Almanac Music: Women and Men, and Songs: Part 1 – Songs Featuring a Female Name

 

Original UK release of The Police’s song, ‘Roxanne’, 1978. [Wikimedia Commons.]

 

Women and Men, and Songs: Part 1 – Songs Featuring a Female Name

 

 

When I write a themed music piece like this one, containing a collection of linked songs, as I’ve done many times for The Footy Almanac recently, my choice of theme has been a particularly important consideration. The theme has to be one that is important in relation to the songs of the rock / pop era (1950s onwards). In this particular article, the theme is songs which feature a female’s name – so many songs are (in effect) sung by men to women; often, for example, declaring love or some other emotion, whether it be longing, disdain or something else – or it could be a mixture of various feelings.

 

Also, as a general rule, I believe it is important to place the songs I’ve selected in other, wider contexts; often, in my Almanac pieces, this will include genre and, always, year of release of the version of the song chosen. Here and there, also, I’ll quote some of the lyrics. Making the effort to do these kinds of things is important in good writing of the kind I’m attempting here, because it adds to the information and helps provide illumination – it’s like putting flesh on what would otherwise be the bare bones of a mere skeleton of a songlist.

 

Of course, as usual, I welcome contributions from Almanackers in the comments section. In this week’s instance, the female name can make up all or part of the song title you have selected, and/or, indeed, be significant in the lyric of the song concerned. Also, feel free to interpret my prompt loosely – some names are widely given to both females and males, for example. In addition, a song with a female name could be sung by another female, to provide another possibility.

 

 

‘Diana’, written and performed by Paul Anka (1957)

 

 

This much-covered pop song, expressing youthful ardour, with distinctive sax riffs, was written and originally recorded by a highly talented fifteen-year-old, Paul Anka, and based upon an adolescent crush. (The intensity with which he sings the chorus ‘Oh please stay by me, Diana’ is notable.) His later musical career did not, perhaps, live up to its early promise, but, nevertheless, has been a highly significant one.

 

 

 

 

‘Anna (Go to Him)’, written by Arthur Alexander, performed by The Beatles (1963)

 

 

The Beatles’ first studio album, Please Please Me, contained a fairly even mix of Lennon-McCartney songs and covers of songs by other artists. The entire album was recorded in thirteen hours! It still possesses immediacy and freshness as a result of this – and this song is no exception. John Lennon does a fine, emotional lead vocal performance, while the backup vocals, consisting largely of long harmonised notes sung by Paul McCartney and George Harrison, are superb.

 

 

 

 

‘Barbara Ann’, written by Fred Fassert, performed by The Beach Boys (1965)

 

A bit shoddy in terms of production, with its loose, live feel, the Beach Boys’ version of this song was, nevertheless, a major international hit and has become a classic of the nineteen-sixties. It is uncomplicated musically, but very catchy, with the usual pretty Beach Boys harmonies. An uncredited Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean fame shares lead vocals with Brian Wilson.

 

 

 

 

‘Eleanor Rigby’ written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, performed by The Beatles (1966)

 

What can be written about this timeless classic from the Beatles’ Revolver album – a dark, atmospheric song with its stark double string quartet arrangement by George Martin and brilliantly poetic lyrics, mainly written by Paul McCartney? Not a lot more than has already been said over the years, I suppose. Just listen with a clear head, and something more of its genius may open itself out to you. ‘Ah, look at all the lonely people …’

 

 

 

 

‘Carrie Anne’, written by Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, and Tony Hicks, performed by The Hollies (1967)

 

Speaking of catchy, this sixties pop classic by the wonderful UK band The Hollies has its inspiration from another sixties icon, actress and singer Marianne Faithfull. According to one-time Hollies member, Graham Nash, the Carrie Anne of the title was based on the Marianne of the Faithfull, so to speak, as so many men in her social circle wanted to be her boyfriend. A steelpan solo is featured on the song, likely the first on a pop record.

