Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground – The White Stripes (2001)


The third single from their 2001 album, White Blood Cells, Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground is a gloriously grimey blues dirge. Jack crunches out a bassline from the opening feedback that has the brutality of a cement mixer that unexpectedly yields to the fragility of the opening stanza. Jack repeats this brutality vs fragility call/response throughout the song; Meg mirrors the intensity perfectly; her stoic refrain underpinning the the fragile moments gives way to crashing cymbals of frenzy in the wilder moments.

THE PERFECT MOMENT
Jack’s vocal crackle as he utters the phrase “any man with a microphone can tell you what he loves the most” at 2:33 is sublime.

Official music video directed by Michel Gondry