The song is actually a composite of two different songs I had written. The music is from a song called Angel, and the lyrics are from a song called In America. Paris was listening to Angel while reading the In America lyrics and had the idea to put the two of them together. I thought he was bat-shit crazy, but we gave it a shot and sure as hell, it worked.
We then worked on setting up the song for how the band would play it, and in the process for that, we came up with what could be considered the 2nd bridge (the Having picnics on the 4th of July part). The thought was we needed something to break up the song a little bit, so I stripped down the drum track a bit. Paris worked out the piano part, and after fumbling over lyrics for that part, the idea smacked me in the face that since most of the song is about America's ills, we could put in some of the traditional good ol' American imagery into it. And thus was born the 4th of July picnics, apple pie, and fishing down by the stream part of the song. I remember us both being kind of giddy about how it all worked out.
The song helped get us to where there were talks of a recording deal that also included a movie. Which came with the dubious task of Paris and I (well, mostly Paris) working on a movie treatment. I still have that treatment down in my basement somewhere. The song features Paris on lead vocals and guitar, and Lisa on backing vocals and bass.
Anyway, 21 years later, I have the audio of the song up on youtube. So go give it a listen.