 

 

 

 

‘Jolene’, written and performed by Dolly Parton (1973)

 

This is a country song with somewhat unusual content, in which the female singer begs another woman not to ‘take [her] man’. Parton has said that it is basically a true story of a female bank employee who flirted with her husband in the early stages of their marriage. I’m not sure why Dolly was worried, though, as someone as beautiful as the young Parton wouldn’t need to be concerned about such female competition.

 

 

 

 

‘Carmelita’, written and performed by Warren Zevon (1976)

 

With its tragic overtones and beautifully poetic lyrics, ‘Carmelita’ is an inspired rock ballad.

 

‘I hear mariachi static on my radio / And the tubes they glow in the dark …’ – this so-called ‘junkie’s lament’ is surely one of the best popular music songs of the last fifty or so years (as I’ve indicated in a previous Almanac article). Though the song has been covered by numerous artists over time, no one has done it better than Zevon himself, though Linda Ronstadt’s version does come very close.

 

 

 

 

‘Roxanne’, written by Sting, performed by The Police (1978)

 

The Police were an interesting addition to the rock music scene in the late 1970s, mainly for their sparse post-punk sound, the percussive inventiveness of their drummer Stewart Copeland, and Sting’s songwriting. ‘Roxanne’, about a man who falls in love with a ‘woman of the night’, was their first hit.

 

 

 

 

‘Gloria’, written and performed by U2 (1981)

 

This driving rock number, which for me kicked off a forty-year-plus familiarity with the work of U2, remains among their best half-dozen songs. Its anthemic quality, the quirky but effective use of Latin in the lyrics, and the vocals – both lead and backing – all contribute to a highly effective whole. The video clip of the band performing the song on a barge in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, has become an icon of its genre.

 

 

 

 

‘Valerie’, written by Steve Winwood and Will Jennings, performed by Steve Winwood (1987)

 

This stylish, uplifting synth-pop number, with its soaring chorus, is a joy. The song exists in a number of Winwood versions, the selected 1987 one being the biggest international hit.

 

 

 

 

………………………………………….

 

 

So, Almanackers, it’s that time again … rouse yourselves from the Almanackery! Your responses to this topic are, as usual, warmly welcomed. Please add your own choice of a song (or songs) featuring a female’s name in the comments section, along with any other points you’d like to make. (Next Friday, Part 2 of this piece will deal with songs featuring male names.)

 

[Note: Wikipedia has been a good general reference for this piece, particularly when it comes to checking dates and other details.]

 

 

 

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About

Kevin Densley is a graduate of both Deakin University and The University of Melbourne. He has taught writing and literature in numerous Victorian universities and TAFES. He is a poet and writer-in-general. His fifth book-length poetry collection, Please Feed the Macaws ... I'm Feeling Too Indolent, was published in late 2023 by Ginninderra Press. He is also the co-author of ten play collections for young people, as well as a multi Green Room Award nominated play, Last Chance Gas, which was published by Currency Press. Other writing includes screenplays for educational films.

Comments

  1. Liam Hauser says

    Vienna: Ultravox
    Dianne: Australian Crawl
    Dear Elaine: Roy Wood
    Come back Karen: Wizzard
    Song for Susan: Crosby Stills and Nash
    Oh no not Susan: Electric Light Orchestra
    Anji: Davey Graham (but I much prefer Simon and Garfunkel’s version)
    Kathy’s song: Simon and Garfunkel
    For Emily, whenever I may find her: Simon and Garfunkel
    Mary Anne with the shaky hand: The Who
    Pictures of Lily: The Who
    Sally Simpson: The Who
    Avenging Annie: Andy Pratt (and covered by Roger Daltrey)
    Pamela: Toto
    Rosanna: Toto
    Bonnie: Supertramp
    Christie Lee: Billy Joel
    Josie: Steely Dan
    Oh Yoko: John Lennon
    Sweet Caroline: Neil Diamond
    Michelle, Maggie Mae, Martha my dear, Julia, Hey Jude, Dear Prudence, Lady Madonna, Lovely Rita, Long Tall Sally, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Penny Lane, Polythene Pam: The Beatles

  2. Kevin Densley says

    Brilliant list, Liam! Many thanks. (One thing, though – my understanding is that the lyrics of ‘Vienna’ were written by Midge Ure with the city in mind.)

