According to the Helplessness Blues Songfacts, the song finds Robin Pecknold reflecting on how the self-centered individualism of his youth has influenced him as a white American adult. He explained to the UK newspaper The Independent: "I wanted that song to be a completely open opinion, with no kind of poetry, if you know what I mean. It's hard to articulate without it sounding really reductive, but I was born in the Eighties, a time of relative plenty in the United States .

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