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Songs named after a girl

| Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Diane Park | The Observer

There’s an old Family Guy bit where baby Stewie writes a love song for another baby entitled “Susie.” Brian the Dog proceeds to sarcastically remark, “A song named after a girl … there aren’t a million of those already.” At Stewie’s behest, he then lists off 31 songs named after a girl to prove his point.

Check out the clip; it’s funny. More importantly, however, it inspired me to make a Spotify playlist of all the songs Brian named, and then some. If you’d be so kind, please check it out — “Songs Named After a Girl” — and give it a follow. I’m the creator, hadams3-us (original, I know).

But enough with the shameless self-promotion. I bring this up because, of all the pieces I’ve written in my time at Notre Dame, the most popular, it seems, have been about music. Being in the sports department, I don’t get to write about it much (but you should check out our “authoritative pre-game playlist”). So the point of this piece is to give songs named after girls their due praise –– praise which Brian apparently feels they don’t deserve.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully acknowledge that the market is saturated with girl-named songs (I’m currently up to 154 on my playlist), but there is much to be had from such a massive mishmash of melodies. Firstly, there’s a quasi-rainbow of options from which to choose, from blue (“Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” and “Jackie Blue”) to black (“Black Betty” and “Black-Eyed Katy”) to brown (“Sweet Georgia Brown”).

Speaking of Georgia, she and Virginia dominate the stately-named females demographic, with John Mayer, Jim Croce, Vance Joy, Train and The Rolling Stones covering that duo. And speaking of the state of Georgia, we’ve got Sammy Kershaw’s “Vidalia” leading the group of plant-based ladies, along with “Cherry Cherry,” “Daisy Jane,” “Jennifer Juniper” and “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes).”

Of course, I think we can all agree that the real appeal of these songs arises from a similar source, as does our love for those gas station keychains and that 2014 Coca-Cola bottle marketing campaign: You want to find your own name (or that of your significant other).

I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ll have better luck with songs than bottles and name tags if your name is “Rhiannon,” “Amoreena” or “Sharona.” On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, is the plethora of songs named after Mary, Emily, Rosie, Sara and Jane. There are some fortunate souls out there with a large romantic arsenal at their disposal if they’ve landed ladies with these more “mainstream” names.

But maybe none of this applies to you. Maybe you’re simply a connoisseur of compositions that honor women. If that’s the case, might I present you the star-powered lineup of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, The Rolling Stones, Sam Cooke, Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan and Zac Brown Band, because they all make frequent appearances on my playlist. Additionally, Fleetwood Mac, Toto and Michael Jackson each have a couple of gems to their name.

What more is there to say? I think I’ve underscored the point enough that, if your desired partner is of the fairer sex, you have an almost unlimited array of romantic armaments to throw her way (as for the males, I’m sorry the music industry is so sexist).

Again though, please check out my playlist. If you have any suggestions, I’m always looking to expand it. Hit me up on Twitter (@HaydenAdamsND) or by email (below). And while you’re at it, I have a request.

There are some “controversial” songs that lack clarity on whether or not they qualify for this list. I’d like to get some input on tracks like “Jack and Diane,” “Be My Yoko Ono” and “Stacy’s Mom,” and if you, my gracious audience, feel they deserve a place among the rest (for reference, I have allowed Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” on there). Again, email or Twitter are the best ways to reach me on this.

But regardless of whether or not you have a strong opinion on any of this, I hope I have provided you with some quality listening material. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll eventually be able to name 31 or more songs named after girls off the top of your own head.

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About Hayden Adams

Hayden is the former sports editor of The Observer. When he's not working toward his four majors (physics and film, television & theatre) and three minors (journalism, ethics & democracy), you can probably find him hopelessly trying to save his beloved Zahm House from being wiped out. He plans to attend law school at a TBD location after graduation.

Contact Hayden