  3. Liam Hauser says

    A couple of others:
    Julianne: Ben Folds Five
    Layla: Derek and the Dominoes

  4. Liam Hauser says

    April come she will: Simon and Garfunkel

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for the additional songs, LH.

    Interestingly, I just remembered that Billy Joel also has a song called, ‘Vienna’ (from The Stranger album), but that one gets its inspiration from the city, too, according to the man himself.

  6. Colin Ritchie says

    ‘Carrie Anne’ by The Hollies is a fab song but I prefer ‘Sorry Suzanne’by them. Of course one of Leonard Cohen’s great songs is ‘Suzanne’.
    Still on the Sue theme you cannot go past ‘Peggy Sue’ by Buddy Holly.
    Regarding Glorias, Van Morrison & Them’s ‘Gloria’ is one of the great pop songs, a fab song for singing along with, and getting the dancing feet moving.
    ‘Sheila’ – Tommy Roe
    ‘Absolutely Sweet Marie” – Bob Dylan
    ‘Come On Eileen” – Denys Midnight Runners
    I’m sure more will come to me later.

  7. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Great idea Kevin !
    Here are a few :
    Valerie – Amy Winehouse
    Janelle – Cold Chisel
    Kayleigh – Marillion
    Sara – Fleetwood Mac
    Lucille – Kenny Rogers
    Bernadette – Four Tops
    Veronica – Elvis Costello

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Here’s a handful KD

    Alison – Elvis Costello
    Veronica – Elvis Costello
    Candy – Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson
    Candy-O – The Cars
    Candy Says – Velvet Underground
    Marie Provost – Nick Lowe (very sick topic however)
    A Boy Named Sue – Johnny Cash
    Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, Suzy Is A Headbanger, Judy Is A Punk, Ramona – Ramones
    Alison’s Starting To Happen – Lemonheads
    Annie Get Your Gun – Squeeze
    Black Betty – Leadbelly
    A Letter To Elise – Cure
    Walk Away Renee – Left Banke
    Karen, Lee Remick – Go Betweens
    Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    Eloise – Barry Ryan
    Jeane – Smiths
    Donna – 10CC

  9. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Col, for your additions. You’ve reminded me and other readers that, of course, one female name can apply to different songs, like ‘Gloria’ (Van Morrison), different to the U2 song of the same name, or, indeed the Laura Brannigan one.

  10. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Phil. Welcome to the discussion! Glad you like the idea of it.

    And you’ve reminded me that both ‘Valerie’ ( Amy Winehouse and Steve Winwood) and ‘Lucille’ (Kenny Rogers and Little Richard) are names of different songs performed by different artists.

  11. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, Swish. Thanks for this great list.

    Just to pick one to comment upon … I’ve always enjoyed 10cc’s ‘Donna’ a great deal – very much a parody of fifties songs like Richie Valens’ ‘Oh Donna’.

  12. Dennis Gedling says

    Where does Lola stand in all of this?

    Great list.

  13. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Dennis. Glad you really like the list

    I was waiting for someone to mention ‘Lola’. Usually, I provide ten songs just to get the ball rolling, as I did in this instance

    It’s interesting that Ray Davies wrote ‘Lola’ way back in 1970.

    I think ‘Lola’ can stand wherever ‘Lola’ wants to.

