In the 11 years since the White Stripes unleashed Elephant, “Seven Nation Army” has become the Detroit duo’s signature song. With its primal energy, coolly detached lyrics, and, of course, that famous descending bass riff (so what if it was actually played on a pitch-shifted guitar?), the 2003 track has turned into an arena staple. The latest proof of its ubiquity? Its status as the unofficial theme song to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The thunderous track has actually been played for years at soccer matches around the world…
especially in Italy, where it’s apparently known as the “Po Po Po Po Po Po” song.
Here in the States, “Seven Nation Army” soundtracks pro football…
In the 2014 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat came out to it…
and were eventually shamed with it, when Spurs fans chanted the song after Miami lost a 113 to 77 blowout.
Thanks to its simplicity and straightforward progression, “Seven Nation Army” is covered often and in a variety of styles. There’s the techno version that was assembled for the 2012 UEFA European Championship…
and this countrified rendition that vocal group the Oak Ridge Boys did for Sirius Radio. (Skip to the 1:45 mark.)
And, of course, the Flaming Lips have done Flaming Lips-y things to it.
There’s also this version, played by a cruise ship…
and this one, done by a kid who’s learning guitar.
Oh, and there’s this guy, who scares his cat with the song…
and, uh, there’s this as well…
For a quick lesson on “Seven Nation Army” from Jack White himself, watch the former White Stripe teach Jimmy Page and the Edge how to play the song in this scene from the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud.