After the departure of Rick Wakeman, band leader Dave Cousins consulted the I Ching asking what to do next. The answer from the coins, "Humble must he constant be, where the paths of wisdom lead, distant is the shadow of the setting sun", forms part of the first two lines of the lyrics of the song.
Unusually for a rock song, the instrumental break is performed using a dulcimer played through a fuzz box. The resulting sound is often mistaken for an electric guitar.
The B-side is a John Ford composition "Keep the Devil Outside", sung by Tony Hooper. The track was recorded at the same time as the album From the Witchwood and was originally released as the B-side of the single "Witchwood". This single was quickly withdrawn due to the band's dissatisfaction with the quality of the pressing.