“Stay” was first based on a note found in a copy of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road I purchased in a secondhand bookstore in Leicester in the fall of 2013. Here’s the complete note:
All the best for your 24th birthday. Both of us are on the road in a different country, experiencing and living things. Stay on the track but never stop.
The phrase “Stay on the track but never stop” was the main source of inspiration for this story. Yet, the song encourages the contrary, namely the idea that grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. When I was writing the lyrics, I thought a lot about my friends’ tendency to travel as much as they could, to see the entire world before, as Aldo Leopold writes in A Sand County Almanac, knowing your own backyard. The couplets emphasize everything the protagonist thinks that he/she will find elsewhere, far away from his home and from the people he grew up with, and also everything he thinks that he will be leaving behind, namely his/her trouble and his/her past. This experience is also, I think, comparable to dreams inasmuch as these trips allow us to ignore or forget about reality, even if just for a while. “Stay” is a suggestion (not an incitement) to (re)discover our roots and not to give up on everything that we may have and value as important, in spite of all the obstacles and difficulties that we might have to face.