Seven Nation Army

From Stripespedia



Other Appearances

  • Appeared on the 2003 episode of Joan of Arcadia, "The Fire and the Wood".
  • Performed for the 46th Grammy Awards in 2004, introduced by Beck. The song won the Grammy for Best Rock Song the same year. (See it here.)
  • Appeared on VH1's 2008 program 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs.
  • Appeared on the 2008 episode of Skins, "Everyone".
  • Appeared on the 2009 episode of So You Think You Can Dance, "Two of 12 Voted Off".


  • The Flaming Lips recorded a rendition of this song entitled "Seven Nation Army (Harry Potter's and George W. Bush's Severed Head Army Mix)", and it appears on their 2005 Late Night Tales compilation Late Night Tales: The Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips' version is essentially a good chunk of the lyrics to the Butthole Surfers song "Moving to Florida", to the tune of "Seven Nation Army" and a lot of megaphone siren. (Hear it here.) The Flaming Lips and the White Stripes performed this song together for their New Year's Eve show in Chicago in 2004. (See the performance here.)
  • Audioslave has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Kelly Clarkson has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • OneRepublic has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Kate Nash has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Ben l'Oncle Soul has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • The Oak Ridge Boys have covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Weezer has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Alice Russell has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Nostalgia 77 has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • C.W. Stoneking has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Metallica has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • A Fine Frenzy has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • The Dynamics have covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • The BossHoss has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Vyvienne Long has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Hard-Fi has covered this. (Hear it here.)
  • Sampled by the rapper Apathy for his song "It Takes A Seven Nation Army To Hold Us Back". (Hear it here.)
  • Also reportedly covered by Ryan Adams, A Perfect Circle, and Living Colour, among others.





  • Meg White: "Jack basically wrote [Seven Nation Army] around the idea of this guy who comes into town and all his friends are gossiping about him. It gets so bad, he wants to leave town and then he decides not to."
  • Jack White: "The song's about gossip. It's about me, Meg and the people we're dating. The world constantly tries to dissect people, chew them up and spit them out. We get that all the time, people wanting our songs for commercials, wanting to know what the inside of Meg's bathroom looks like."

Band Quotes

  • Jack White: "I wrote that riff in a soundcheck in Australia at a show that we played down there. I was working on this phrase that I used to say when I was a kid. I used to call the Salvation Army "Seven Nation Army" because I thought that's what the name was. So I was working around that and it just became a song about gossip. When I wrote that, I thought if I ever got asked to write the next James Bond theme, that would be the riff for it."
  • Jack White: "That's not a bass at the start, but my guitar with an octave pedal."
  • Jack White: "It felt strong when we mixed the album down. It felt like it should be the first track on the album. It just felt like an opening, explosive thing. I thought it would be interesting to release that at first."


  • Undeniably the band's most popular and well-known song.
  • Live guitar: The Kay in open A.
  • Won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 2004.
  • The riff was written at a sound check before a show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia. It was inspired by the main theme of Anton Bruckner's Fifth Symphony.
  • In March 2005, Q Magazine placed "Seven Nation Army" at #8 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.
  • Ranked #1 on UpVenue's 10 Best White Stripes Songs.


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 talking to myself at night because I can't forget, back and forth through my mind behind a cigarette, and the message coming from my eyes says leave it alone. Don't want to 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 coming 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 forevermore. 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 coming from my blood tell me go back home.


The music video for the song was directed by Alex and Martin. It consists of one seemingly continuous shot through a kaleidoscopic tunnel of mirrored black, white and red triangles, referencing the recurring White Stripes motifs of both the number three and the colors black, white and red. At various points in the video, marching skeletons (a reference to Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts) and an elephant (a reference to the album title) appear.

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