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.