Your Southern Can Is Mine

Songfacts®:

  • This was originally written and recorded by blues legend Blind Willie McTell in 1930.
  • The album title is taken from the Dutch art movement, also known as neoplasticism, founded in 1917 in Amsterdam. Abstract artist Piet Mondrian, who coined the term neoplasticism, explained the style:

    "As a pure representation of the human mind, art will express itself in an aesthetically purified, that is to say, abstract form. The new plastic idea cannot therefore, take the form of a natural or concrete representation – this new plastic idea will ignore the particulars of appearance, that is to say, natural form and color. On the contrary it should find its expression in the abstraction of form and color, that is to say, in the straight line and the clearly defined primary color."
  • Jack White explained why he chose the cover to Guitar World, February 2006: "When we were finishing that album, I decided I wanted to dedicate it to Blind Willie McTell. During that time it hit me that McTell and most of the great country bluesmen were recording and performing in the early-'20s, which was the same time period as when the De Stijl art movement was taking root. They were both doing the same things: breaking things down to their essences. In my mind, both the country blues and the De Stijl movement represented a new beginning of music and art, perhaps for the rest of eternity. Both broke their respective arts down to its very core. You couldn't get anymore simple and pure than the De Stijl school. They only used squares, circles, horizontal and vertical lines and primary colors. That's it. The country blues of Son House and Charley Patton also brought music down to its fundamentals. I wanted to draw those comparisons between these two things, which made people think that Meg and I were art students, which we weren't. I couldn't afford it. I probably would've gone if I could." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

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