"Rag & Bone" as written by John Aka Johne Battle Battle, Jason "iceberg" Lary, Jesse Mobley, Rashead Webb, Jevon (pka "dj Len") Moore, M. Blackmon and J. Prister....
[Jack White and Meg White]
Rag and bone!
Rag and bone!
Rag and bone!
Rag and bone!

[Jack White]
Meg, look at this place.

[Meg White]
What? Woo...

[Jack White]
Well, this place is like a mansion!
It's like a mansion, look at all this stuff!

[Meg White]
I dunno...

[Jack White]
Look, I see something over there

[Meg White]
Woo...

[Jack White]
Man...

Well, could you ever sell it rag and bone?
Bring out your junk and we'll give it a home
A broken trumpet or a telephone
Ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on
Come on and give it to me

Yeah

Ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on
Come on and give it to me

Oh, rag and bone
Rag and bone

Ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on
Come on and give it to me

Oh, looking pretty
Your pretty little rags and bones

[Jack White]
Well, man, look at all this, you don't want it?

[Meg White]
Mmm, ooo, I could use that.

[Jack White]
You sure you don't want it, man? I could use... take it.
It's just things you don't want - I can use 'em; Meg can use 'em;
We can do something with 'em; we'll make something out of 'em,
Make some money out of 'em at least.

[Meg White]
Mmm-hmm, this fits me perfect.
Give it to me.

[Jack White]
Hey, if you ain't gonna use it, just give it to us.
We'll give it a home.

Well, have they got something shiny for me?
Anybody got a Christmas tree?
Can you party with a toilet seat?
Ah, jump up, ah, jump up, ah, jump up
Come on and give it to me

Rag and bone

We wanna get it, granny, while it's hot
You think it's trash, granny, but it's not
Oh, we'll be taking whatever you got
Ah, give up, ah, give up, ah, give up
Come on and give it to me

Woo!

Oh, looking pretty
Your pretty little rags and bones

[Meg White]
I saw some stuff in your yard; are you gonna give it to us?

[Jack White]
Ah, Meg, don't be rude

[Meg White]
Or not?

[Jack White]
They might need it.
If you don't want it, we'll take it.
If you don't wanna give it to us, we'll keep walking by.
We'll keep going; we're not tired.
Got plenty of places to go, lots of homes we ain't been to yet
On the west side, the south-west side, Middle East, rich house, dog house, outhouse
Old folks' house, house for unwed mothers, halfway homes, catacombs, twilight zones.
Look at what techniques turn tables to gramophones.
So take a last lick of your ice-cream cone
And lock up what you still wanna own
But please be kind (take your time)
And don't rewind (it's fine)...

All of your pretty
Your pretty little rags and bones
Yeah, your pretty little rags and bones

Ah, jump up, ah, jump up, ah, jump up
Come on and give it to me

Oh, your pretty little rags and bones

Ah, come on, ah, come on, ah, come on
Come on and give it to us!

Yeah
Yeah, yeah
Oh yeah

Yeah
Yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah


Lyrics submitted by inthissilentvoid

"Rag and Bone" as written by Jack White

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Rag & Bone song meanings
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36 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentWhat an absolute fantastic song! I can't help but get off my seat and dance! It's pretty infectious. I think it's about how the artists feel that the world is their oyster when it comes to inspiration (even right down to the toilet seat). However, the biggest inspiration to them is what reaction they get from their fans and non-fans alike ("Ah, Come on and give it to us"). For example, the line:"We'll be shaking whatever you got" shows how inspiration happens in at least in two ways. One is seeing the listener being moved by the music (physically, emotionally, or spiritually). The other conjures an image of the artists shaking a box at your garage sale and trying to figure out what is inside it. There is such a great sense of reciprocity (or at very least, cause and effect) in this song. Musicians and listeners exist in a symbiotic relationship. It is not only an homage to the musicians' muse, but it is an homage to the essence of music: the drumbeat (rag and bone).

