Meaning of Rebel Yell by Billy Idol & The Story Behind

In another publication on the site Blimey, dedicated to the history of song creation, we will talk about the track Rebel Yell by British singer William Michael Albert Broad, better known under the pseudonym Billy Idol.

The composition in question belongs to the category of those that are commonly called visiting cards of artists, because every rock music lover knows it, even if the name Billy Idol does not tell him anything.

The story and meaning of the song Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

Billy talked about how he got the idea to write Rebel Yell on the TV show VH1 Storytellers.

The idea to compose a song with this name came to him at one of the parties where he had fun in the company of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood from The Rolling Stones. The musicians took turns drinking Rebel Yell whiskey straight from the bottle. At that time, Billy did not know about the existence of this brand, but he liked the phrase, and he decided to use it.

The co-author of the composition about a night spent with a passionate woman was guitarist Steve Stevens. He later said that he composed the music for the song under the influence of the works of acoustic guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke.

Release and achievements

In October 1983, Rebel Yell was released as the first single from the album of the same name. It peaked at number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 63 on the UK Singles Chart. The single was released again in 1985, this time reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart.

VH1 included the song in the list of 100 best hard rock songs (79th place).

Dope, HIM and other famous musicians recorded Rebel Yell cover versions. It was even performed by Miley Cyrus, which caused indignation among ardent fans of Billy Idol.

Video of Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

The music video for Rebel Yell – Billy Idol was directed by Jeff Stein, who previously worked with The Who on The Kids Are Alright. The video was filmed at the Capital Theater in New Jersey, but young people were recruited to participate in extras in New York. Stein recalled:

Our buses were full of beer and wine – you can’t do that now. Everyone got pretty good. Girls with large breasts, I specifically brought to the fore.

I Want My MTV

In general, we are watching Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell video.

Interesting Facts

  • The cry “rebel yell” was the battle cry of the Confederates during the Civil War in the United States.

Lyrics of Rebel Yell by Billy Idol

Last night a little dancer came dancin’ to my door
Last night a little angel Came pumpin cross my floor
She said “Come on baby I got a license for love
And if it expires pray help from above”

In the midnight hour she cried more, more, more
With a rebel yell she cried more, more, more
In the midnight hour babe more, more, more
With a rebel yell more, more, more
More, more, more

She don’t like slavery, she won’t sit and beg
But when I’m tired and lonely she sees me to bed
What set you free and brought you to be me babe
What set you free I need you hear by me


He lives in his own heaven
Collects it to go from the 7-Eleven
Well he’s out all night to collect a fare
Just so long, just so long it don’t mess up his hair

I walked the world with you babe
A thousand miles with you
I dried your tears of pain
A million times for you
I’d sell my soul for you babe
For money to burn with you
I’d give you all, and have none, babe
Just, just, justa, justa to have you here by me


Oh yeah little baby
She want more
More, more, more, more, more

Rebel Yell Lyrics by Billy Idol Alternate

Last night a little dancer danced at my door
An angel came to see me last night
She said, “Come on baby, I have a license to love.
And if it expired, let’s pray for help from above”

In the midnight hour she screamed: “More, more, more!”
With a rebellious cry she screamed: “More, more, more!”
Right in the middle of the night: “More, more, more!”
Rebel cry: “More, more, more!”
“More more more!”

She doesn’t like submission, she won’t ask
But when I’m tired and lonely, she puts me to bed
What set you free and brought you to me, baby?
What set you free? I need you here


He is in the clouds
Saving up to leave 7-Eleven
He is on duty all night long to collect for a ticket,
But only until it drives him crazy.

I’m ready to go the whole world with you baby
A thousand kilometers next to you
I wiped your tears of pain, baby
a million times
I’d sell my soul for you baby
For the money that I would spend with you
I’d give you everything and be left with nothing, baby
Just, just, just, just to have you around


2 times:
Oh yes baby
She wants more
More, more, more, more, more

Song quote

Every night I repeat: “Jesus, thank you, Lord, that I wrote it.” If I didn’t have this song, I wouldn’t be doing nearly as well… I wouldn’t have anything at all.

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