Music Monday: 25 Songs About a Girl(‘s Name)

I’m trying something different with Music Monday today. I didn’t attend any concerts this week, foolishly skipping Jason Mraz Saturday evening and turning down Elliott Brood tickets Saturday night on account of an early (and long) day Sunday, so I have no reviews to pass on. Instead, I’m going to pass on some song recommendations.

It would be too easy to just pick an assortment of songs, so I picked a theme. While listening to Elvis Costello this week, I began to think about the best songs whose title is a girl’s name (inspired by his two amazing songs “Veronica” and “Allison” More on them later). I wondered if I could construct a full list. To limit it further, we’re only taking songs titled that consist solely of a name, so no “Anna Begins” by Counting Crows, much to my chagrin. Here’s what I came up with instead.

Here are 24 of my favourites, with an additional song thrown in because it inspired the title of this post. I’ve even assembled these songs as a playlist on Blip.fm for your listening pleasure.

Happy Monday! Here are the songs. with blurbs and bonus links for a few of my favourites.

The Academy Is… – About A Girl
This great pop-punk song inspired the title of the post, so it gets a bonus inclusion. Worth a listen in any case.
Arkells – Abigail
Ben Folds Five – Kate
Two Hours Traffic – Jezebel
Jack Johnson – Taylor

Love the guitar work throughout this, especially at the beginning.
The Allman Brothers – Melissa
Elvis Costello – Veronica
Franz Ferdinand – Jacqueline

A great song with a great guitar riff; probably my favourite off of their eponymously titled debut album.
Fleetwood Mac – Rhiannon
When I was running in a student council election back in my university days, I was out campaigning and I introduced myself to a girl who told me her name was Rhiannon. I responded “have you heard the Fleetwood Mac song “Rhiannon”, to which she replied, tersely, “everyone says that to me”. Suffice to say, I’m pretty sure she didn’t vote for me. True story. If you’re reading this, sorry about that, Rhiannon.
The Kinks – Lola
Death Cab for Cutie – Cath…

Having listened to it a few times recently, I can say that ‘Narrow Stairs’ is a totally underrated album.
Ray Lamontagne – Jolene
Just a beautiful, haunting song. I also recommend Hannah, but I couldn’t find a good version of on blip.fm. Instead, YouTube comes to the rescue. Check out this great version.
Simon & Garfunkel – Mrs. Robinson
Going old school! Great lyrics, great tune, from a great movie (The Graduate). I especially love the part about Joe DiMaggio.
The Lemonheads – Mrs. Robinson
Great cover of the Simon & Garfunkel classic.
The Allman Brothers – Jessica
The lone instrumental. Such great work from the Allman Brothers here. If this song doesn’t pick up your day, nothing will.
Fenix TX – Phoebe Cates
Metro Station – Kelsey
A surprise inclusion? This song sounds to me like a synth-pop Third Eye Blind tune. A marriage that works quite well in my books. Don’t judge until you’ve listened.
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
I was at a shopping mall on a random Saturday this summer. I walked into a store and “Billie Jean” was on. I stopped, and thought to myself, “this is a really good song”. I had forgotten, not having listened to much MJ for so many years. Five days later, the King of Pop was dead and we all rediscovered his music.
Bonus “Billie Jean” covers: Mos Def and Steven Page/Danny Michel.
Blink 182 – Josie
I became a Blink fan listening to ‘Dude Ranch’ in Grade 10. This is one of my favourite tracks, an homage to an excellent girlfriend. How can you not love a girl who stays up late watching “Vacation”.
The Police – Roxanne
Goo Goo Dolls – Iris
Rod Stewart – Maggie May
Barenaked Ladies – Jane

Ben Folds – Gracie
Elvis Costello – Alison
Saving the best for last. Probably my favourite tune on this list. Everything about it is top-notch. The tight, melodic sound. Elvis’ voice. The words, a combination of resignation and a final plea. So, so, so good. My favourite Elvis tune of all time.

As a bonus, here he is playing it on his first ever television appearance. Enjoy!

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2 Responses

  1. Good list. I think I would add:

    Fountains of Wayne – Hey Julie

    and maybe (if it counts)

    Boston – More Than a Feeling (because of Marianne)

  2. Great call. Love “Hey Julie”; one of the best Fountains of Wayne songs. Plus it made for a great scene on Scrubs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExFIrV4QpXY

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