  14. Ian Wilson says

    Miss Maybelle – RL Burnside
    Angie – Rolling Stones
    Valleri – The Monkees
    Gloria – Patti Smith
    Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan
    Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground
    Happy Birthday Helen – Things of Stone and Wood (yuk)
    Lucinda & My Sharona – The Knack
    Nina Pretty Ballerina – Abba
    Woman of Ireland – WPA
    Proud Mary & Good Golly Miss Molly – CCR

  15. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Ian, for your contributions.

    Interestingly, to pluck out one of your selected songs, there’s a website that lists about 70 cover versions of the Van Morrison written ‘Gloria’ alone! Certainly shows how a song can get around.

    And Patti Smith’s take on the Morrison/Them song is a blinder.

  16. Liam Hauser says

    I’ll probably keep thinking of some others:
    Cecilia: Simon and Garfunkel
    Sad Lisa: Cat Stevens
    Hello Susie: Amen Corner (and The Move)
    Carrying Cathy: Ben Folds
    Annie Waits: Ben Folds
    Jane: Ben Folds Five

  17. Colin Ritchie says

    A few more have come to mind KD.
    ‘Lady Jane’ Rolling Stones
    ‘Queen Jane Approximately’ Bob Dylan
    ‘Sara’ Bob Dylan
    ‘Pamela, Pamela’ Wayne Fontana
    ‘Eleanore’ The Turtles

  18. Luke Reynolds says

    Cathy’s Clown- You Am I
    Betty’s Worry Or The Slab- Hunters & Collectors
    Leilani- Hoodoo Gurus (the Leilani 2000 version rerecorded in 2014 is incredible)
    Amy (Darling)- Split Enz
    Iris- Split Enz
    Hello Sandy Allen- Split Enz
    Catherine Wheels- Crowded House
    June- RAT!hammock
    Sadie Sorceress- King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
    Sadie- John(ny) Farnham
    The Ballad of Narelle (Parts 1 and 2)- Mental As Anything

  19. As I’m married to a Mary (actually Marija – the Croatian version) and we are off to see Bruce Springsteen in Zurich in June then Vienna in July – I have to nominate Bruce’s many Mary songs:
    – Mary’s Place
    – Mary, Queen of Arkansas
    – O Mary Don’t You Weep
    – Mary Lou
    – Maria’s Bed
    Not to mention his many songs with Mary in the lyrics. The legendary Mary whose “dress sways like a vision as she dances across the porch as the radio plays” at the start of Thunder Road. Or the Mary who got pregnant “and man – that was all she wrote” in The River (based around his sister’s life). All up there are 26 songs Springsteen has recorded with Mary in the lyrics (there’s a Spotify playlist). I assume it relates to his mother’s Catholicism and his upbringing, as she bought his first guitar and loved dancing so was the first musical influence on him.
    Now we’re on a Mary roll:
    Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival
    And the Wind Cried Mary – Jimi Hendrix
    Mary Mary – the Monkees
    But in due deference to Marija (the Avenging Eagle) I’d have to add the sublime “Maria” (how beautiful that sound) from Bernstein and Sondheim”s West Side Story.
    Less sublime but unfortunately ear worm memorable to those of a certain age – “Take A Letter Maria” by RB Greaves and “I Did What I Did for Maria” by Tony Christie.
    Ave Maria.

  20. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Liam and Col, for your additional material. Fine stuff, indeed!

    Both of you have included favourites of mine since childhood: ‘Cecilia’ and ‘Elenore’.

  21. Kevin Densley says

    Thank you, Luke, for your Oz/NZ material – an eclectic, interesting bunch of songs. Re ‘Cathy’s Clown’: the first song I thought of with that title was by the Everly Brothers; of course, the You Am I song with that name is very different. It’s good, too, to see songs like ‘Hello Sandy Allen’, about a meeting with the tallest woman of that early-80s era, brought into the light.

  22. Kevin Densley says

    Hi PB! Thanks so much for your ‘epic’ response – basically a fully-fledged post in its own right, which could have been called ‘Variations upon a Theme of Springsteen and Mary’. Yes, I agree, it seems clear that Bruce’s Catholic upbringing had a great deal to do with his fixation upon this name. (Your other non-Springsteen choices related to the name ‘Mary’ [and variants] are also noted.)

