Frontman and songwriter Conor O'Brien told Mojo magazine this tune focuses on a character sitting naked on a toilet suffering a nervous breakdown and believing he's a soldier in the Brazilian War of Independence in 1822: "The feeling of that song for me is somebody who's falling apart and I think the whole thing happens in his toilet," he explained. "He travels a lot in his head; he gets involved in the Brazilian War of Independence and he confronts his imaginary maker, this maternal, goddess figure. In the end he puts his head back on, puts his clothes back on and goes back into the world with a new love for humanity."
Eddie Vedder often changes the words when he sings "Yellow Ledbetter." The basic story is about a guy whose brother dies in the first Gulf War. Apparently, bad news in the army is given in yellow envelopes.
The chorus of "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir" in "Lady Marmalade" is French for "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" When Labelle performed it on television, they had to change it to "Voulez-vous danser avec moi ce soir" (Do you want to dance with me tonight?).