The story of the biggest stadium song, “Seven Nation Army.”

Football Fans

The fourth album by American rock band The White Stripes, called “Elephant” and released in 2003, starts with “Seven Nation Army.” Football fans especially love the song with its killer guitar riff, so it is known and even sung by people who have never heard of The White Stripes. Therefore, it’s safe to say that “Seven Nation Army” is the band’s most famous song.

The story of creation and meaning of the “Seven Nation Army.”

Interesting is the origin of the song’s name, the “Seven Nation Army.” According to Jack White, the author of the music and the lead singer of the White Stripes, when he was a child, he thought that this was the name of the Salvation Army. “Seven Nation Army,” however, is not a favourite charity.

The song began with the same guitar riff that became the song’s hallmark. Jack White composed it during a soundcheck before a concert at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne and named it the “Seven Nation Army”. Initially, he didn’t put any meaning into the phrase: it just needed to signify a new tune. Later, however, when Jack wrote the lyrics to the song, the term took on a new meaning.

White said that he wrote the lyrics to “Seven Nation Army” under the impression of an unpleasant experience related to popularity. He explained that the song’s main character is a guy who settles in a new town, but gossipers don’t let him live in peace, and he is forced to leave, although he doesn’t want to.

In a nutshell, that’s how Jack characterized “Seven Nation Army”:

“It’s a song about gossip. It’s about Meg and me and the people we meet”.

Whether in jest or earnest, White said in an interview that he planned to use the guitar riff as the theme song for the next James Bond movie if he was asked to write it. But then he decided that was unlikely and created a “Seven Nation Army” song based on it.

“Seven Nation Army” in sports

And now a few words about “Seven Nation Army” and sports. It is said that the fans’ love for the song started with the fans of the football club Brugge, who began to sing it at the Champions League match when their team played against AC Milan. Soon, this season of the Champions League continues, and the fans can find all the news and betting predictions about Italian teams at

However, the Italians made the song famous as an anthem for the Italians supporting their national team at the 2006 World Cup. To be crowned world champions, they must defeat seven other national teams: seven nations. The Italian squad succeeded that time, and their fans sang “Seven Nation Army” fiercely at every match.

Little wonder then that the song returned to the local charts, where it rose to number three.

And since then, football fans often sing “Seven Nation Army” in the stands, inserting lines that glorify their idols or ridicule their rivals.

American football fans also love the “Seven Nation Army.”

“Seven Nation Army” release

Interestingly, neither music producers in the States nor England recognized “Seven Nation Army” as a future hit and did not want to release it as the first single from the “Elephant” album. But Jack insisted, and he was right. The song topped many charts, was included on various best tracks lists of the 2000s and won White a Grammy.

“Seven Nation Army” was listed as one of the 500 greatest songs of all time by Rolling Stone.

Interesting Facts

  • It might sound like the main guitar riff is played on bass, but Jack White played it on a Kay Hollowbody semi-acoustic guitar with a DigiTech Whammy pedal.
  • Francesco Totti, the Italian national football team player, sang ‘Seven Nation Army’ outside with a massive army of fans after his team’s triumph at the World Cup.
  • When White begins singing the third verse in the video clip, he points to his palm with his fingers clenched together. This is how the Michigan natives make it clear where they’re from, as the state’s outline on the map resembles a mitten.