The song's title refers to a hook in music terminology: the catchy element or phrase of a song which makes it distinctive and memorable. The song's lyrics assert that whatever the singer sings about is effectively meaningless, since the song's musical hook will keep listeners coming back, even if they are unaware of the reason. In the introduction, John Popper sings, "It doesn't matter what I say / So long as I sing with inflection / That makes you feel that I'll convey / Some inner truth of vast reflection."
The song's own hook shares the chord structure of Pachelbel's Canon in D, which forms the basic chord progression of the song. The use of the Canon in D chord structure in combination with self-aware, meaningless lyrics are strong indications the song was intended as a protest of formulaic pop music.
The song also references the story of Peter Pan and his nemesis Captain Hook (a second meaning to the title). In the song Popper also sings "no matter how much Peter loved her, what made the Pan refuse to grow, was that the Hook brings you back".