How SEVEN NATION ARMY Became A Stadium Chant

I’d like to thank Skillshare for sponsoring this video the first 500 people to use the link in the description will get two months of Skillshare premium free Seven Nation Army has one of the most recognizable riffs of all time. Its melody has become a global sports anthem and while it might sound like it’s played on a bass guitar, that sound is created by Jack White’s semi-acoustic guitar Brought down an octave by a guitar pedal. The band never used a bass guitar until the album that followed and that had to do in part with the band’s obsession with the number three. They only ever used three colors on their album covers, promotional materials and onstage. Their third album was recorded in three days. Jack White likes to throw the number onto the end of his name. His record label is Third Man Records and he wrote a song for Loretta Lynn that was exactly 3 minutes and 33 seconds long. Alright, I might be stretching it with that last one but where the stripes rule of three was most evident was in their sound since they played as a two-piece onstage, aside from vocals, each of them could only play one instrument at a time. The group would add more elements to their minimalist composition over time but always came back to rock’s three main ingredients of guitar, drums, and vocals. They found liberation in limiting themselves. It forced them to be creative with a small toolkit — and there is equality in that simplicity Seven Nation Army has become timeless. There are more people who know the tune than those who even know its authors, making Seven Nation Army the last great American folk song. The White Stripes are Jack and Meg White and despite what the group has publicly tried to portray, the two are not brother and sister. In fact, they were married for a short period of time which is when Jack adopted Meg’s last name he liked the way it sounded. Probably one of the more controversial aspects of the White Stripes is Meg White’s drumming. Her technique or lack thereof has been called primitive by nearly every publication who comments on it. But when Jack White’s started dating Meg He had her try out the drums one day and said having her on drums liberated him. Her drumming was basic but she provided the rhythm and timing to complement Jack’s guitar and vocals and it only added to their stripped-down sound. But her value really came from her chemistry with Jack. There’s an unmistakable connection between the two on stage. They read each other’s cues so well and they had to. The group performed without a set list improvising from track to track. JACK WHITE: But we don’t have a setlist in the White Stripes. Simply put, Meg white wasn’t a drummer, she was The White Stripes’ drummer. Without a doubt, Jack White’s guitar work was the spotlight of every track. Full of power chords, fuzzy tones and screaming guitar solos. It was raw and it always sounded live and improvised. To achieve this, Jack stuck with vintage guitars, the same ones used by his heroes. Jack played Seven Nation Army on a 1950s Kay Hollowbody. One of the first companies to make electric guitars and using a digi-tech whammy pedal, he was able to make it sound like a bass guitar. THE EDGE: I always thought it was a bass that opened the song. JACK WHITE: An octave down, the whammy pedal an octave down. When he first played the riff, it didn’t get much of a reaction from Meg or his crew but Jack knew he had something here and wanted to save the track for something special. He wanted to use it for a Bond theme if he ever got the chance. He eventually did make a Bond track, but decided on keeping Seven Nation Army as the opener for their fourth album Elephant. The group’s label initially wanted to use there’s no home for you here as the lead single. But Jack insisted that Seven Nation Army be the first thing people heard from this new album. It won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. It held a top spot on Billboard’s Alternative Rock chart for three straight weeks. and became the third best performing song of the decade on that same chart. Three really was their lucky number. But how did the rock anthem go from the charts into stadiums? It all started later that same year, one October night in Belgium. Seven Nation Army had already passed its peak but still had some radio presence. Belgium’s Football Club Brugge KV was set to take on Italy’s AC Milan in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. While pre drinking before the game, Brugge supporters, also known as the blue army, heard the riff through the bar’s stereo and started singing along. They brought it with them through the streets and then into the stadium and this is the goal that started it all. From then on the blue army started chanting the alternative rock riff after every Brugge goal. It was short, catchy and intimidating, You didn’t need to know the lyrics and more importantly you didn’t need to be sober to join it, The Belgians made it theirs until 2006 when AS Roma beat Brugga in the 2006 UEFA Cup, taking the chant back home to Italy where it became known as The PO PO PO PO song — and just on time for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Italy would come out on top after coincidentally after defeating seven nations and the chant was carried throughout the streets of Rome that day. Since then, Seven Nation Army has become the unofficial anthem of soccer. Or football. Sorry. They played it at the start of every game in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Euro Cups. It’s become a chant for local and national teams across the continent and the sports world in general joining jock jams like Rock and Roll Part 2. Kerncraft 400 And one of the most notorious Queen’s We Will Rock You. So when I say Seven Nation Army is the last great American folk song, I don’t mean folk as in Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes singer-songwriter stuff. But as in music of the people. Songs, melodies and chants that communities have really made their own. Transcending borders and language. The songs just so happens to be American. Some music just really connects in a visceral way that makes it memorable and enjoyable to large groups of people. Jack White compared sports arenas to church gatherings where many folk songs were originally shared Stadiums have become our new way of sharing those songs. You don’t need to know what Seven Nation Army is about or where it came from to join in. Language splits the world into distinct pieces while music unifies us as a whole Music is a natural building block of communication and we probably sang before we spoke and when we gather in a sports stadium and begin harmonizing together, we connect with the people around us. We’re participating in a core human experience. Together. If you’re looking to enhance your own human experience you can do so with Skillshare. It’s an online learning community with a ton of classes ranging from Nathan Forest’s 31-day guitar challenge to improving your football game with certified personal trainer, Jen Puzio. If you use the first link in the description You’ll get two months of Skillshare for free and you can start challenging yourself to learn something new this summer. Thanks for watching ladies and gents. Patrons, thank you for the continued support. Your pledges go towards making this show better If you enjoyed the video please give it a like rating, subscribe to learn more about the music you love and tell me do you think Seven Nation Army will live on for years to come? Will we ever get a new stadium chant? Probably. But let me know what you guys think in the comments below and that’s it from me. Again, thanks for watching and keep listening.

