Bass guitarist and lyricist Charles Cave admitted to Mojo magazine February 2009 that this song "has a pretty depressing lyric." He added: "But it's uplifting too because it can help people feel it's alright to think and worry about these things. We're less about 'I hate everything' than finding solace in introspective thought. I've been a worrier since I was about seven, which used to keep me up at night! It's not so all-consuming now."
Cave told The Fly magazine that this was "only the second song we ever wrote." He added: "We have expanded on it and we've written different songs since then, some of which we all prefer to it, but it's one of those songs that just somehow manages to fit so many ideas into a five-minute piece of music without sounding like there's too many ideas. It sounds very consistent and coherent and it moves in a very natural way but there is actually quite a lot going on with different sounds, different rhythms and tempos."
Drummer Jack Lawrence-Brown told The Fly that the "palate of sounds" the band used for To Lose My Life… came from this song. He explained: "We realized as soon as we started playing live that, in terms of our live show, even before it was a single, it was a song that people really got straightaway and it feels like that's the one that's really connected well with people and is a really exciting moment in our set. A good way to open the album is to give the people who have heard us and seen us live that excitement at the start of an album, that song they already know and love and I think that will definitely help grab attention for what essentially is gonna be an album that people have never heard."
Vocalist Harry McVeigh told The Scenestar
about the song's promo: "The video is just trying to capture the feel of the song or at least the director's [Andreas Nilsson] interpretation of the song. And I think he did it really well, 'cause the song doesn't really have a story to it. It's very metaphorical. I think that's what he was trying to do, put it in a setting of suburbia... Actually, it was shot in Sweden but it was meant to be American suburbia."
On To Lose My Life eight of the ten tracks feature the words "death," "dead," "die", "died" or "deceased" in their lyrics. Cave admitted to Q magazine May 2009: "Death does crop up on our album. But our songs aren't actually about death. The word is used to communicate loss." He added that this song "focuses on everything that goes on around it, not on the act of dying. I'm not even interested in death or how it's going to happen. It's more about the way people deal with it. The existential emotions."
The "chugging stab" guitar sound that came to be a regular feature in the band's music started with this song. At the time, they were listening to a lot of The Cars, particularly their debut hit "Just What I Needed
Harry McVeigh told NME that Charles wrote this song while waiting to take off on a transatlantic flight for a holiday with his family "and was suddenly struck by a moment of inspiration, and the lyrics are just a great contemplation what would, I suppose, what would happen if the plane went down in a ball of flames, and your life was over at that moment."