We're Going to Be Friends

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"We're Going to Be Friends"
We're Going To Be Friends.jpg
Single by The White Stripes
from the album White Blood Cells
ReleasedLate 2002
RecordedEarly 2001
GenreFolk rock, acoustic rock
LabelV2 Records
Songwriter(s)Jack White
Producer(s)Jack White
The White Stripes singles chronology
"Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground"
"We're Going to Be Friends"
"Red Death at 6:14"

"We're Going to Be Friends" is a song by the American alternative rock band White Stripes from their album White Blood Cells. It was released in late 2002, and tells the story of meeting a new friend at the beginning of a school year. Through its lyrics, it is able to evoke the simplicity and nostalgia of childhood.


"Suzy Lee," who is mentioned in the song in "We're Going to Be Friends", makes recurring appearances in White Stripes' discography, including in their eponymous album, which includes the song "Suzy Lee", as well as on Get Behind Me Satan,[1] which is dedicated to Suzy Lee, "Wherever she may be..."


The song speaks of a girl and boy who become friends while engaging in activities in and out of school. AllMusic said the song "takes a nostalgic look back at the innocence of school days with a surprisingly sensitive vocal as [Jack] expertly paints impressions of days past with deft economy."[2]


The video features Jack and Meg White on a couch in front of Jack's house at night time. Jack is playing a guitar, while Meg is sleeping alongside him. Jack wakes Meg as the song ends. The cover of the single is a still from the video.

The video was shot in one take after the band had finished shooting for the video for the song Hotel Yorba.


Tom Maginnis with AllMusic called the song a "sweet acoustic ballad,"[2] and NME called it "fey childhood-sweetheart folk."[3] The A.V. Club said it was "the album's most shocking track."[4]

In popular culture[edit]

Featured in the opening credits of the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite, writer/director Jared Hess commented that, originally, they could not find the song they were looking for, but wanted to use "We're Going to Be Friends," so a copy of Napoleon Dynamite was sent to The White Stripes, who promptly approved the song's use in the film.[citation needed]

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson recorded a cover of the song on his album Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George. In 2008 and 2009, it was used in a promo for PBS Kids.[citation needed] Bright Eyes covered the song with guest First Aid Kit for the charity album Cool for School: For the Benefit of the Lunchbox Fund.[5]

This song was also played at the end of the House episode entitled "Mirror Mirror", which aired October 30, 2007, although the song is not included in the show's soundtrack. The song is also featured in the Life in Pieces episode "Sexting Mall Lemonade Heartbreak". CBS included a song in commercials for its 2006 program The Class that resembled the tune of "We're Going to Be Friends."[6] When magazine Broadcasting & Cable reached out to Monotone Management (the management company of the band at the time), the company declined to comment, but indicated that the band was aware of the song and were not pleased.[6] In subsequent commercials, CBS used a different song.[6]

This song was featured in the 2017 film Wonder. The film used two versions of the song, the original version performed by the White Stripes and a cover version performed by Caroline Pennell.

This is one of Conan O'Brien's favorite songs by The White Stripes and at his request, they performed it on the final episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien on February 20, 2009.[citation needed] A portion of the song is also the opening theme to his podcast, Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by The White Stripes unless otherwise noted

CD promo[edit]

  1. "We're Going to Be Friends"

Children's book adaptation[edit]

We're Going to Be Friends
WAGTBF children's book.jpg
AuthorJack White
IllustratorElinor Blake
CountryUnited States
GenreChildren's literature
PublisherThird Man Books
Publication date
November 7, 2017

In May 2017, Third Man Records announced a children's book based on the single to be released on November 21, 2017, shortly after The White Stripes’ 20th anniversary.[7] The book became available on November 7, 2017 for pre-release events and limited distribution.[8] It was illustrated by Elinor Blake[7], an illustrator and animator for shows such as The Ren and Stimpy Show and Pee-wee's Playhouse.[8] The book came with a digital copy of the original song and a cover version performed by The Woodstation Elementary School Singers,[7] as well as a cover by April March.[8]


  1. ^ SARO (July 20, 2009). "#7 Suzy Lee". everyjackwhitesong.blogspot.com. Blogspot.com. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Maginnis, Tom. "Song Review by Tom Maginnis". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  3. ^ NME staff. "The White Stripes : White Blood Cells". NME. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  4. ^ Phipps, Keith (Jul 3, 2001). "The White Stripes: White Blood Cells". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Listen: Bright Eyes and First Aid Kit Cover the White Stripes to Benefit South Africa". Cover Me. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 13 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Topcik, Joel (August 14, 2006). "Connecticut Candidate's Cable Connection". Broadcasting & Cable. 136 (32): 5.
  7. ^ a b c Hughes, William (May 19, 2017). "Jack White is turning "We're Going To Be Friends" into a children's book". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 22 May 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "We're Going to be Friends". Third Man Books. Retrieved 15 November 2017.

External links[edit]