This 9 minute 23 second song evolved from one that guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez had written for the Texas band At The Drive-In several years previously.
"Viscera" refers to any of the organs situated within the chest or abdomen. Animal viscera were used by Roman pagan priests for fortune telling rituals.
Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala in Kerrang! magazine January 26, 2008: "The guitar player from the White Stripes said: 'They're always singing about body parts. What's up with those guys?' I didn't realize, but we kind of do! I'm not happy with the way I look and my body. I think everyone can identify with that. Everyone has their parts that they hide or that they try to change. Even us having curly hair, once you're around people who have straight hair, sometimes you want what you don't have."
"The Night Chicago Died" was written and recorded by the British group Paper Lace. They talk about Al Capone in the song, but got a lot of details wrong - understandable since they wrote it based on gangster movies.