Trapt's Chris Taylor Brown told Alternative Addiction that he had the lyrics for this song "written back in late '08 and early '09 when the whole world thought that the financial system as we knew it would collapse and that a depression was among us."
He added: "I saw people losing their houses, two wars still going on, Wall Street being bailed out of choices they knew would put them on the hook. It seemed everywhere I looked something crooked was going on. The only thing I can really do, is write about these types of things with the hope that it makes others feel like they are not alone in the way they view the world."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.