Home / Music Video Review: “My Doorbell” by The White Stripes

Music Video Review: “My Doorbell” by The White Stripes

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“My Doorbell,” the brand new video from The White Stripes, premiered on Friday on The N, just before the channel’s reality series Girls v. Boys: Puerto Rico. Directed by The Malloys, this video proves that The White Stripes are, indeed, for the children.

The 1930’s style black-and-white clip begins with two children introducing The White Stripes. Then, as the song begins, hordes of children are seen running into a theatre. The curtain opens in the theatre and we see Jack on a piano and Meg on drums. They perform the song for the children who look amused and wide-eyed most of the time. As the song goes on, the kids start to really get into the performance. Two kids go onstage and start playing a bass. One boy even starts tap dancing near the stage. When the song ends, the kids applaud. Jack pulls Meg along as the two of them run out of the theatre (with kids running behind them) and climb into a waiting car. The kids are still trying to get to them when the video ends.

Out of all the ways “My Doorbell” could have been interpreted as a video, I certainly didn’t expect this. On one hand, this video could be seen as a hilariously twisted take on children’s artists such as The Wiggles. The White Stripes would definitely be on my list on the artists I’d least expect to perform for a crowd of children. Plus, “My Doorbell” is one of those songs that someone could view as innocuous or sinister. What exactly does Jack mean when he says “doorbell” anyway?

At the same time, there is an interesting, darker level to this video. Since this video takes place in the past, I’m reminded of how rock music (and other forms of popular music) was once considered to be subversive and downright harmful to children. Let’s also remember that kids seem to always be drawn to stuff that isn’t appropriate for them and especially stuff their parents don’t approve of. Since there are no other adults apart from Jack and Meg, this could mean that those kids are seeing The White Stripes precisely because they aren’t supposed to be seeing them. What’s funny is that in this video, The White Stripes don’t seem particularly fond of children. The look on Meg and Jack’s faces seems to indicate that they are glad the performance is over. The very last image in the video is Jack actually rolling his car window up on the arm of a kid trying to get to him. I guess their situation is like that of Willy Wonka. Kids are drawn to them because of what they do and even though they can’t stand the kiddies, they need them in order to make a living.

After all those “deep” thoughts about this video, I’m really just happy that one of my favorite songs from Get Behind Me Satan has a video. The video has a simple, interesting concept and one that is up for interpretation. It wasn’t what I was expecting but in a way, it works. After all, when you listen to music as good as The White Stripes’ is, don’t you feel like a kid again?

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  • The N????????

    I heard an NPR interview with these cats. That got me more interested in what they do but the interest in the music itself is still alluding me.

  • I haven’t seen the video yet, but there’s nothing particularly dark or sinister about the song. “I’ve been thinking about my doorbell. When you gonna ring it, when you gonna ring it?” That seems fairly straightforward and uncontroversial.

  • I see the song as an old time, belt-it-out rock it to the back of the house number. It’s one of the best songs on a great, great, great album.

    From what it sounds like, I don’t think the video’s subversive.

  • Maybe the doorbell is the male g-spot.

    Just kidding.

  • heli pena

    i love the white stripes their awsome!!!

  • i think the video is great, which by the way can be seen on http://www.whitestripes.com for those who haven’t cought it on TV yet.

    i felt the video was trying to show long time white stripes fans that even though their music is all grown up they aren’t 😀

  • OK, I have not seen the video. I did see White Stripes in Portland OR a couple of weeks ago. OK, the 3rd time I’ve seen them in their developing career.

    THE SHOW WAS AMAZING!!!!! One song in particular the hit that astral groove lock transcending me into that space that was not on this planet (look, no drugs, I was quite straight). But it was an amazing display of virtuosity.

    White Stripes have a really cool thing going. I am still amazed that with one guitar (sometimes a keyboard or vibes), voice and drums they can pull it off. But they do. A hell of an artistic statement.


  • Actually, this Nickelodeon thing makes more and more sense the more I think on it. The White Stripes are totally family friendly. They are one of the few current major mainstream rock acts really appropriate for children. Jack can get ’em young, and Nickelodeon gets to associate with one of the hippest acts going. Plus, the chillen actually get some good music instead of some crappy Raffi or such what.

  • dan

    its great but i would like to play the piano

  • Reggie Mabe

    I think the video is great, the white stripes are playing simple music for simple minded people (kids). I beleive kids are more creative than anyone, and i beleive the same to be for The White Stripes music. Keep on rocking in the free world.

  • Since there are no other adults apart from Jack and Meg, this could mean that those kids are seeing The White Stripes precisely because they aren’t supposed to be seeing them.

    Did you also notice the kids pouring over halfway through the video to buy ice cream and lollipops and other such things that are bad for them?

  • Jerry

    okay wow I loved the video and the song hehe I love Bluesy Rock

  • lerrywashere

    ha i just read that jack looked into it and that doorbell was kinda like slang a while back that we now know as the mans sex organ!

  • j

    Jack is a musical genious. He plays piano, guitar, bass, does the vocals, and whatever else needs to be done. Meg, sorry but you’re not much of a drummer. Maybe if you tried doing something more than just keeping the rythm…

  • Andthat’sit.

    They’re sexy. Why try and analyze The Great? They do what They do. Period. Andthat’sit.

  • Joanna

    They are the best!my doorbell is one of the best songs i’ve ever listened!

  • CD

    “On one hand, this video could be seen as a hilariously twisted take on children’s artists such as The Wiggles.”

    Uhh…no. Showin your age there. I’ll show mine: It’s obviously a take off/parody of the Little Rascals etc, not the Wiggles or what ever the hell else kids are being fed these days.

  • erdayo

    Well, I don’t know, The first thing I thought was “What the hell does this mean?”. I mean, I know the White Stripes are “Ecentric”, but frankly, this video is disturbing. Yes, it has kids enjoying the show, but it shows slo motion shots of little girls eating a ice cream cone. Maybee I’m just a perv, but does anyone else find that a little creepy? I mean, usually when a “of age” girl is shown in slo motion eating a ice cream cone, it has sexual inuendos. Then near the end of the video, it shows children crying. All in all, I don’t get it, and it kid of creeped me out.