Please God, Don't Tell Anyone

Album: Entering Heaven Alive (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Please God, Don't Tell Anyone" finds Jack White fearing divine retribution for all the sins he's committed. "Will the things I did well, save me from hell?" the singer pleads.
  • White recorded "Please God, Don't Tell Anyone" for Entering Heaven Alive. Religious imagery abounds throughout the album, especially on this track. "I was reading a bunch of different religious texts - Buddhist texts, the Quran and some things from the Old Testament," he told UK newspaper The Sun. "I was trying to pick up on different themes and the characters you find in these stories."
  • The intriguing album title comes from the account in 2 Kings 2 v 11 of the prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven.

    As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.

    The passage fascinated White. "The idea that the prophet Elijah had gone to heaven without dying had never occurred to me," he said. "When I was younger, I didn't really conclude in my head that there was no death involved. So I thought Elijah's story provided an interesting concept."
  • Jack White was raised a devout Catholic, and both his parents worked for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He served as an altar boy in his youth and contemplated the priesthood. The teenage White accepted a place in a seminary in Wisconsin, but changed his mind when he realized he probably wouldn't have been able to bring along his new amplifier. White still identifies with Catholicism, but can find spiritual fulfillment in other religions. "I feel strongly connected to God," White told Relevant magazine. "My roots are Catholic by default. I can take elements from Buddhism or other religions and see the similarities and differences in those, and learn from those, but at the end of the day, I don't care as much about man's interpretation of religion. What I care about is what God tells me directly."
  • Other Jack White songs inspired by the Bible include The White Stripes' "Blue Orchid" and "Cannon," and his solo Blunderbluss track, "I'm Shakin'."
  • Jack White wrote and produced "Please God, Don't Tell Anyone" and played acoustic guitar. The other musicians are:

    Ben Swank: drums
    Quincy McCrary: piano
    Dominic Davis: bass
    Mark Watrous: Wurlitzer piano

    Ben Swank co-founded the Third Man label with White. The former drummer for Ohio's Soledad Brothers, Swank doesn't consider himself much of a musician. When he visited White one day, White said he needed basic rhythms for three songs. They cut three tunes in a day, of which two, this song and "A Tip from You to Me," made Entering Heaven Alive. "I thought he just needed someone to get ideas on tape, Swank told Mojo magazine. "He liked it enough to keep working."

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