Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: ElephantReleased: 2003Charted:
This song is about a young boy who is rejected or ignored by his family because he did something bad to his baby brother. The lyrics can be seen as a statement on the inequality of attention in families that have more than one child, or about how a child is psychologically abused by his parents.
Jack White: "There's a button at the top of my navy peacoat, and it's the hardest button to button. I thought that was a great metaphor for the off man out in the family. It also comes from sayings of my father, like 'My uncle Harold had a 10 button vest but he could only fasten 8.'"
In the Michel Gondry-directed video, Jack White's amp and Meg White's drum kit trail behind on every beat as they travel through a town. They had 32 amps and 32 drum kits for the shoot.
The video was parodied on an episode of The Simpsons
where Jack and Meg guest starred. Gondry also directed the clips for The White Stripes' "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground
," "The Denial Twist
," and "Fell In Love With A Girl
Beck makes a cameo in the video for this song. When Jack sings "and a box with somethin' in it" Beck presents him with a box.
According to the July 2007 issue of GQ
magazine, Jack White once wanted to record a music video for this song based on a film of Thomas Edison killing an elephant using a Tesla coil (Jim Jarmusch was going to direct, Philip Seymour Hoffman was to star).