  23. Liam Hauser says

    Peter_B,
    Also for your information, Supergrass had a song called Mary, and Redgum had a song called Maria.
    And in a previous post I mentioned Mary-Anne with the shaky hand (The Who).

  24. Carmelita, what a wonderful song. Warren Zevon was a great wordsmith, taken far too soon. Anyhow;

    I’m perplexed one of the all time Australian classics, Evie hasn’t been mentioned. 50 years next year since its release, but still has the same energy and power that’s made it so legendary.

    There are a few others I can chuck in the mix but Evie is a song that needs a play.

    Glen!

  25. Kevin Densley says

    Hi Glen! Yes, I agree totally about ‘Evie’ – the whole Vanda – Young trilogy.

    It’s so good that you’re in the Almanac community as one who would think to remind us of leaving it out.

    Thanks mate!

    P.S. I’ve just listened to the entire ‘Evie’ trilogy again as a result of your post. Wonderful, and so evocative of a time and place.

  26. Liam Hauser says

    I’m astonished that Living next door to Alice (Smokie) hasn’t been mentioned yet.

    I also thought of a few others:
    When Alice comes back to the farm (The Move)
    Oh oh Kimberley (James Reyne)
    Stephanie knows who (Love, and also covered by The Move)
    Peg (Steely Dan)

  27. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks again, Liam, for your additions to what has become an impressive, eclectic and interesting list – yes, sometimes obvious songs to include in themed collections like this one are not promptly mentioned (for whatever reason).

    Another one: ‘Sussudio’ (1985, released as a single) by Phil Collins – apparently, it’s supposed to refer to a female name. Collins said he just made it up, as he need something to fit the song he was in the process of writing. At any rate, the song and the coined word ‘Sussudio’ irritate the heck out of me!

  28. Liam Hauser says

    Also for your info, Kevin, I just remembered a David Crosby song named Willie Gene. It’s also about a girl.
    Also to add to the list:
    Dear Angie (Badfinger)
    My Marge (The Move)
    Goodbye Elenore (Toto)
    Holyanna (Toto)
    Rikki don’t lose that number (Steely Dan)

  29. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks again, LH.

  30. Liam Hauser says

    But wait there’s more…
    So long Dixie (I’m familiar with the Blood Sweat and Tears version)
    Lisa, Listen to me (Blood Sweat and Tears)
    The night they drove Old Dixie Down (The Band)
    Lara Versus the Savage Pack (Midnight Juggernauts)
    Julie through the glass (Carly Simon)
    Ella James (The Move)

  31. Kevin Densley says

    Wow! Thanks yet again, Liam.

  32. Rick Kane says

    Hi KD

    I’m late to this party and what an excellent theme to get Almanacers posting suggestions. Huge list, and here’s a few more (hopefully I haven’t doubled up.

    Marie’s the name of his latest flame, Elvis
    Julianna Calm Down, The Chicks
    So Long, Marianne, Leonard Cohen
    Sally Go Round the Roses, Jaynettes
    Sandy, Bruce
    Amanda, Don Williams
    Frankie and Johnny, lots of covers but let’s go with Jimmie Rodgers
    Margie’s at the Lincoln Park Inn, Tom T Hall
    Donna, Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs
    Rosa Parks, Outkast
    Memphis Pearl, Lucinda
    Queen Jane Approximately, Bob
    And many songs by Chuck Berry

  33. The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down is a song about a Confederate soldier lamenting the defeat of the South in the US Civil War of the 1860’s. “DIxie” is a place not a person. These AI bots are getting a bit carried away. Time to step up your content moderating KD. (Insert smiley laughing face).

  34. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, Rick. Thanks for your list. Interesting and varied as always.

