X

White Girl

Composed by Exene Cervenka / John Doe

Song Review by

The romantic tension that twists in the heart of this, one of X’s most beloved songs, is apparently rooted in real life -- although singer and bassist John Doe was married to fellow singer Exene Cervenka at the time he wrote ”White Girl”, the white girl about whom he was singing was Lorna Doom of that other seminal Los Angeles punk band, the Germs. This fact lends a certain extra weight to Exene’s rather tired-sounding echoes of Doe’s more fervid descriptors (“She’s blonde,” “Nineteen,” etc.) and to the fact that her vinegary harmony vocals on the chorus sound more like a sigh of resignation than anything else. Doe’s lyrics are a bit more poetic than usual here as well, and the song isn’t necessarily the better for it; couplets like “Why not/You’re alone inside his keeping” (note to John: the gerund is not a songwriter’s friend) and “Steel chains/A noose of charms on our necks” tend to drag it down, while a relatively pedestrian couplet like “I’ll replace your drunk old man/Sit in the parking lot and hold your hand” does far more to communicate the bittersweetness of doomed adolescent love. Overall, though, the song is tremendously effective. Rhino’s reissue of Wild Gift includes an alternate single mix of the song among its bonus tracks.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Wild Gift 1981
X
Rhino / Slash 3:27
Los Angeles/Wild Gift 1988
X
Slash 3:29
Live at the Whisky a Go-Go 1988
X
Elektra / Rhino 3:50
Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the 80's, Vol. 6 1994
Various Artists
Rhino 3:34
Unclogged 1995
X
Sunset Boulevard
Punk University, Vol. 2 1995
Various Artists
Oglio Records
Beyond & Back: The X Anthology 1997
X
Elektra 3:29
The Best: Make the Music Go Bang 2004
X
Rhino / Elektra 3:29
Live In Los Angeles 2005
X
Shout! Factory
Rhino Hi-Five: X 2006
X
Elektra 3:30
Original Album Series
X
Rhino / Warner Bros.
No Image
X
Elektra / Rhino 3:27
No Image
X
Porterhouse
blue highlight denotes editor's pick