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"Seven Nation Army" is the first track on the album Elephant by American rock band The White Stripes. It was released as a single in 2003, and won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. The song is known for its underlying riff, which plays throughout most of the song. Although it sounds like a bass guitar (an instrument the group had famously never previously used), the sound is actuallce in popular music.

According to White, "Seven Nation Army" was what he used to call the Salvation Army as a child.[1]

In March 2005, Q magazine placed "Seven Nation Army" at number 8 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks.Template:Fact

In September 2005, NME placed "Seven Nation Army" at number 5 in its list of the 50 Greatest Tracks Of The Decade.

Track listing Edit


  1. "Seven Nation Army" - 3:52
  2. "Good to Me" - 2:06
  3. "Black Jack Davey" - 5:06


  1. "Seven Nation Army" - 3:52
  2. "Good to Me" - 2:06

7" (Promo)Edit

  1. "Seven Nation Army" - 3:52
  2. "In The Cold, Cold Night" - 2:58

CD (Radio Promo) Edit

  1. "Seven Nation Army" - 3:52

Music videoEdit

The video, directed by Alex and Martin, consists of one seemingly continuous shot through a tunnel of mirrored black, white and red triangles, each containing a picture of either Jack or Meg playing. During the video, when the song reaches a rockish point, lights flash. Images of walking skeleton soldiers (a reference to Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts) also appear regularly. An elephant (referring to the name of their album) appears once near the end. As the pace of the song speeds up, the speed that one "passes" through the tunnel speeds up, and as it slows, the speed through the tunnel slows.

Cover versionsEdit

  • Electronic group Punk Division covered the track, which appears on Ultra Dance 5.
  • The track was sampled by the rapper, Apathy for his 12" single entitled It Takes A Seven Nation Army To Hold Us Back.
  • The Flaming Lips recorded a version of Seven Nation Army, dubbed "Harry Potter's and George W. Bush's Severed Head Army Mix". The lyrics to this version were evidently inspired by the Butthole Surfers song, "Moving To Florida".
  • The Hives performed this song as a part of a medley, when they got to choose their favourite songs the recent years, when Swedish musicshow "Musikbyrån" celebrated 10 years.
  • Metallica performed this song also as a part of a medley during the MTV VMA's 2003.
  • The Veronicas also performed this song as part of a medley during shows on their US tour in February 2006
  • Freddy De Vadder has famously parodied the song known in Belgium as "De flikken zin min moaten" (Eng: The cops are my friends), starting the song with his trademark sentence: 'k Goan up joen mulle slaon (Eng: I'm going to hit you on the face).
  • Audioslave would often perform a cover of this song at their live concerts

Usage in sportEdit

  • The main riff of the song has turned into a popular chant that has become a staple at various sporting events around the world. Seven Nation Army was first sung during the UEFA Champions League matches of Bruges F.C. in the season 2003-2004. After the Uefa Cup match between Bruges F.C. and A.S. Roma, the Roma fans introduced the song in Italy[2].
  • Italian football fans often chant the song's signature guitar riff, most notably during Italy's victory in the FIFA World Cup 2006. About 10 million Italians were supposedly singing the song across the nation the night following the final[3]. Coincidentally, in order to win the World Cup, a team has to play against seven different nations. The success of the chant led to the song gaining a second Italian Top Ten entry, peaking at #3.
  • Following the popular adaptation by the tifosi of the Italian national football team, fans of Melbourne Victory FC in Australia's A-League have begun to also use the riff at games. The widespread use came about after several Melbourne Victory fans attended the World Cup in Germany and adopted the chant being sung by the Italian fans. The song is also used by the radio station SEN 1116 as their theme tune for their A-League broadcasts.
  • Occasionally, during home football games, the Penn State Blue Band will play their rendition of Seven Nation Army as the team is driving down the field.
  • The song is also played in the Air Canada Centre during Toronto Raptors games.
  • Isabelle Severino used Seven Nation Army as her floor music in her gold medal winning routine at the 2005 European Gymnastics Championships.
  • It is often used by fans of Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) to ridicule the sexuality of their ciy rivals to the words of 'All Hibees are gay'. This started in the Scottish Cup Semi-Final in 2006, which Hearts won 4-0, and later went on to win the cup, the oldest cup trophy in the world.


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SAC
  2. Belgian Newspaper, De Standaard
  3. Sports Illustrated staff writer (2006)."Totti's time" (accessed July 11, 2006)

External linksEdit

Template:Start box Template:Succession box Template:End box

Template:TnavbarThe White Stripes
Jack White | Meg White
Albums and EPs: The White Stripes | De Stijl | White Blood Cells | Elephant | Get Behind Me Satan | Walking with a Ghost | Icky Thump
Singles: "Let's Shake Hands" | "Lafayette Blues" | "The Big Three Killed My Baby" | "Hand Springs" | "Hello Operator" | "Lord, Send Me an Angel" | "Party of Special Things to Do" | "Hotel Yorba" | "Fell in Love with a Girl" | "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" | "We're Going to Be Friends" |
"Red Death at 6:14" | "Candy Cane Children" | "Seven Nation Army" | "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" | "The Hardest Button to Button" | "There's No Home for You Here" | "Jolene (Live Under Blackpool Lights)" | "Blue Orchid" | "My Doorbell" | "The Denial Twist" | "Icky Thump" | "Rag and Bone"
DVDs: Candy Coloured Blues (unofficial) | Under Blackpool Lights
Other projects: Aluminium
Related articles
Sympathy for the Record Industry | Third Man Records | Ian Montone | Triple Inchophone | The Upholsterers | The Go | The Raconteurs
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