    PB – of course! I should have picked that one up. My only defence is that with so many songs on the lists put forward, the odd issue will slip through to the keeper, which in this instance was you. (Of course, Dixie can be a female name, but it isn’t in the context of the song concerned.)

  35. Karl Dubravs says

    Quite a few Dylan songs listed above. Here’s a few more!
    Angelina + Farewell Angelina
    Corrina, Corrina (traditional, but Dylan did a decent version)
    Hazel (dirty blonde hair)
    Isis (epic song ¬ ‘when he died I was hoping that it wasn’t contagious’ ¬ credit to Jacques Levy too
    Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts
    The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
    Maggies Farm
    Peggy Day
    Rita May
    To Ramona
    ..and to all the rainy day & covenant woman, sweethearts like you. lay lady lay’s, you angels you’s, big girls & girls of the north country, babe’s & baby blue’s & honey’s…

  36. Tony Forbes says

    Mary, Mary, the Monkees, Bernadette, The Four Tops, Eloise – Barry Ryan!, Eleanor— The Turtles, Black Betty!,Ram Jam?,

  37. Rick Kane says

    So there’s a new Rodney Crowell album out (produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco) with a song called Oh Miss Claudia. Add that to the list.

    Other Rodney Crowell songs include:

    Elvira (more famously known as an The Oak Ridge Boys song)
    Life without Suzana (about Guy Clark’s wife)
    Forgive Me Annabelle
    and Frankie Please (a neat little rocker)

  38. Kevin Densley says

    Wonderful! Thanks Karl. Your Dylan-connected contributions (to various Almanac pieces) underline how vast and diverse the great man’s ‘reach’ was in terms of songwriting themes/topics.

  39. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Tony, for your contributions, some of which (e.g. ‘Mary, Mary’ and ‘Elenore’) have also been noted by others in this comments thread.

  40. David Nadel says

    Here are a few more,
    Alexandra Leaving by Leonard Cohen
    Wake up little Susie -Everley Brothers
    Deborah – Dave Edmonds
    My Antonia – Emmylou Harris (also by Emmylou – The Ballad of Sally Rose, Evangeline)
    Janet Says – Jerry Jeff Walker
    The Rose – Bette Midler’s version was the theme for her movie The Rose which was about a singer (based on Janis Joplin) called The Rose. Amanda McBroom almost certainly had something else in mind when she wrote the song.
    Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills and Nash

  41. Why, why, why

    Delilah

    Not sure this has been mentioned above.

  42. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for your input, David. It certainly gets harder to list songs the more the process goes along, as many others have listed previously. Reading online a little more about the genesis of ‘The Rose’, I discovered another song to include, ‘Magdelena’ (1976) by Danny O’Keefe, sung by Leo Sayer. Amanda McBroom mentions the O’Keefe song in a discussion of how she came to write ‘The Rose’.

  43. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Smokie. As far as I can see, having quickly looked over the long list we now have, no one has mentioned ‘Deliliah’ until you.

    ‘Delilah’ is the kind of song many of us may have belted out on a karaoke night, after sufficient vocal lubrication.

  44. Karl Dubravs says

    Hey KD. Absolutely love the Danny O’Keefe Magdelena song ¬ thanks for the memory. I haven’t heard the Leo Sayer version, but Danny’s version will suffice. It’s off his stand out 1973valbum – ‘Breezy Stories’ which has a really nice ‘female’ album cover. Do yourself a favour & check it out!

  45. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Karl. I’ll certainly check Danny’s version out

  46. Late to the game but anyhow…

    Vampire Weekend’s Hannah Hunt. Part road trip song, part breakup lament, it’s both moody and soaring. When we saw them at the Forum in 2020, Ezra Koenig explained that the lyric- ‘a gardener told me some plants move” was inspired by a scene from Picnic at Hanging Rock which made a nice connection between us and the NYC band. I wrote about the song here- https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/vampire-weekends-hannah-hunt/

    Thanks KD, an excellent dialogue.