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100 Responses

  1. Middle 8 says:

    The White Stripes are my most listened to artist on Spotify. Who are yours? Continue the conversation on:

  2. Dani Jay says:

    Brüge* is hows it’s pronounced but otherwise loved the video

  3. Adam Peri says:

    2:34 White Stripes’s drummer? Or just White Stripes’ drummer?

  4. Julio Robles says:

    GGG ?

  5. Eric Stodolnik says:

    “The last great American folk song”?
    Lol… yeaaahhhh… I don’t know about that.

  6. vausemike says:

    What exactly is a buscuit?

  7. Shelley Grainger says:

    And now it's Jeremy Corbyn's tune: 'Oh, Jeremy Corbyn, Oh Jeremy Corbyn!'

  8. Vienna banana says:

    "Soccer or… football." Was about to break a glass but then you said sorry and all's forgiven my mate.

  9. Matt Madness says:

    Alle Duitsers zijn hoomo's…

  10. Fanour says:

    Always third huh? Looks like kiras stand should be named “Seven nation army” instead of “killer queen”

  11. Hussein Alsayed says:

    E E GEDCBEEgdcdcb

  12. Chris Kennedy says:

    Remember another little band who they said had a bad drummer ? Went on to have 1 or 2 hits. Think his name was Ringo Star !

  13. Timothy Haze says:

    I really doubt it was first sang by Club Brugge.

  14. MATIX says:

    Club Brugge ??

  15. cheater 59 says:

    What about the rule of two though? Darth Bane deserves some recognition.

  16. The invisible Dude says:

    They are fucken amazing ?

  17. Schattenherz says:

    Meg looks someone who came from medieval times.
    No beauty, but i would lay her.

  18. Gud says:

    Shit I missed my subway stop

  19. Bryan Brown says:

    The White Stripes are the most overrated band in history, just sayin'

  20. b x n n y says:

    Fun fact: this song exist because of a confusion from Jack. The correct way would be Salvation Army, but he thought it was Seven Nation Army, so, here we are.

  21. Momsemann says:

    Fun fact: Jack White thought mispronounced the salvation army as a kid and that where the name comes from

  22. subash bist says:

    music doesn't differentiate caste religion or country but it straight touch to heart and soul feel you happy that is all about music which take you another world . where there is no hate rate.

  23. Anaxytha says:

    eh, there will always be another.

