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Seven Nation Army
Song

Seven Nation Army

The White Stripes
Album:
Elephant

Song meaning and background of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes


During a soundcheck for one of the White Stripes' Australian tours, Jack White was fiddling with his guitar when he came across the heaviest hard-rock riff.


White once remarked, "I didn't have lyrics for it until later, and I was just calling it 'Seven Nation Army' — that's what I called the Salvation Army back in the day."


"So, that was just a way for me to remember which [riff] I was talking about." By the time he had finished the song's lyrics, which addressed rumours that he and and his ex wife, White Stripes drummer Meg White were seeing someone else, he had given the phrase new life: "I'm gonna fight 'em all/A seven nation army couldn't hold me back." The riff is the same.


The song's lyrics were inspired by the increased publicity towards the White Stripes. According to Jack White, the song tells the story of a person who, upon entering a town, hears its residents gossiping about him and proceeds to leave the town in response. Driven by a sense of loneliness, he ultimately returns. Regarding the song's meaning, White stated, "The song's about gossip. It's about me, Meg and the people we're dating."


"Seven Nation Army" has evolved into a sports anthem and is frequently used in crowd chants when the song's riff is shouted along with a succession of "oh" sounds or an athlete's name. Additionally, it has been used as the theme song for other sports individuals, groups, and occasions, such as the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


Guitar Chords and lyrics of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes


[Verse 1]

          Em            G  C  B

I'm gonna fight 'em off

               Em            G       C    B

A seven nation army couldn't hold me back

              Em         G  C  B

They're gonna rip it off

             Em           G       C    B

Taking their time right behind my back

        Em           G       C

And I'm talking to myself at night

          B        Em  G  C  B

Because I can't forget

Em             G          C

Back and forth through my mind

         B   Em    G  C  B

Behind a cigarette

      G                      A

And a message coming from my eyes says leave it alone

 

[Instrumental Chorus]

Em G C B x4

G   A

 

[Interlude]

Em G C B x4

 

[Verse 2]

            Em            G  C  B

Don't wanna hear about it

               Em            G       C    B

Every single one's got a story to tell

          Em            G  C  B

Everyone knows about it

               Em            G       C    B

From the Queen of England to the hounds of Hell

          Em            G  C  B

And if I catch it coming back my way

               Em            G       C    B

I'm gonna serve it to you

          Em            G  C  B

And that ain't what you want to hear

               Em            G       C    B

But that's what I'll do

      G                      A

And a feeling coming from my bones says find a home

 

[Solo]

Em G C B x8

G   A

 

[Interlude]

Em G C B x4

 

[Verse 3]

             Em      G  C  B

I'm goin' to Wichita

               Em            G       C    B

Far from this opera, forever more

          Em             G  C  B

I'm gonna work the straw

               Em            G       C    B

Make the sweat drip out of every pore

          Em            G  C  B

And I'm bleeding and I'm bleeding and I'm bleeding

               Em            G       C    B

Right before the Lord

        Em              G            C

All the words are gonna bleed from me

           B         Em   G  C  B

And I will think no more

        G                     A

And the stains coming from my blood tell me go back home

 

[Instrumental Chorus]

Em G C B x4

Em

Release Date

2003

Songwriter/s

Jack White

Producer/s

Jack White

Label/s

V2, XL, Third Man

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