Icky Thump

Album: Icky Thump (2007)
Charted: 2 26

Songfacts®:

  • On the UK music show Later With Jools Holland (June 1, 2007), Jack White explained that he had heard his British wife, model Karen Elson, use the expression "Ecky Thump," a Northern English phrase that means "What The Heck." He changed it to the more American sounding "Icky" (meaning disgusting) so that teenagers would get it, citing how Led Zeppelin dropped the "A" in "Lead" for the same reason. Jack liked the expression and wrote the song around it with his bandmate Meg White.
  • The song is a commentary on immigration, and how immigrants are treated unfairly in America.
  • The lyrics, "I'm gonna sing around the collar" is a play on "Ring around the collar," which refers to the tough-to-remove sweat and dirt stains on the inside of shirt collars. It is typically used in laundry detergent commercials.
  • Candy cane is a traditional American red and white striped Christmas candy. The White Stripes use only these colors (often in stripes) and black in their sets and costumes.
  • The "Dry Ice" mentioned in the lyrics refers to solid carbon dioxide, which is typically used in horror films to create artificial fog. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3
  • This was voted by the Rolling Stone magazine readers as their favorite song of 2007.
  • This won a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals. The album won for Best Alternative Music Album.
  • Jack White mentions all three of the band's colors in this song: Redhead Senorita, One White Eye, and Black Rum. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alix - Pinkerton, MI
  • "Icky Thump" invites American bigots to "kick yourself out - you're an immigrant too." White told Mojo magazine the song's lyrics about white Americans, Mexico and immigrants became even more pertinent during Donald Trump's presidency.

    "It's funny how much that ended up relating to Trump," he said. "We started selling T-shirts that said 'Icky Trump,' and they became our best-selling T-shirt ever. The song became completely relevant at that moment, even though it was written in another time period. But there's always some ridiculous notion of immigration in America, and yet the whole place is built on immigrants."

Comments: 15

  • White Stripes Fan from Your Moms Bedroom.That's stupid. You're not an immigrant of you're born in the country. There's a diffrence between immigrant and settler. Immigrants benifit off the current society. Settlers set up the society immigrants benefit off. For the record, like most people, legal immigration is fine. It's the illegal aliens we're tired of. I know the left like to box us all in together, but only a fringe minority of right leaners are against immigration all together. Trump 2020
  • Mm Mars from UsaCertainly we enjoy the artistry of this song, and after so many years it seems more prophetic and relevant. The political statement is obvious. As someone who desired duel citizenship (US and Mexico) I can share that our country to the south is not welcoming of this even when we attempt to legally obtain citizenship. As a US citizen I am acutely aware that I cannot easily go across the border to Mexico and be welcomed as a new citizen. Why do Americans think we should openly welcome people into our country when it's not reciprocated?
  • Guy from Somewhere In North AmericaHonestly, it's a good song, but the true meaning of the song is a bit ignorant of America's issues with immigration. I feel we should try to sort stuff out with Mexico and other governments when it comes to immigration. The funny thing is that other nations are criticizing Trump for deporting illegal immigrants from America, but the EU is experiencing the problems with minimal border security.
  • Guy from Benson, NcI've never understood the appeal of these 2. He's a very run of the mill player and she plays drums on the level of Mickey Dolenz from the Monkees.
  • Drew from Bateville, Inthe best guitar riff of 2007 (the year it was released)
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlOMG! This song is CRAZY! I love The White Stripes!! Geez...Jack can play the crap outta that guitar!!!
  • Ben from Rohnert Park, Casounds like a led zeppelin song
  • Lilbasschick from Los Angeles, CaActually there are a lot of girl drummers, they just aren't famous.
  • Allie from Pine Knob, Mivery interesting song. So simple but pieced together to be very, very intricate!!!!!!!!
    i love the synthisizers!!!
    Meg White is the best!!!
    one of the few female drummers around
  • Emily from Abingdon, VaThank you Luke! I had been wondering what that was!
  • Luke from Sarasota, FlThe synthisizer used was the Univox, one of the first anolog Synthisizers. It dates way back to 1946 and can only play one note at a time - if a chord is played, it comes out broken down and as several notes played in succesion.
  • Ronoc from Flint, Mijolly awesome song
  • Hunter from Marshamellow, Vathis is a vey good song, i love the guitar/elctric keyboard/syntisyzer
  • Kiran from Shelton, Ctgood but overrated. hes written better
  • Zach from Springfield, OhThe effects sound like they come from a Clavioline. Its a very early electronic keyboard. But it also might be from a pitch- shifted guitar effect.
see more comments

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