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The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army / Rock Heroes

The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army - Meaning of the song

The title of the song originates from what Jack White thought the Salvation Army was called when he was a child. White will often take a distinctive phrase he finds interesting and use it as the title of a song - "Rag And Bone" is another good example.

"Seven Nation Army" deals with The White Stripes' rising popularity and the negatives that came with it. After White came up with the riff, he devised a storyline in which a protagonist comes into town and all his friends are gossiping about him. "He feels so bad he has to leave town, but you get so lonely you come back," said White. "The song's about gossip. It's about me, Meg and the people we're dating."

Jack White once said that the main riff was the riff he planned to use if they ever got asked to write the theme to the next James Bond film. He decided it was unlikely and used it in this. Five years later, he was asked to write the theme song for the Bond film Quantum of Solace.

The Salvation Army has featured in a number of songs, the best known being The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever, which is about a Salvation Army home in Liverpool where John Lennon used to go. Two UK hit singles from the 1970s, Long Live Love by Olivia Newton-John, and Banner Man by Blue Mink featured the church organisation as a central theme. Amongst the songs The Salvation Army has cropped up in as an incidental motif are Life In a Northern Town by The Dream Academy and Leonard Cohen's Suzanne.

Seven Nation Army - Lyrics

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 cigarette

And 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"


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