  47. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Mickey, for your contribution. I did read – and like – your Almanac piece concerning Vampire Weekend’s ‘Hannah Hunt’, but unfortunately the clip was no longer available.

    ‘Hannah Hunt’ sounds very American Gothic doesn’t it, like something from Hawthorne or Poe?

  48. Rick Kane says

    Magdalena triggered a flashback to the final Monkees album Good Times and the ripper song Mike Nesmith sings, Me & Magdalena. And if it hasn’t been noted, Mike Nesmith’s song Joanne.

    and a couple of others, from albums I’ve been listening to over the last few days:

    A Rose for Emily, The Zombies
    Drunken Maria, The Monks
    Caroline, No, The Beach Boys
    Tina Toledo’s Street Walkin’ Blues, Ryan Adams
    Ruby and Carlos, James McMurtry

  49. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for these further additions, Rick.

    Of course, Britney Spears did a song called ‘Lucky’, about a girl with that name – it hasn’t been mentioned yet.

  50. One of my all time favourites is Helen Reddy’s ANGIE BABY, how about a couple of Suzie’s – Wake up little Suzie and Where’s the Playground Suzie. Then there’s Ginny in the Mirror (Del Shannon). Judy in Disguise With Glasses (John Fred and his Playboy Band). Hey, Hey Helen (ABBA) Leah (Roy Orbison)

  51. Dave Nadel says

    Speaking of Roy Orbison – He wrote the song Claudette about his wife although I think the Everly Brothers may have had a bigger hit with it.
    The Everly’s had several songs with female names. Wake Up Little Susie and Kathy’s Clown have already been mentioned but there was also Poor Jenny.
    Tom T Hall wrote Pamela Brown (“I’m the guy who didn’t marry Pretty Pamela Brown, Educated well intentioned good girl in our town”)
    Mary Hamilton – traditional Scottish folk song performed by Joan Baez on her first album
    Kenny Rogers – Ruby , Don’t Take your Love to Town – a truly horrible song in my opinion, I hated it from the first time I heard it in 1969.
    Hello , This is Joannie. Paul Evans ‘ clever but creepy piece of Necro rock.
    Kirsty MacColl – Caroline

  52. Fanny by the Bee Gees is the only song with a female name on the Richard Chee Quee of compilation albums: Ripper ’76.


  53. Eloise – Barry Ryan (1968). One of the first great pop power ballads. The video that launched the silk skivvy; wind machine and inspired deodorant ads with beautiful women on horses.

    Love Grows (Where my Rosemary Goes) – a huge pop hit for Edison Lighthouse in 1970. 5 weeks on top of the UK Charts.

  54. Kevin Densley says

    Fisho, Dave, Mickey, Peter: thanks for your further additions – this discussion has certainly developed a fine mometum and life of its own.

    I’ll add yet another: ‘Maxine’ by New Zealand singer-songwriter Sharon O’Neill, from around 1981.

  55. Rick Kane says

    Hi Dave

    Great that you included a Tom T song, and a ripper. I included another of Tom’s and now here’s a few more, because despite Dylan’s idiotic rant about Tom T in a MusicCares speech a few years back, Tom T Hall is one of the master songwriters of the last 100 years.

    Ramona’s Revenge (a quirky little tale on Tom’s best album)
    The Little Lady Preacher (same album, one of my faves)
    Ravishing Ruby
    Pay No Attention to Alice
    Susie’s Beauty Shop
    The Adventures of Linda Bohannon

    and while it doesn’t have a woman’s name in the title a big shout out to Harper Valley PTA.

  56. DBalassone says

    Runaround Sue by the great Dion – the only rock ‘n roller, other than Bob Dylan, to appear on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s.

  57. E.regnans says

    Thanks Kevin – att times like this I miss the old CD shelves, LP racks, flicking through the covers, memories rising and falling like dust mites.

