Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” Lyrics Meaning

In “White Wedding”, Billy Idol is addressing the person he is singing to as “little sister”. However, this is the title he has given to his former lover and not a reference to an actual sibling, although he did get the original idea for this song from his actual sister’s wedding.

The real plot of this track is that the singer’s ex has just engaged in a “shotgun” wedding. And he is not pleased about it. In fact there is no actual indication that they have even broken up. So throughout the song, he is questioning her concerning this decision. He also presents the world as an unfair, dangerous place from which, via her marriage, she is basically trying to derive some good from. Or as Idol puts it, she is making an effort to “start again”.

So in conclusion, this song occurs on the day in which the woman the singer loves, romantically, is getting married to another man. And this has him in a state of confusion and obviously anguish which he deals with through sarcasm (by basically congratulating her) as well as inquiring as to why she made this decision.

Lyrics of "White Wedding"

Music Video for “White Wedding”

The music video to “White Wedding” features Perri Lister, Billy Idol’s ex-girlfriend. In the clip, Perri plays the role of the bride. Idol and Perri were a couple from 1980 all the way to 1989.

Release Date and Album appearances of “White Wedding”

Chrysalis Records released “White Wedding” on 16 July 1982 as part of Billy Idol’s self-titled debut album. Since then, Idol has also featured it on other albums of his, including the following:

  • 1985’s Vital Idol
  • 2001’s  Billy Idol: Greatest Hits
  • 2008’s Idolize Yourself – The Very Best of

Furthermore, the song has also made an appearance on the soundtrack of the 1998 Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer. (FYI, Idol also has a cameo in that film.)

Chart Performance

“White Wedding” failed to hit in the UK the first time it was released. However, upon re-release in 1985, it peaked at an impressive number 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

This song also reached 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 (again as a re-release in 1983). It fared better on Billboard’s Top Tracks and Dance/Disco Top 80 charts, where it respectively peaked at numbers 4 and 10.

Usage in Video Games

More evidence of “White Wedding” being an established pop tune is its appearances in popular video games such as 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and 2009’s Guitar Hero: Van Halen. Furthermore, it has also appeared in a few installments of the Rock Band series.

Who wrote “White Wedding”?

Billie Idol wrote this classic himself, with the production side being handled by Keith Forsey.

Was this song played during the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?

No. However, when Harry and Markle were married on 19 May 2018, Idol gave them a shoutout on Twitter and in the process referenced this song.

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