I'm bringing back ghosts
that are no longer there
I'm gettin' hard on myself
sittin' in my easy chair
Well, there's three people in the mirror
and I'm wonderin' which one of them I should choose
Well, I can't keep from laughin'
spittin' out these 300 mile per hour outpour blues

I'm breakin' my teeth off
tryin' to bite my lip
There's all kinds of red-headed women
that I ain't supposed to kiss
And it's that color that never fails
to turn me blue
So I just swallow it and hold on to it
and use it to scare the hell out of you

I have a woman
'says come and watch me bleed
And I'm wonderin' just how I can do that
and still give her everything that she needs
Well, there's three people in my head that have the answer
and one of them's got to be you
But you're holding tight to it -- the answer
singin' these three hundred mile per hour outpour blues

Put on gloves, a tied scarf and wrap up warm
on this winter night
Everytime you get defensive
you're just looking for a fight
It's safe to sing somebody out there's got a problem
with almost anything you'll do
Well, next time they stab you don't fight back just play the victim
instead of playin' the fool
And the roads are covered with a million
little molecules
Of cigarette ashes and the school floors are covered
with pieces of pencil eraser too
Well sooner or later the ground's gonna be holdin' all
of my ashes too
But I can't help but wonder if after I'm gone will I still have these three hundred mile per hour, finger breaking, no answers makin', battered dirty hands, bee stung and busted up, empty cup torrential outpour blues

One thing's for sure: in that graveyard
I'm gonna have the shiniest pair of shoes



Lyrics submitted by jackieboy37

300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues song meanings
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  • +2
    Song MeaningI have a feeling that this song, like many on the album, are Situations. They're not so much about current personal experiences...

    For this song, I see a man who is with a woman who doesn't want to be in a relationship, for whatever reason. The man would love to, as he feels an incredible connection with her. The woman, however, still wants to have him there, as a friend, until she's ready for the relationship. I'll work through the lines to see what you guys think!

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'm bringing back ghosts
    that are no longer there
    =He's trying to bring back the desires within the girl to want a relationship

    I'm gettin' hard on myself
    sittin' in my easy chair
    =It's splitting him open; he's risking the relationship he already has, in order to get more.

    Well, there's three people in the mirror
    and I'm wonderin' which one of them I should choose
    =He looks in the mirror and sees his choices. he could continue down this difficult path, or just leave it, and find other people -- do other things.

    Well, I can't keep from laughin'
    spittin' out these 300 mile per hour outpour blues
    =He often realizes how foolish it is to keep going through with it

    I'm breakin' my teeth off
    tryin' to bite my lip
    =He's not supposed to be talking like he loves her, or he's not supposed to be following his impulses kissing her

    There's all kinds of red-headed women
    that I ain't supposed to kiss
    =He also can't go after other women...

    And it's that color that never fails
    to turn me blue
    =Who turn him on, thus depresses him, as he's voluntarily chained down

    So I just swallow it and hold on to it
    and use it to scare the hell out of you
    =But he can use these woman to make his girl jealous

    I have a woman
    'says come and watch me bleed
    =The girl spills her problems onto him

    And I'm wonderin' just how I can do that
    and still give her everything that she needs
    =How can he not want to be close when she gets so personal with her?
    OR
    =How can he please a girl whom has so many problems?

    Well, there's three people in my head that have the answer
    and one of them's got to be you
    =To all this pain he's feeling (perpetuated by the girl, in the first place) he may feel better if he can just get her

    But you're holding tight to it -- the answer
    singin' these three hundred mile per hour outpour blues
    =The answer is her, but she's not letting him have it

    Put on gloves, a tied scarf and wrap up warm
    on this winter night
    =Prepare for the times when their relationship comes into question

    Everytime you get defensive
    you're just looking for a fight
    =In order to avoid the obvious connection, she says it's the man whom has the problem

    It's safe to sing somebody out there's got a problem
    with almost anything you'll do
    =Though, with all HER problems, he's the only one that can feel this way about her

    Well, next time they stab you don't fight back just play the victim
    instead of playin' the fool
    =With other men, she'll be fine if she just does to them what she does to him.

    And the roads are covered with a million
    little molecules
    =He begins to consider the bigger picture. The many paths of life (one of them is the one he stands on), is so much more intricate than it appears at first glance.

    Of cigarette ashes and the school floors are covered
    with pieces of pencil eraser too
    =The paths are scattered with the leftovers from quick-fixes and highs such as drugs or academic achievements

    Well sooner or later the ground's gonna be holdin' all
    of my ashes too
    =Soon enough, he too will die

    But I can't help but wonder if after I'm gone will I still have these three hundred mile per hour, finger breaking, no answers makin', battered dirty hands, bee stung and busted up, empty cup torrential outpour blues
    =A Hamlet-like "what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil?"

    One thing's for sure: in that graveyard
    I'm gonna have the shiniest pair of shoes
    =He will pursue only this long (and, possibly, short) path for the rest of his life. His shoes will be much cleaner than those who take many different ones.
    TheSk8ingFreakon December 20, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn the first verse, I think he's reacting to still playing the old blues-rock that he wrote years ago, while the things that inspired him to write those songs are no longer what is relevant to him. I.e. "I'm bringing back ghosts that are no longer there..." Furthermore, there's sort of a different appoach to writing personal songs when your setting and lifestyle have changed as they have for Jack over the years.