    Cold Chisel – Goodbye (Asrid, Goodbye) // Outstanding breakup song
    Cold Chisel – Juliet
    Cold Chisel – Mona and the Preacher
    Cold Chisel – Ita // Brilliant pisstake on the cult of celebrity image from – 1979 (!)
    Cold Chisel – Janelle

    Taylor Swift – Betty // From the Folklore album – characters from this song also appear in other songs on the album – stories told across the album from various points of view.
    Colin Hay – Maggie // Very good live, A Colin Hay show is a real treat.
    Tex, Don and Charlie – Louise

  58. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, DB, for your contribution and for mentioning that interesting Dion fact.

  59. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, David W! Many thanks for your comments and contributions. I particularly liked the fact that Cold Chisel received excellent representation.

    And my shelves of CDs still see a lot of action!

  60. From the movie “Brigadoon”, who could forger “GO HOME WITH BONNY JEAN.

  61. Kevin Densley says

    Ah, Fisho, something from musical theatre! Thank you.

  62. Dave Nadel says

    I wasn’t going to go back to this thread but seeing (and hearing) Arnold Layne reminded me of another Pink Floyd song from the same period. See Emily Play, also written by Syd Barrett, was the single released to follow Arnold Layne. It was the first Pink Floyd song that I heard and should have been a hit in this country but wasn’t.

  63. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks for that, Dave. Good info to share.

  64. Eddie Cochran recorded Jeannie Jeannie. Stray Cats did a great version on their debut album, Brian Setzer’s guitar work rocks.

    There’s a Rose Tattoo tune on their second album, Sidewalk Sally.

    I’ve listened to Warren Zevon’s original of Carmelita a few times lately, as well as Linda Ronstadt’s cover. What a song; how good was Warren Zevon’s songwriting?

    Glen!

  65. Kevin Densley says

    Great stuff, Glen!

    I love both Cochran and Stray Cats’ versions of ‘Jeannie, Jeannie, Jeannie’.

    And Rose Tattoo have certainly done some fine work, including ‘Sidewalk Sally’.

    Finally, possibly you know how much I agree with you about ‘Carmelita’ and Zevon’s songwriting, as I said something about these matters earlier in a couple of these types of Almanac discussions.

  66. Hey Eulah (from the movie, The long Hot Summer)
    Patricia
    Delilah Jones
    Anna (from the fifties)

  67. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks again, Fisho.

    Actually, the song ‘Delilah Jones’ was connected to a movie, too, The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), starring Frank Sinatra, directed by Otto Preminger. The connection was that the film’s ‘Main Title’ theme was the basis for the McGuire Sisters vocal version of ‘Delilah Jones’.

  68. Put Your Shoes on Lucy
    Lazy Mary
    Lilly the Pink
    Rose Marie
    Lean Jean 17
    Hey Paula

  69. Kevin Densley says

    Cheers, Fisho. Thank you for these additions.

  70. Liam Hauser says

    I forgot to include Julie Don’t Live Here (Electric Light Orchestra). It’s not one of ELO’s best known songs, as it is a bonus track on their 1981 classic album Time.

  71. Carmen’s Boogie (Andrews Sisters)
    Daisy, Daisy
    Mona Lisa (Conway Twitty or Nat King Cole)
    Delta Dawn (Helen Reddy)
    Please Don’t Talk about Barbara
    Bette Davis Eyes
    Help me Rhonda
    Windy
    Black Betty

  72. Jennifer Eccles
    Hello Dolly
    Yes Tonight. Josephine
    Judy’s Turn to Cry

  73. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Liam – the more songs the merrier, as far as I’m concerned.

    And thanks, yet again, Fisho!

  74. Well Kevin, here’s a couple more I thought of –
    Mary Anne (Burl Ives)
    Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair (Stephen Foster)
    Sioux City Sue (Gene Autry)

  75. Kevin Densley says

    Thanks, Fisho.

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