Song lyrics can be a fantastic place to find baby names--especially for girls. Nearly every moniker you could think of has been mentioned in song. For instance, there's Paul Anka's "Diana" from the 1950s, Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia" from the 1970s, and Blink-182's "Josie" from the 1990s. The Beatles alone offer enough ideas (e.g. Eleanor, Julia, Lucy, Michelle, Rita) to fill an entire classroom.
Simple, sonorous names such as Annie, Jenny, Sally and Sarah pop up most often, but unusual names like Tristessa (The Smashing Pumpkins) and Grizelda (The Monkees) have been used as well. Here are a few other examples:
The name Caroline has appeared in songs by artists ranging from Neil Diamond ("Sweet Caroline") to The Beach Boys ("Caroline, No") to Aimee Mann ("Goodbye Caroline"). It's also been used by Chicago, Lou Reed, Fleetwood Mac, Cheap Trick and Concrete Blonde.
"Waltzing Matilda" is a well-known Australian folk song, "Matilda" is a popular calypso song (performed by Harry Belafonte, among others), and "Matilda Mother" was included on Pink Floyd's debut album back in the late '60s.
"Susie Q" has been covered by the likes of The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival. There's also "Wake Up Little Susie" by The Everly Brothers, "Suzy Is a Headbanger" by The Ramones, and other songs by Elton John, Blondie, and The White Stripes.
There are hundreds more where these came from. So dust off your music collection -- be it a folder of mp3s that hasn't been opened since 1998 or a box of LPs that hasn't been opened since 1968 -- and start listening for baby names.
Here are two things to keep in mind as you search:
- A name may only be mentioned a handful of times in a song, and not be featured at all in the title. An example of this is the name Wendy in Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." So listen closely.
- Many people strongly associate certain names (like Luka, Macarena and Rhiannon) with certain songs. If you want the musical connection to be subtle, avoid names such as these.
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