The Union Forever
Words and Music by Jack White
Consists primarily of extracts from
The film “Citizen Kane” released in 1941
Written by Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz
This post mostly written by Patrick Ferris and stolen from Broken Bricks

*Update* A video showing a lot of these parallels.

____________________

It can’t be love `1
For there is no true love `2
It can’t be love
For there is no true love

Sure I’m C.F.K. `3
But you gotta love me `4
The cost, no man can say `5
But you gotta love me

Well, I’m sorry but I’m not interested in
Gold mines, oil wells, shipping or real estate `6
What would I liked to have been?
Everything you hate `7

‘Cause it can’t be love
For there is no true love
It can’t be love
For there is no true love

There is a man `8
A certain man
And for the poor you may be sure
That he’ll do all he can
Who is this one
Whose favorite son
Just by his action has the traction
Magnets on the run?
Who likes to smoke
Enjoys a joke
And wouldn’t get a bit upset
If he were really broke?
With wealth and fame
He’s still the same
I’ll bet you five he’s not alive
If you don’t now his name

You said, “The Union forever” `9
You said, “The Union forever”
You cried, “The Union forever”
But that was untrue, girl

—————-
CONTEXTUAL NOTES:

`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
say.

`6 “I’m sorry, but I’m not interested…”
COWORKER: It’s from Mr. Kane.
THATCHER: Go on.
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!

6 thoughts on “Citizen Kane (The union forever)

  1. Hm. Just watched the movie for the first time, and a number of lines kept making me think of this one White Stripes song. I decided to do some research, and this was the first site I found. So, thanks.

    The song is an interesting take on the character/movie.

  2. Thanks! I’m watching Citizen Kane for the first time as I type this, and they had the scene where the song comes up, “There is a man..” and I was like. I know that! but from where?? I’ve always been a huge white stripes fan but had no idea about the meaning of that song. Back to the movie..

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