She's got stickers on her locker
And the boy's number's there in magic marker
I'm hungry and the hunger will linger
I eat sixteen saltine crackers then I lick my fingers

Well every morning I deliver the news
Black hat white shoes and I'm red all over
She's got a big mailbox, that she puts up front
Garbage in garbage out, she's getting what she wants

Who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous of who?
If I get busy then I couldn't care less what you do
But when I'm by myself I think of nothing else
Than if a boy just might be getting through and touching you

Spike heels make a hole in a lifeboat
Jumpin' and waving, I'm talking and laughing as we float
I hear a whistle, that's how I know she's home
Lipstick, eyelash, broke mirror, broken home

Force fed, force mixed 'till I drop dead
You can't defeat her, when you meet her you'll get what I said
And Lord knows there's a method to her madness
Bustin' those jokes as I float in a sea of sadness

She doesn't know but when she's gonna sit and drink her perfume
I'm sure she's drinkin two, but wondering what for and who
And I'm solo rowing, on one side of the boat
Looking out, throwing up, a lifesaver down my throat

Who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous of who? (x3)


Lyrics submitted by mariafl, edited by TR33S, pandadance, Brass

Sixteen Saltines song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +6
    My InterpretationWell if you ask me, it's pretty blatantly about his relationship with Meg. Especially backed up with that NME interview... For example, when he says, "If I get busy then I couldn't care less what you do." Well, Jack IS busy and, as he stated in the interview, doesn't know what Meg's up to. But, as he later goes onto say, "But when I'm by myself I think of nothing else, than if a boy just might be getting through and touching you." So this means (Hopefully, for us Stripes fans!) that he still thinks of her and at even perhaps wants for her to be happy like he could not make her (i.e. touching her). Also, with the garbage line, he implies that there's no real communication, he just knows she's alive... just as was said in the NME interview.

    As for 'broken glass, broken home," has anyone else SEEN the video for Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground. Looks pretty broken to me.

    The mention of the red, white, and black is also just too much to ignore. Way to be blatant, Jack.
    akreger333on March 28, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song kinda makes me think about how the media can affect teenagers.

    "Well every morning I deliver the news
    Black hat white shoes and I'm red all over <--What's black and white and re(a)d all over? Newspaper...
    She's got a big mailbox, that she puts up front
    Garbage in garbage out, she's getting what she wants"
    limegreenninjason April 06, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think he said that it came from his daugther when she asked for sixteen saltine crackers and he said she could have three.
    So I reckon that it could be a about kids. Especially after seeing the video.
    ForgottenFoxon April 05, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think the song is about young love. Particularly a teenage girl seeking attention to hide that she is dissatisfied. Both "Jack" and the girl being jealous of each other.

    It's somewhat organized like a school day I think, you visualize the locker, the popular girl, and a kid eating crackers (symbolism for the attention he seeks from her). He says something that doesn't matter (garbage in garbage out) and the exchange only matters for the sake that it happened. But, he only thinks about her when he's bored, and she's hurting herself with her attention craving, it drives people away (spiked heels make a hole in the life boat). He gives up because of her fake behavior (force fed...). In the end their both unsatisfied with their respective lives (who's jealous of who)
    lvikng56on April 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWoops my bad I actually think it goes..


    She doesn't know but when she's GONE I sit and drink her perfume.
    I'm sure she's drinkin TOO, but wondering what for and who
    daboognish88on April 14, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis song is definitely about his relationship with Karen Elson (Jack's 2nd wife, super model), or indirectly about a man's obsession over a woman that he knows little about (in general: a person who loves a celebrity).

    pop culture and american media convince us to love celebrities... marketing them in a way that draws unhealthy obssssions. while we dont really know them at all... just the sexy photos and scripted interviews that paint them in a certain light, from which we draw our opinions.

    the song tells a story about a boy who obsesses over a girl, then gets her (or someone like her) in his adulthood and deals with the consequences of wanting something so bad with blind faith. "who's jealous of who?" are you jealous of me because i have her, or am i jealous of you because you dont have to deal with it. "when she's gone i sit and drink her perfume" - this is a play on the term "drinking the kool-aid" which is a popular metaphor for a person's unquestioned belief or philosophy with little to no examination (google: jonestown massacre). if you love (insert celebrity here) and would do anything for her/him... you've "drank the kool-aid" that the media has fed to you.

    jack white is great at story telling, and this song is no different:

    1st stanza: high school obsession, showing where it all starts, and possibly where you are influenced in your choice of unattainable women (celebrities represent youth, sex and talent...an abundance of each can be found in highschool)
    2nd stanza: the length you go to in order to feed your obsession
    3rd stanza: some clarity, he knows whats happening but his mind is still wandering and he still wants it, more than ever.
    4th stanza: he has matured, and has the woman but realizes that fantasy is nothing like reality
    5th stanza: he's looking for a way out, but it's too late
    6th stanza: they're both alone now, but the desire is engrained and he's addicted.
    7th: wrapping it up... the tides have turned and he wants to be normal, like the boy sitting at home with no one. in the 3rd stanza.


    if you follow me with this interpretation, the lyrics are easy to understand.

    "stickers on her locker" noticing things about her that paint a picture about her without really knowing her.
    "the boys numbers there in magic marker" -- she's taken boys' numbers, they are clearly displayed and those boys wait, expecting her call. the obsession begins.