  24. Matthew Collins says:

    Great video

  25. Sarah Bunnell says:

    the first 30 seconds killed my dreams

  26. reetlthebeetl says:

    I love this song so much

  27. Marvin Bennett says:

    Sounds like dude married his sister ?

  28. Jimbodiah says:

    Why was it not named Three Nation Army???????

  29. Pennywise the Clown says:


  30. WorthlessDeadEnd says:

    Why did I think The Rolling Stones did this song?

  31. cj222100 says:

    Very interesting. One of those things I'd wondered about, but never really bothered to find out on my own.

  32. M4LPOINT says:

    Jack, what are ya doin step bro?!

  33. Thomas Shepherd says:

    Most American pronunciation of 'Brugge' ever!

  34. Acrelair Tv says:

    5:45 you used a pic of rangers fc thanks my man

  35. The Queen of Spades says:

    With all those 3s Jack White would definitely become a pyromaniac

  36. Jason De Muro says:

    This was a great video! I remember hearing Jack White came up with the riff for seven nation army while trying to compose a song without a chorus. not sure if it's true though.

  37. Supergj 7 says:

    Bro my friend on ps4 legit never heard the song

  38. AnxiousHeart 2342 says:

    Michael van gerwen uses seven nation army in darts.

  39. Loknath 007 says:

    Cool to learn where all the crazy chants came from, specially as a white stripes fan who got pissed as why nobody knows the white stripes but chant seven nation army.

  40. Ty Wild327 says:

    You also forgot battle field 1 gave the song a HUGE boost in popularity

  41. Hagfan789 says:

    I do like the song..& like Jack White.but i think without the power of the internet…this entire thing would never had made it out of a local bar stage.

  42. George Hatton says:

    Did you play a garry glitter song lmao

  43. 11Reaper9 says:

    Joker and the thief could be one of the stadium songs too. Maybe

  44. Thesaurus Rext says:

    On the one hand this video is incredible. Holy shit great job. But also, on the other hand, I'm drunk and at the end I was like "Damn bro, shits deep and shit." so it's THAT much more incredible. Keep doing this stuff wow!

  45. Charlie Cross says:

    I remember the first time I saw the Seven Nation Army video I thought I have to have that CD and I instantly became a huge Stripes fan

  46. trollking99 says:

    I like the Hitler version of Seven Nation Army.

  47. Troy Shule says:

    You know they really need ?ass!

  48. Kyle 31 says:

    Seven Nation Army and Olé,Olé,Olé are 1 note different and in a stepwise motion making it literally one of the easiest things to ever chant in fact the biggest difference between the 2 is a third of an octave meaning you can jump around easily to the song and the other part is the melody 7 nations army is only 7 note riffs and olé is 12 note riffs this makes it easy to contrafactum, change the lyrics, and have your own chant like most chants you see in football they have been contrafactumed for centuries.
    -the more you know

  49. XDSilver 3D says:

    It should be 3 nation army

  50. NEWBEATS MUSIC. says:

    When was this song copyrighted?

  51. Ana Nimity says:

    jack gave my bro a black gibson SG and i got to play it whenever i went over to visit.
    i got to play it at a house party once through my buds 50 watt soldano.

  52. Hannah R says:

    NO SCOTLAND NO PARTY???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  53. Joe Cox-Vowles says:

    Brugge? Broo with a soft j.

  54. Carter Waggoner says:

    Man it became the new “ we will rock you “

  55. Scoombs Loobooms says:

    When ever I hear a full f***ing crowd sing this song I get chills. Especially at an All Black rugby game.

  56. Carmel Kirk says:

    That's that chick from PornHub! I'll be damned.

  57. Eric Bukley says:

    And I also have been obsessed with the number 3 for….a while.
    Sometimes when I'm bored in an elevator or waiting in line somewhere I find myself counting to 3 over and over again…. can't remember when I started doing this.

    It's normal….. rite?

  58. Malik Oumarou says:

    everyone knows the ravens owns this song

  59. Loretta 253 says:

    okay.. Seven nation army is good but We're going to be friends is better

  60. Bald Man says:

    Aaaaaaalllfredooo moreeeeeelllooosssss

  61. Aryan Raj says:

    catchy riff

  62. Lewis Tasso says:

    2006 World Cup Italian Fans cheering on the eventual WC winners. Never hear it before that and I'm a soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and hockey fan.

