The White Stripes’ “Icky Thump” Lyrics Meaning

“Icky Thump” captures the story of a self-entitled American who enters Mexico to have some fun. He enters into the country drunk in the back of a wagon, signifying how easy it is to enter this country as opposed to getting into the US from the Mexican border.

As he has a mild accident on the way, a Mexican Redhead woman offers him a place to spend the night, yet he is rude to her. He even makes an attempt to sleep with this woman whom he describes as being fiery-looking and one-eyed.  

In the third verse, the narrator points to some ‘truths’ about how hypocritical Americans are. He believes that white Americans do not have a right to hold anything against immigrants because they too actually came from Europe.

As he goes back to the story, he wakes up to realize that he has been robbed and left handcuffed to a bed although he thought he was on top of issues.

Facts about “Icky Thump”

The White Stripes own Jack White wrote and self-produced this immigration-themed song.

It was subsequently released on the 26th of April, 2007 as a single from the band’s sixth studio album. FYI, both single and album share the same title.

“Icky Thump” was a significant chart success. For example, it was so popular in Scotland that it took no time getting to the number 1 spot there. It achieved the same feat in the United Kingdom’s official indie singles chart. Furthermore, it gave The White Stripes a top-10 hit in Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark and Poland.

On America’s highly coveted Hot 100 charts, it enjoyed a respectable peak position of 26.

In 2008, it received a Grammy nomination for “Best Rock Song”. But the award eventually went to Bruce Springsteen’s “Radio Nowhere“.

In 2018, while performing this song live, White attacked President Trump with it. He first dedicated the song to the president before going on to severely criticize him. He even changed the phrase “Icky Thump” to “Icky Trump”.

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