpieces after losing his hearing.
Despite not being a hit, the song's inspirational sport references have resulted in it being used as the background music for various media. These include featuring in the EA Sports FIFA 08 football game and as snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan's theme song at the 2010 Wembley Masters. It was also used as the soundtrack to the Nike short film Human Chain, which debuted as an advertisement during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Kacey Musgraves originally offered "Follow Your Arrow" to her friend Katy Perry. However, Perry thought Musgraves should record the song herself as it seemed, "like something that you would totally say."