  63. Fishy908 says:

    We all know it’s popular bc of the battle field 1 trailer

  64. disturbia13 says:

    Just start at 3:49, your welcome.

  65. Samuel May says:

    Oh man I love Elephant so much. That album is perfect. Every song gets better and better to the masterpiece the Acorn song. Also Elephant was my 1st word, I love red, black and white. I love big bands too but many of my favourites are 3 pieces. Ie Motorhead, Mark of Cain, Feedtime (Aussie, look them both up). My theory is the fewer the members the more each individual has to stretch. With 3 the singer has to play an instrument. So they have to drive that guitar hard and perfect. So then The White Stripes essentially a 2 piece! Jack is so ridiculously good he covers any bass elements needed but it's her drumming man it's like exactly what drums are there for, play the rhythm. Bang on, sharp and brash. What a band. Ps recommend that jam session with the edge all 3 were great.

  66. BaconDragon says:

    Obsessed with the number 3? I know this feeling well.

    Oh jeez, the triangles in the video, I finally get it!

  67. Joseph Case says:

    F you. you are obnoxious. die in a small fire so none can send your spirit higher. burn slow and forever never post again.

  68. Michael Helin says:

    I bet The White Stripes is Davie504's least favorite band

  69. Permotrip says:

    It was used in football games before that fs that’s a load of pish

  70. Danny Sullivan says:

    If they recorded under Universal Music Group, everyone in the stadium would be sued.

  71. Zul mat says:

    Funny how they say 3 is unlucky number but its not on white nation army

  72. XmanSully says:

    White Stripes were a piece of shit

  73. Use Logic says:

    I was just thinking about how this became so popular


    Good cover story about taking on her surname. Sure they were married for a while in Yemen. Not recognized in the USA where sibling marriage isn't legal so they had to end it… psych! Or?

  75. Limeade L says:

    The fact it’s a two piece makes me wheeze.

  76. Tam Mushican says:

    It's from the battlefield 1 trailer, duh…

  77. Chris Williams says:

    “the last great American folk song”
    all respect to White Stripes but that’s a ridiculous claim. I liked your video until you used that title.

  78. Mortech says:

    Oooh, Jeremy Cooorbyn

  79. Leonardo Urias says:

    3:54 is when he finally explains how it became a crowd chant

  80. Lauren Gilligan says:


  81. Finna yeet Teo says:

    My parents have a letter from jack white, they asked him to play at there wedding, this was before the white stripes were a big band, the letter was written in red crayon, it said “ hey Sarah(my moms name) sorry I’m late and I’m sure your already happily married but on the off chance that your not married yet call me” also my dad smoked a joint with Kurt cobain, met ozzy oz, and his friends mom got spit on by slash lol

  82. FR4NS PL4YS says:

    I read it SVEN Nation

  83. Asa Landers-Standley says:

    TFW both Jack White, and Jack Black are both in duo bands.

  84. FullOilBarrel says:

    the latest folk song not last

  85. Michael Nielsen says:

    Because ppl are drunk idiots!

  86. Zotac 1060 6GB says:

    It's because of the damn Battlefield One

  87. Soka blet says:

    The1 white2 stripes3 wtf 3

  88. Peter Barnes says:

    the UMG (universal music group) claims this video

  89. Bangla Desh says:

    Brilliant video

  90. Golden Experience Earf-19 says:

    SEVEN minus three ….


  91. Nace Camdress says:

    Always underestimate the female

  92. CMF23 says:

    I already know that in 10 years some meme song is gonna become a stadium chant

  93. Presto Ernesto says:

    Baltimore baby!!!!

  94. cs512tr says:

    obsessed with the number 3, has a band of two members

  95. Jimbo W says:

    I think sweet Caroline can join that group now

  96. NotKiwiBird says:


  97. Xedilian says:

    You're missing Michael van gerwen, Sir.

  98. Ewan_JW says:

    At 5:46 there was a photo of rangers fans, funnily enough, we use 7 nation army when our striker Alfredo Morelos scores, “OH AL-FREDO MORE-LOS”

  99. Jamil Gannaban says:

    Meg is super cute.

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