White Stripes lyrics
July 16, 2009 6:21 PM   Subscribe

Quick lyrics question on The White Stripes' "The Union Forever." I have always (and still) heard the line "Sure I'm C.F. Kane," but lyrics sites all say "Sure I'm C.F.K." What is actually being sung here?
posted by stopgap to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
I've always heard "C.F.K." Did you check with any White Stripes fan sites? Dedicated fans tend to be sticklers for accuracy.
posted by katillathehun at 6:28 PM on July 16, 2009

I've always assumed C.F.Kane because of the Citizen Kane reference.
posted by Conductor71 at 6:41 PM on July 16, 2009

Either way: Charles Foster Kane.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:55 PM on July 16, 2009

Definitely C.F. Kane:

`1 “It can’t be love”
Performed by Bob Haymes and The Vagabonds in 1944 (after “Citizen Kane”)

`2 “It can’t be love / For there is no true love”
SINGER: It can’t be love for there is no true love, no true love
I know I’ve played at the game like a moth in a blue flame
Lost in the end just the same, just the same
All these years my heart’s floating around in a paddle of tears

`3 “C.F.K.”
Charles Foster Kane

`4 “But you gotta love me”
Kane: Whatever I do, I do because I love you.
Susan: You don’t love me. You want me to love you. “Sure, I’m Charles Foster Kane. Whatever you want, just name it and
it’s yours. But you’ve gotta love me!”

`5 “The cost, no man can say”
NARRATOR: For wife two, one-time opera singing Susan Alexander, Kane built
Chicago’s Municipal Opera House. Cost — Three million dollars.
Conceived for Susan Alexander Kane, half-finished before she
divorced him, the still unfinished Xanadu. Cost — No man can

`6 “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested…”
COWORKER: It’s from Mr. Kane.
SECRETARY: “Sorry. But I’m not interested in gold mines, oil wells, shipping or real estate.”
THATCHER: Not interested?

`7 “What would I like to have been? / Everything you hate”
THATCHER: Yes, yes. But your methods! Do you know, Charles never made a single investment? Always used money to–
KANE: To buy things. Buy things. My mother should have chosen a less reliable banker. Well, I always gagged on that
silver spoon. You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn’t been very rich, I might have been a really great man.
THATCHER: Don’t you think you are?
KANE: I think I did pretty well under the circumstances.
THATCHER: What would you like to have been?
KANE: Everything you hate.

`8 “There is a man…”
SINGER: Good evening, Mr. Kane. There is a man.
DANCERS: There is a man.
SINGER: A certain man.
DANCERS: A certain man.
SINGER: And for the poor you may be sure that he’ll do all he can. Who is this one?
DANCERS: Who is this one?
SINGER: This favorite son.
DANCERS: This favorite son.
SINGER: Just by his action has the traction magnets on the run. Who loves to smoke?
DANCERS: Who loves to smoke?
SINGER: Enjoys a joke.
DANCERS: Ha ha ha ha.
SINGER: Who wouldn’t get a bit upset if he were really broke. With wealth and fame
DANCERS: With wealth and fame
SINGER: He’s still the same.
DANCERS: He’s still the same.
SINGER & DANCERS: I’ll bet you five you’re not alive if you don’t know his name.
KANE: I don’t know how to dance.
SINGER: What is his name?
BERNSTEIN: What is his name?
DANCERS: It’s Charlie Kane.
EVERYONE: It’s Mr. Kane. He doesn’t like the Mister. He likes good old Charlie Kane.
SINGER: Who said the Miss
EVERYONE: Who said the Miss
SINGER: Was made to kiss?
EVERYONE: Was made to kiss?
SINGERL: And when he meets one always tries to do exactly this. Who buys the food?
EVERYONE: Who buys the food?
KANE & SINGER: Who buys the drinks?
EVERYONE: Who buys the drinks?
KANE & SINGER: Who thinks that dough was made to spend and acts the way he thinks?
SINGER: Now, is it Joe? No, no, no, no.
EVERYONE: No, no, no, no….

`9 “The Union forever”
KANE (as a child): Come on, boys! The Union forever!
MRS. KANE: Be careful, Charles!
posted by ocherdraco at 6:58 PM on July 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I had the White Stripes album before I saw Citizen Kane, and I was really thrown for a loop when I realized that the song is almost entirely taken from the film.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:01 PM on July 16, 2009

I've always heard C.F.K., but either seem to work.

Also this is pretty amazing to me. I had no idea what the song was about before this.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 7:03 PM on July 16, 2009

"Traction magnates", please, not "traction magnets". (That'd be a whole 'nother movie.)
posted by The Tensor at 7:26 PM on July 16, 2009

« Older Can you help me identify an electronic component...   |   How to choose an accountant. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.