The Hardest Button To Button

Album: Elephant (2003)
Charted: 23

Songfacts®:

  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jake - Colmar, France
  • On the White Stripes FAQ, Jack White is quoted as saying this about the song: "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.'" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bert - Pueblo, NM
  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Weslee - Hartsburg, IL
  • 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). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Third Man photographer David Swanson recalled his contribution to this song in an Uncut interview:

    "I was there with Jack and Meg, filming and photography in the making of the album. There was too much feedback in between the verse riffs, so Jack tried to turn on a compressor pedal to kill it. But it became a nuisance, so I was enlisted to play the compressor pedal on the song, turning it off and on between every riff."

Comments: 5

  • James from Murray, IaAwsome vid
  • Dan from Poulsbo, Wai had opinions that didnt matter.


    thats the story of my life
  • /alix\ from Pinkerton, MiPsshh, this should be my theme-song.
  • Mirna from Portoviejo, Ecuadortheres a parody of the video in an episode of the simpsons...
  • Nick from Edmonton, Canadathis music video is creative and great
see more comments

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