“I don’t take ownership in something that beautiful, because it comes from somewhere else,” she says. The seeds of the soaring anthem came to Perry immediately after a screening of the indie film, now in theaters, about a cancer-stricken female detective (Julianne Moore) who fights five Freehold, N.J., councilmen to have her domestic partner (Ellen Page) receive her pension benefits.
Moved by the performances and Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr’s score, Perry grabbed her phone and began singing into it. “All of a sudden, I hear lyrics, melody, the chords -- it’s just all kind of coming,” she says. By the time she played it on piano for the movie’s producers less than an hour later, the song was nearly completed. “I think they thought I was on drugs or something. They were like, ‘There’s no way you’re going to tell us you wrote a song in 45 minutes on the way from the movie to here,” she says.