Old Mary

This has to be the weirdest Dead Weather song, and consequently, one of my favorites. I’m always drawn to experiments that are stranger and scarier than ordinary rock and roll. The usual themes are great to master, but they can be limitations. This brings to mind some old world religion, a particularly ancient and gloomy branch of Catholicism, an invocation of brimstone. The kind of reference points fewer and fewer people can relate to or take seriously, in the secular world (which is for the best, probably.) I’m not sure what’s fact and what’s mythmaking, but I heard that Jack White had a Catholic upbringing, so I’m sure the fetishes of the church are among the things he has to unpack as a writer.


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