    The song goes on to, what seems to be, references regarding his wife. She's a red-head, a trait which Jack obviously holds a deep attraction for. Several lines could be referring to her, their relationship, or some of the things they might be struggling with. Though, that part is heavily speculative on my part...

    The third theme is the existential tone the song takes on. The last lines are the most interesting bits... Perhaps Jack realizes that music is not only what is best for him, but it's paying the bills, though he also recognizes that the money will be irrelevant when he's dead. Maybe he is wondering if his songs are accomplishing nothing. Case in point:

    "Well sooner or later the ground's gonna be holdin' all
    of my ashes too
    But I can't help but wonder if after I'm gone will I still have these three hundred mile per hour, finger breaking, no answers makin', battered dirty hands, bee stung and busted up, empty cup torrential outpour blues

    One thing's for sure: in that graveyard
    I'm gonna have the shiniest pair of shoes"

    It's like he wants his music to exercise his demons, but all it's accomplishing is making money, which is unimportant compared to the formerly stated desire.
    Spank Thruon August 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIf you listen to this song and Bob Dylan's "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues", they seem really similar to me. Give it a try. I might be wrong.
    Squevenon September 26, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAbout the "I have a woman" verse...

    Has anyone else ever heard that part and been a little bit shocked?

    That verse could be taken a couple of ways.

    Amazing song from amazing album though.
    tmanon December 10, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentExcellent insights! Now I see his guitar playing as being an outpour (stream of consciousness) …but I still believe his words are very deliberate. What is this outpour? The three people in his head could be parts of his psyche: the id, the ego and the superego. Red headed women are the epitome of his carnal desires (id) and it conflicts with his morality (superego) and makes him “blue”. This causes his ego to use defensive mechanisms in order to mediate this conflict (“Every time you get defensive, you're just looking for a fight”). Some of examples of defensive mechanisms are:
    1-“bite my lip” and “just swallow it” (suppression);
    2-“hold on to it and scare the hell out of you” (displacement);
    3-“It's safe to say somebody out there's got a problem with almost anything you'll do” (delusional projection);
    4-And “three people in my head that have the answer and one of them’s got to be you” (introjection)
    There many other examples, however, facing the certainty of his death in his song and then sharing it with the world is probably his most productive defensive mechanism (sublimation). Musical catharsis is the “300mph Torrential Outpour Blues” and it is his remedy.
    artbeaton December 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwow, this song is all over the place. duno whats going on here. i'll leave this for a professional. haha. good tune kinda sounds like something you'd hear off of get behind me satan.. but this album is ten times better, and in my eyes one of their best. jack is a genius!!!
    mcflyguy42on June 07, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWow. This might be my favorite song from the new album. I can't stop listening to it. It's amazing. They've built on every album since the self-titled one. This is a great soft accoustic blues track. I just can't get over how incredible Jack White is. He has all the right influences and never ceases to amaze me. What do you guys think? This album comes out in a few days, and even though I have every track downloaded, and can't stop listening, I'm buying it ASAP. I mean, if I can get it on Meijer's at midnight on Monday, I'll do it. We don't have much good music these days. I mean, if you want to find it, you have to dig deep, to the times that we weren't even born yet. I'm talking about the delta blues and the Yardbirds and Clapton and the slide guitar. Popular music today is polluted by rap music that pales in comparison to music like the White Stripes are making, which is very rare.
    Tyrannosaurus Rexon June 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song. Sort of "As Ugly As I Seem" from Get Behind Me Satan plus some overdubs left over from the Elephant sessions. And as always, Jack's splendid stream-of-consciousness lyrics.
    malleableon June 16, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the first time I have commented on a song without actually hearing it (Icky Thump's release date -19th!). It's kind of cool looking just at the words, however, that may be the reason why I don't see the stream of consciousness or that "it's all over the place". I see the recognizable red-headed women/ghosts/three in their songs. This has to be their most existential song yet with wonderings of "after I'm gone" and the absolute "ashes". I think it is about being plagued with big 'meaning of life' questions and the writer would sooner "bite (his) lip" than talk about it; for whatever reason. Perhaps there is a certain futility (cigarette ashes/pieces of pencil erasers) in asking these questions. He also suggests that he's making things "hard" by "bringing back ghosts/that are no longer there". I can't help but wonder, too.
    artbeaton June 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMikemat5150 noticed the parallels between Tom Petty's "Last Dance with Mary Jane" and "A Martyr for My Love for You" by the White Stripes. I totally agree. This prompted me to post some strong similarities I see with songs on Icky Thump and other songs:

    First, "Icky Thump" guitar riffs sound an awful lot like "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin (and they share similar tales of tables being turned, too). I instantly thought this the first time I heard Icky Thump.

    Second, "Rag and Bone" reminds me of "Cheap Sunglasses" by ZZ top.

    Third, it sounds like Jack ripped off his own stuff (if that is possible) in "300 mph Torrential Outpour Blues". The guitar riff is almost identical to one in "Portland" by Loretta Lynn (and its music definitely worth repeating).

    Fourth, "Effect and Cause" by the White Stripes and "Summertime Blues" by the Who are similar in the melody for the lines "You can't take the Effect and make it the Cause" and "But there ain't no cure for the Summertime Blues"

    There are others but I would like to hear what other people think. Do you think the White Stripes purposely ripped off other artists' melodies/ideas/riffs? ...They are junk collectors in "Rag and Bone" and love to be a part of a traditional of passing along great music!
    artbeaton June 23, 2007   Link

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