    "i'm hungry and the hunger will linger" -- he's waiting for her, or he wants her and he's not getting her.

    "i eat sixteen saltine crackers and i lick my fingers" -- this is taking the previous line into more depth... he wants her and, just like salty foods, they don't do anything to quench your appetite, they dehydrate you and make you hungrier... then he licks the salt off of his fingers because "the hunger will linger", he keeps going.

    "every morning i deliver the news / black hat white shoes and i'm read all over" -- the old riddle: what is black and white and red all over? a newspaper. he brings her what she wants, not a literal newspaper, but attention which is continued:

    "she's got a big mailbox that she puts out front..garbage in, garbage out, she's getting what she wants" --
    she putting out the signals for the boys and they are all giving her attention, and she doesn't care what kind.

    "who's jealous of who" -- this begs the question: Do I want to be you, or do you want to be me, and of course, we get the answer at the end when he asks the same question.

    "when i get busy then i couldn't care less what you do" -- he's a young boy, when he's engaged in other activities, he's totally healthy and normal.

    "but when i'm by myself, i think of nothing else" the obsession and competition with the other boys begins

    "spike heels make a hole in a lifeboat" -- referencing vanity and even though he loves it, it's killing them and their relationship.

    "jumping and waving, i'm talking and laughing as we float" going back and forth between trying to get rescued and being drawn in to her.

    "lipstick, eyelash, broke mirror broken home" -- its back to the vanity issue, but it's now ruined them. broke mirror could refer to her compact that she uses for her makeup (eyelash and lipstick... women who use them alot usually drop them and the mirror breaks) or it could be the common metaphor for bad luck.

    "force fed forced meds til i drop dead" prescription drugs given by his doctor (he's being forced to take drugs that were forced upon him) who thinks he's dealing with depression or what have you. burying the issues until they (the drugs or the issues) kill him.

    "you cant defeat her when you meet her you'll be what i said" he's giving advice for the next guy who is drawn in.

    "god knows there's a method to her madess" she knows exactly what she's doing, even though it doesn't seem like it (she's a natural)

    "but the lord's joke is a boat in a sea of sadness" this is continuing with the faith reference from the previous line... she is evil and she will have to face the consequences of her actions... she will end up being alone or abused by someone worse than her, but as a by product, he is also damaged and alone.

    "she doesn't know but when I'm gone I sit and drink her perfume" this is the kool-aid reference: making decisions on blind faith.

    "i'm sure she's drinking too, but wondering what for and who" she's drinking it too, but she's empty and grasping at anything (lost in a sea of sadness)

    "now i'm solo rowing, on one side of the boat" she's gone and he's by himself, rowing along without anyone

    "looking out, throwing up, a lifesaver down my throat" he's searching for help, he's sick, maybe going through withdrawals, and the one thing that is there to help him (lifesaver the mint (from throwing up), lifesaver the marine device (lost in a sea of sadness)), is killing him.

    "whos jealous of who" now that you know the story, are you really so envious of him, or finding her so desirable?
    eshottyon September 17, 2012   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionShe doesn't know but when she's GONE I sit and drink up a few
    I'm sure she's drinkin TOO, but wondering what for and who
    daboognish88on April 13, 2012   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThe only reason I would say its not about his daughter is because his daughter is six. You dont wear heels or have lockers or drink at age six.
    Its meant to be interpreted many ways. Its about both his private life with his wife (and his jealousy of her as a model) and his public life as a pop star. BUT also pointing out how he is a victim of media's sex appeal as well. (The "she" is media herself, and in that sense he is a fan.)
    When he says he's hungry, hes saying he is hungry for fans, and at the same time hungry as a fan.
    Whos Jealous of who? the teens are obsessed and jealous of popstars
    Whos jealous of who? the media and the popstars are dependant on the fans and need to fuel their fan's obsessions to stay in business.
    Whos jealous of who? Jack is jealous of his wife. (incessant whistles of other men)
    also,
    (Force fed, force mixed 'till I drop dead You can't defeat her, when you meet her you'll be what I said)
    this could be about the music industries pressures on an artist to "mix" their sound a certain way. and when you meet this industry and give in you will be dead inside.
    It could also mean hes getting sick of having to mingle and being forced to mix with the public.
    Hes solo rollin now in that he has his own label and is also a solo artist. However hes only one-side off the boat.

    Ok I could go on but I'm beating a dead horse at this point. It just baffles me how amazingly complex this song is!
    daboognish88on April 14, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Well every morning I deliver the news
    Black hat white shoes and I'm red all over
    She's got a big mailbox, that she puts up front
    Garbage in garbage out, she's getting what she wants"

    I think the "news" is representative of the different boys in the girl's life. The boy is a newspaper (black hat, white shoes, and re(a)d all over) and the girl picks out the boys she doesn't like from her mailbox.
    Kind of makes more sense in my head..
    ejoobson April 15, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is about young love and the twisted teen subculture.
    "Who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous who's jealous of who?
    If I get busy then I couldn't care less what you do
    But when I'm by myself I think of nothing else
    Than if a boy just might be getting through and touching you "
    Especially reminds me of teen love while
    "She doesn't know but when she's GONE I sit and drink her perfume.
    I'm sure she's drinkin TOO, but wondering what for and who"
    makes me think of the twisted games teens play. Combined with the video I really get the feel that this song is about young love and the twisted teen subculture but it could truthfully be about anything.
    misstoriaon April 19, 2012   Link

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