Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published August 19th 2020
So many girls to choose from
Something a little different this time. Readers have been suggesting certain topics for music lists, and one I have received a few times was "Songs with the Names of Girls in the Title". Problem – there is no way I could cut that down to a simple, easy list. Even going by decades was not an easy cull. So I decided to try something different – an alphabetised list.
That means there are 26 songs here, all with the name of a girl in the title. The only other rule was no artist appearing twice. This did mean a couple of Beach Boys' songs missed out, but that's okay.
For those interested, A, B, M, R, and S were the hardest to get down to just one track, while F, and W were tough for me to find a track I like. Interestingly, E, O, S and Y had two songs I was fluctuating between up till I typed this up. X, Q and Z were easy as there is only one song in my collection with these that I like. And that's some statistics.
And here's some tracks.
A: 'Amanda' by Boston (1986)
I keep coming back to this track because it is so wonderful. The glorious vocals, the build to that chorus, the tight instrumentation – this song is a great piece of 80s pop-rock, and yet is all but forgotten today.
B: 'Barbara Ann' by The Beach Boys (1965)
This is The Beach Boys' song that made it, a fun bit of sing-along surf music that is a real joy to listen to. I hope whoever the girl was this song was written for enjoyed it as much as generations of listeners have.
C: 'Cecilia' by Simon And Garfunkel (1970)
One of my favourite S&G songs, but one I first heard as a cover version by Suggs, lead singer of Madness. Sorry. Still, this up-tempo track about a girl who is not entirely monogamous is such a great piece of music with some well-written lyrics.
D: 'Delilahl' by Ton Jones (1968)
Such a glorious, OTT song by Tom Jones that I have been hearing since I can remember (thanks, dad). A tale of tragedy and murder, and at the end "she laughed no more". Might be a personal thing, but I like this song a lot.
E: 'Eloise' by Barry Ryan (1968)
A friend of mine at high school described this song as "a dog's dinner" – all over the place with everything thrown in. Maybe that's why I like it so much. This is a song that I can listen to over and over. And The Damned's cover is pretty good as well.
F: 'Felicia' by Blues Traveler (1997)
Written for the band's original bassist, this is a song I only discovered years after its release, when I got into Blues Traveler through the song 'Hook'. There is a tenderness about the song, yet it retains the feel of Blues Traveler. Nicely done.
G: 'Gloria' by Laura Branigan (1982)
I have mentioned my love for Ms Branigan before, so let's get back to the start of her career and her warning Gloria that her lifestyle is not the best. So very good.
H: 'Happy Birthday Helen' by Things Of Stone And Wood (1992)
A great Australian track that seems to have fallen by the wayside, TOSAW were a decent band live, and this song with its Melbourne scenery is very much an Australian song. They need to make a comeback.
I: 'Irene' by Mike Oldfield (2014)
Essentially named for Hurricane Irene, this song is a great piece of rock music from one of Oldfield's more recent albums, and one of his better albums for many years. I am an Oldfield completist, and this track is right up there with his best.
J: 'Jessica' by The Allman Brothers Band (1973)
One of the first songs I thought of for this list, this is an incredible instrumental that most people know as the theme from Top Gear, which is terrible. It should be known as an awesome piece of country-rock. Because it is.
K: 'Kayleigh' by Marillion (1985)
Another of the songs that I first thought of, this incredible piece of 1980s rock is a song I have loved for 35 years now, ever since it came out. I have a friend who named her daughter Kayleigh for this track. Fair enough. Awesome track.
L: 'Layla' by Derek And The Dominos (1971)
Not the Eric Clapton unplugged version, but the original rock version, with that incredible outro of Clapton and Duane Allman trading guitar licks over glorious piano playing. Considered a classic for a reason.
M: 'Maggie May' by Rod Stewart (1971)
A song about a young man and an older woman really showcases Stewart's voice and his song-writing – the lyrics are amazing. Another classic rock track that deserves that epithet.
N: 'Nadine' by Chuck Berry (1964)
One of those classic Chuck Berry songs that you know as soon as you hear it, punctuated by his great guitar playing. I like Berry's music and this is one of the better tracks.
O: 'Ondine' by The Dandy Warhols (2019)
A modern recording of the classical Ravel piece about a water nymph, showcasing Zia McCabe's fantastic piano playing. Not so much a pop version as the actual piece played by musicians at the top of their game. Beautiful.
P: 'Peggy Sue' by Buddy Holly (1957)
This song had to be here. Buddy Holly was one of the first rock stars to write his own songs, and the fact they still sound wonderful today shows how talented he truly was. An artist taken way too soon.
Q: 'Little Queenie' by Jan Berry (1977)
Jan from Jan And Dean recorded this solo version of the old Chuck Berry track, a song also recorded by The Rolling Stones and The Easybeats. But I like this version, with Jan's voice still sounding so very good.
R: 'Rhiannon' by Fleetwood Mac (1975)
Written by Stevie Nicks. this track has become associated with her, and is indeed one of her best compositions. The tale of a witch or nymph or demi-goddess, this track is still one of the best in the Fleetwood Mac canon.
After leaving Journey, Perry released this song showing that the voice was still there and so was the music. Unfortunately, life sometimes takes over, but his newest album is great and there is always this brilliant song.
T: 'Tracy' by The Cufflinks (1969)
One of those cheesy 1960s pop songs, but one that is infectious and fun and really good to sing along to. All but forgotten nowadays, this is another song more should know about.
U: 'Ursula (The Swansea Song)' by Barclay James Harvest (1971)
Folk-rock at its finest, this is one of those bands who were big in the UK at the time, but despite recording and releasing music for decades, seem to be one that is a niche like. Well, I like them, and this track is a really sweet one.
V: 'Veronica' by Elvis Costello (1989)
Co-written with Paul McCartney, this song about Elvis' grandmother is a sad song that sounds up-beat but the incredible lyrics are anything but. One of Costello's best tracks, and one I related to as I watched my own grandfather slip into his own world.
W: 'Tomorrow, Wendy' by Concrete Blonde (1990)
Let's stick with the incredibly depressing songs, even if the singing is quite wonderful and the instrumentation is really strong. I'm not sure if this is a song about terminal illness, existentialism or suicide, but it is so incredibly bleak, even if a good track.
X: 'My Sister Xandra' by Emiel Van Egdom (1989)
An instrumental, 1980s jazz-pop, this track is so beautiful. This album was recommended to me many years ago by a jazz-loving mate, and this track is one of the stand-outs.
Y: 'Dear Yoko' by John Lennon (1980)
A love song for his wife, released on Lennon's comeback album, this is a song that is actually full of love. It's in the words and the way it is sung. John loved Yoko a great deal, and this song makes it obvious.
Z: 'Zelda' by Pete Townshend (1983)
Sparse instrumentation with guitar and strings, a constant beat and tempo, this is a strange little song, but it is mesmerising to listen to, an odd song about waving to Zelda. And other things. Strange, but that isPete Townshend.
And there you have it. An A to Z of girls in song titles. There is a bit of a mix of music here, but I hoped you have enjoyed these tracks.
So, what did you think of this different way of presenting songs? It won't work for every topic, but could for a few. Let me know in the comments below.