My Sunday Song – “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

My Sunday Song #63 is from The White Stripes.  The song is “Seven Nation Army” and is one of their most popular songs.  It is off their fourth album, ‘Elephant’, and went on to hit #1 on the Modern Rock Tracks back in 2003.

What I love about The White Stripes is the quirkiness of the songs and the band itself.  The band only consists of two people, Jack and Meg White.  They were husband and wife at one time, but have since divorced.  The band is no more, but thankfully, their music lives one.

The song that resonated most with me from them was “Seven Nation Army”.  The song was a standout because of that bass line riff that starts off the song and plays throughout.  Imagine my surprise to learn that was not a bass.  The band doesn’t ever use a bass in their music.  They only use a drum and guitar.  According to Wikipedia, to get that effect, Jack White’s semi-acoustic, 1950s-style Kay Hollow body guitar was run through a DigiTech Whammy pedal which was set down an octave.  It is a really cool sound.

The song is about gossip.  Yep, gossip.  Jack was tired of hearing all the gossip going around about him and Meg as the band became more popular.  The song is about a person who comes to town and everyone is talking about him. He gets upset and leaves town, but is so lonely he comes back anyway to all the gossip.

Now, I always wondered what the title “Seven Nation Army’ meant.  It is not as grand as I thought.  It is just what Jack thought the Salvation Army was called when he was a child.  And the last thing I learned on the song is that Jack White had that riff for a while and was saving it for a James Bond Theme song if he was ever asked to do one.  Eventually he figured that wasn’t ever going to happen so he used it for this song.  Seems strange, but interesting nonetheless.

Take a listen and let me know what you think of the song.  Enjoy and Happy Sunday!!

“Seven Nation Army”

I’m gonna fight ’em off
A seven nation army couldn’t hold me back
They’re gonna rip it off
Taking their time right behind my back
And I’m talkin’ to myself at night
Because I can’t forget
Back and forth through my mind
Behind a cigaretteAnd the message comin’ from my eyes says, “Leave it alone.”Don’t wanna hear about it
Every single one’s got a story to tell
Everyone knows about it
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell
And if I catch it comin’ back my way
I’m gonna serve it to you
And that ain’t what you want to hear
But that’s what I’ll do

And the feeling coming from my bones says, “Find a home.”

I’m going to Wichita
Far from this opera for evermore
I’m gonna work the straw
Make the sweat drip out of every pore
And I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding, and I’m bleeding
Right before the lord
All the words are gonna bleed from me
And I will think no more

And the stains comin’ from my blood tell me, “Go back home.”

Written by Jack White

9 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

  1. Great song. This was actually the point where I started paying attention to the White Stripes. (I don’t like anything other than Elephant).


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