The Specials singer Terry Hall was diagnosed as bipolar following a suicide attempt in 2004. During this lounge-pop tune peppered with nervy brass, Hall delivers a soul-baring monologue about mental illness. The song was recorded in the aptly disengaging time signature of 5/4.
Hall told Uncut magazine in 2019 that writing and recording this song was very therapeutic. "I got really ill around 10 years ago, to a level where I could barely walk and speak it affected my brain so badly," he said. "I'd been recognized as suffering from a mild version of manic depression since I was about 13, at a time in the early 1970s when doctors would give you Valium, which you can get very easily addicted to. It was why I was so reluctant to try medication, but I'm now on meds and they work well."
Dido helped shut down a Neo-Nazi Web site after learning it was using "White Flag" to promote its hateful messages. Owners of the site had misinterpreted the track as racist and thought they represented their white supremacy views.
Movie director Michel Gondry played live drums on the Late Registration track, "Diamonds From Sierra Leone." The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind filmmaker happened to be in the studio on a day when producer Jon Brion was setting up a drum kit