The White Stripes
Icky Thump
Original Explanation of Slang and Cultural References

Iii--yeee!
Icky thump,
Who'da thunk?
Sittin' drunk on a wagon to Mexico?

Oh, well,
What a chump.
Well, my head got a bump
When I hit it on the radio.

Iii--yeee!
Icky thump,
Who would have thought that I would be
Sitting drunk on a wagon going to Mexico?

Oh, well,
What a fool I am.
My head got a bump
When I hit it on the radio.

Redhead senorita
Looking dead
Came and said,
"Need a bed?"

En espanol.

I said
"Gimme a drink a water.
I'm gonna sing around the collar,
And I don't need a microphone."

  A woman with red hair
Who looked dead
Came and said,
"Do you need a bed?"

In Spanish .

I said,
"Give me a drink of water.
I'm going to sing,
And I don't need a microphone."

Icky Thump,
With a lump in my throat,
Grabbed my coat,
And I was freaking.,
I was ready to go!

And I swear,
Besides the hair,
She had one white eye,
One blank stare,
Lookin' up,
Lyin' there.

On the stand
Near her hand,
Was a candy cane,
Black rum, sugar cane,
Dry ice, something strange,
La, la, la, la, la, la, la,
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
.

Icky Thump,
Feeling nervous and uncomfortable,
I grabbed my coat,
And I was very emotionally distressed.
I was ready to go!

And honestly,
Besides the unusual hair,
She had one white eye,
And looked without expression,
Looking up,
Lying there.

On the stand
Near her hand,
Was a candy cane,
Black rum, sugar cane,
Dry ice and something strange,
La, la, la, la, la, la, la,
La, la, la, la, la, la, la
.

White Americans, what?
Nothing better to do?
Why don't you kick yourself out?
You're an immigrant too.

Who's using who?
What should we do?
Well, you can't be a pimp
And a prostitute, too.

White Americans, what are you doing?
Don't you have anything to do?
Why don't you make yourselves leave the US?
You're immigrants, too.

Who is using who?
What should we do?
You can't be a manager of prostitutes
And a prostitute, too.

Icky Thump,
Handcuffed to a bunk,
Robbed blind.
Looked around,
And there was nobody else.

Left alone,
I hit myself with a stone,
Went home and learned how
To clean up after myself.

Icky Thump,
I was handcuffed to a bed,
And robbed of all my goods.
I looked around,
And there was nobody else there.

Left alone,
I hit myself with a stone,
Then went home and learned how
To clean up after myself.

Icky Thump Ecky thump is a regional expression of surprise (like "What the heck?!") used in the north of England. On June 1, 2007, the White Stripes appeared on Later with Jools Holland (a UK music show). When asked about the title of this song, Jack White explained that he had heard his British wife, supermodel Karen Elson, use the expression, and he liked the sound of it. While composing the lyrics with bandmate Meg White, he changed ecky to the more American icky (disgusting) because he thought American teenagers would understand that better. (Watch interview on Youtube.) Though White does not mention it, ecky thump was also the name of an imaginary Lancastrian martial art featured on the British comedy series The Goodies in the 1970s. The episode was so funny to a 50 year old bricklayer that he literally died laughing. (video of ecky thump "martial art." Watch at your own risk. )

sing around the collar This is a play on "ring around the collar" which refers to the tough to remove sweat and dirt stains on the inside of shirt collars. It is typically used in laundry detergent commercials.

candy cane Traditional American red and white striped Christmas candy. The White Stripes use only these colors (often in stripes) and black in their sets and costumes. This color scheme is echoed in the woman's hair, black rum and her white eye.

dry ice Solid carbon dioxide. Given the subject matter in the song, it is worth noting that dry ice is typically used in horror films to create artificial fog.

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