Richard Ashcroft told the story of the song in an interview with BBC DJ Steve Lamacq. He said: "I was working a lot with a vocoder, an old vocoder I had in the studio and created the vocal loop and as soon as I had that vocal loop that was it."
"I mean, there has been a few times in my career, or whatever you want to call it, where you know, you just know, that this is universal, this is like, given the chance, you know, if the world could hear it the world would get into it, and that's so rare I think when something within a few seconds can grab people."
"Really, you know, lyrically in a way I think if you look at it as a sort of the first few lines a kind of re-make of Jerusalem by William Blake rather than will those 'feet in ancient times' it's the feet in modern times. It's 'bright prosaic malls' instead of 'dark Satanic mills', and again I think it goes back to that internal struggle of my own, you know, that search for the love and it's what we're all searching for, I think. That internal battle is the battle that I will always have lyrically perhaps or with my songs. It's about, perhaps, my own internal battle."