    I heard a few different lyrics than posted (Thanks 'in this silent void' for doing it!). I got my version from itunes and it may be different from the vinyl one NME put out:

    (Rag and Bone) Rag and Bone
    (Rag and Bone) Rag and Bone
    Meg look at this place (What? Ooh!)
    Well, this place is like a mansion, it's like a mansion
    Look at all this stuff (I don’t’ know)
    Look, I see something over there, woo, man

    Can't you hear me selling rag & bone
    Bring out your junk and we'll give it a home
    A broken trumpet or a telephone
    Come on, come on, come on
    Come on and give it to me, yeah
    Come on, come on, come on
    Come on and give it to me
    Rag and bone, rag and bone
    Come on, come on, come on
    Come on and give it to me
    All of your pretty, pretty little rags and bones

    Well, man, look at all this, you don't want it? (What is that?)
    You sure you don't want it? I can do it… take it
    It's just things you don't want
    I can use them, Meg can use them
    We can do something with them
    We’ll make something out of them
    Make some money out of them at least
    (This fits me perfect… give it to me)
    Hey if you ain't gonna use it, just give it to us
    We'll give it a home

    Have you got something shiny for me?
    Anybody got a Christmas tree?
    Can you part with a toilet seat?
    Jump Up, Jump Up, Jump Up
    Come on and give it to me
    Rag & Bone

    We want to give you candy while it’s hot
    You think it's trash-candy but it's not
    We'll be shaking whatever you got
    Give Up, Give Up, Give Up,
    Come on and give it to me, Woo
    All of your pretty, pretty little rags & bones

    (I saw some stuff in your yard.
    Are you going to give it to us?)
    Ah, Meg don't be rude (Or Not?)
    They might need it, if you don't want it we'll take it
    If you don't want to give it to us, we’ll keep walking by,
    We’ll keep going, we're not tired but we’ve got plenty of places to go, lot's of homes we ain’t been to yet on the west side, the south west side, middle east, rich house, dog house, outhouse, old folks house, house for unwed mothers, halfway homes, catacombs, twilight zones
    Looking for techniques, turntables to gramophones,
    So take a last lick of your ice cream cone
    And lock up what you still want to own
    But please be kind (have a good time)
    And don't rewind (that’s fine)
    All of your pretty, your pretty little rags & bones
    Your pretty little rags & bones
    Jump Up, Jump Up, Jump Up
    Come on and give it to me
    Your pretty little rags & bones
    Come on, Come on, Come on,
    Come on and give it to us
    … Yeahs-yeahs….
    artbeaton June 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it has something to do with Jack being an avid junk collector. Seriously. I was reading an article of him in the paper and he was saying that he has an obsession for junk. Pretty much anything that might arouse particular interest that people throw out. He said that he used to be in the business and would often move collect old couches for re-sale which people threw out. So it has something to do with rediscovering the beauty of things that most people don't find usefull anymore.

    "Bring out your junk and we'll give it a home."
    "It's just things you don't want
    I can use them, Meg can use them
    We can do something with them
    We’ll make something out of them"

    This describes what i'm saying perfectly.
    yankeeh8er847on June 20, 2007   Link
  • +1
    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
  • +1
    General CommentDefinitely about recycling old riffs and songs. Bringing new life to something that someone else once enjoyed and loved so that someone else can enjoy it too. One's man trash is another's treasure; I don't think he's talking about literal objects.

    "C'mon and get it granny while it's hot
    You think it's trash granny but it's not"
    Probably refering to new music and how older generations just don't have the ear for it.
    carlyesson August 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthey're the rock n roll wombles
    I LOVE this song
    lipglosson January 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commentcan i just say, to the people who keep posting the similarities between the white stripe's songs and other people's.. there are only a certain number of ways notes can be arranged, so obviously, with the billions of songs there are out there, that there's bound to be similarities between some. and, i have listened to these songs that jack apparently "ripped off" and i must say that, i can hear some things are the same, but really, it's just the general tone of the song that i think is similar. especially with "a martyr for my love for you" and "last dance with mary jane". it's not necessarily the notes, but the tone/mood the song has. just something to consider! :)
    joniJEALOUSYon February 01, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is great... I love the British idea of a rag and bone man being sung by such a classic american rock and roll band. I got this on vinyl from the NME, best magazine giveaway ever.
    hastalavictoriaon June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always lose when he says, "Meg can use em". This song is hysterical.
    wonderfulpeopleon June 08, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentits about junk collecters and its fantastic
    kipperjoeon June 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentgreat song on an awesome album
    AshBlackon June 10, 2007   Link

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