McRae explained this song on his record label's website: "You have to have at least one river song if you're a singer-songwriter. It's the law. On this record there are two, so I'm getting them out of the way now. I like the possibility of a different life being just around the river bend, it could get better, or there could be a waterfall. Either way you're going to find out."
There was a rumor in the Soviet Union that The Beatles had secretly visited the U.S.S.R. and given a private concert for the children of top Communist party members. They believed the song "Back In The U.S.S.R." was written because of the concert. Actually, some fans still believe so.