Music Lists #12: The 45 Greatest Songs Named After Women

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Okay, here's the rules:

(1) The song has to have a female's name in the title, but not necessarily be about a female.  In other words, "Lola" by The Kinks is about a male transvestite and "Martha My Dear" by The Beatles is about a sheep dog; neither about a chick, but both qualify.

(2) It has to be the first name.  Thus, "Mrs. Robinson" by Simon & Garfunkle doesn't count. Also, it can only have a girl's name, not a boy's; so, "Jack and Diane" by John Cougar wouldn't count.
And, finally (3) This is Retrospace, so we're not looking at songs from the nineties on up to the present (not that any would deserve to be on the list, anyway).

Last thing I'll say is: please don't concentrate on the numerical order (i.e. "WTF? 'Lovely Rita' is before 'Billie Jean'!").  I'm more interested in the one's that I missed.  Perhaps there's some oversights that you could shed some light on... please drop a comment if you've got some!
  1. Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles
  2. Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkle
  3. Lola - The Kinks
  4. Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) - Looking Glass
  5. Mandy - Barry Manilow
  6. My Sharona - The Knack
  7. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her - Simon & Garfunkle
  8. Aimee - Pure Prairie League
  9. Suite Judy Blue Eyes - Crosby, Stills and Nash
  10. Melissa - The Allman Brothers
  11. Along Comes Mary - The Association
  12. Michelle - The Beatles
  13. Beth - KISS
  14. Gloria - Them
  15. Ruby (Don't Take Your Love to Town) - Kenny Rogers
  16. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  17. Lovely Rita - The Beatles
  18. Layla - Derek and the Dominos
  19. Sarah Smile - Hall and Oates
  20. Sheena is a Punk Rocker - The Ramones
  21. Rhiannon - Fleetwood Mac
  22. Josie - Steely Dan
  23. Help Me, Rhonda - The Beach Boys
  24. 867-5309/Jenny - Tommy Tutone
  25. Martha My Dear - The Beatles
  26. Peg- Steely Dan
  27. Aubrey - Bread
  28. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles
  29. Come on Eilene - Dexy's Midnight Runners
  30. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix and the Experience
  31. Rosanna - Toto
  32. See Emily Play - Pink Floyd
  33. Fanny (Be Tender with My Love) - Bee Gees
  34. Roxanne- The Police
  35. Matilda's Mother - Pink Floyd
  36. Sweet Jane - Velvet Underground
  37. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
  38. Jennifer Juniper - Donovan
  39. Darling Nikki - Prince and the Revolution
  40. Maggie Mae - Rod Stewart
  41. My Maria - BW Stephenson
  42. Valerie - The Monkees
  43. Candida - Tony Orlando and Dawn
  44. Bernadette - The Four Tops
  45. Annie's Song - John Denver
And, just for the record, here's a few of my Worst Songs Named After Women:
Sara - Starship
Carrie - Europe
Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson
Luka - Suzanne Vega

Also, I don't think "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger is actually a girl's name, so I didn't include it.  I know a lot of people like "Angie" by The Rolling Stones, but I'm not too fond of it.  CCR's "Suzie Q" isn't one of my favorites either.

I'll also mention that I think naming a song after a woman has become the biggest music cliche ever; however, it still is good fodder for music lists (it's even parodied on Family Guy). The death knell for the cliche came with Lou Bega, possibly the worst recording artist of all time with possibly one of the worst songs of all time, namely "Mambo Number 5".


  1. Carrie Ann by the Hollies

  2. Anna - The Beatles & Arthur Alexander
    Victoria - The Kinks
    Sara - Bob Dylan
    Lucille - Little Richard
    Wendy - Beach Boys

    and the biggest omission:

    Alison - Elvis Costello

  3. Lucille - Kenny Rogers

    C'mon, sing it with me: "You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille, four hungry children and a crop in the field..."

  4. Christine - Siouxsie and the Banshees

  5. Carol - Al Stewart
    Daisy Jane - America
    Mary Mary - The Monkees
    Caroline, No- The Beach Boys
    Cecilia - Simon & Garfinkel
    Mandy - Barry Manilow

  6. Oops, I guess I should have looked at your list closer! :/

  7. This is like shootin' chix in a barrel:

    Charlena - Ruben and the Jets
    Fannie Mae - Buster Brown
    Jennie Lee - Shuggie Otis
    Daisy Mae - The Seeds
    Linda Lu - Ray Sharpe
    Sheila - Tommy Roe
    Gloria - The Cadillacs
    Julia - The Beatles
    Mary Ann - Link Wray
    Rosalie - The Searchers
    Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys or The Who
    Matilda- Augie Meyers
    Johnny Mae - Blues Rockers
    Mary Lou - Buddy Knox
    Suzie Q - Dale Hawkins or Creedence

  8. I love CCR's version of Suzy Q. It has that groovy, dark attitude like no other. And yeah, you can't leave Allison off that list. Take that horrible 867-5309 off and stomp on its dorky little head. Or that awful whiney Layla. Nobody wants to hear 67 minutes of multiple guitarists playing slide at the same time. And I'd put Maggie May and Aimee up near the top.

    She Sheila - The Producers
    Be My Girl / Sally - The Police

    1. I have to disagree about Layla. It is an amazing collaboration, and while there are many guitar parts, they were all played by Clapton and Allman, whose chemistry was profound.

  9. Emily -Frank Sinatra
    Jolene - Dolly Parton
    Sara - Fleetwood Mac
    Sherrie - Steve Perry
    Wake Up Little Susie - The Everly Brothers
    Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys
    Lucille - Chuck Berry
    I'm Not Lisa - Jessi Colter
    Delta Dawn - Tanya Tucker
    Elvira - The Oak Ridge Boys
    Amanda - Waylon Jennings
    Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
    Think of Laura - Christopher Cross
    Christine 16- KISS
    Delilah - Tom Jones
    Sherry - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
    Diana - Paul Anka
    Susie Q. - CCR
    Oh Sheila - Ready For The World
    Bobbie Sue - The Oak Ridge Boys

    (thanks for doing this, the hubby and I had fun digging in our memories and even singing a little!)

    I could really add a ton if songs from musicals count, we're a musical watching fool of a family :D

  10. Tammy - Debbie Reynolds

  11. "Jenny Jenny" is my wife's name, so i'm a fan of Tommy Two tone's 8675309. Of course there's Little Richard's Jenny Jenny... and Mitch Ryder's version of J.J./Devil with a blue dress aint so bad either.

  12. Dawn - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (if someone else posted this I could not find it)

  13. Luka by Suzanne Vega is about an abused boy (Luca is a male name in Italian).
    Windy by the Association comes to mind

  14. Cara-Lin by the Strangeloves (and not a lip-synced performance on Shindig, which is cool):


    Cinderella by the Sonics (1966. Wow!):


    Doreen by Muck and Mires (Yeah, it's a new song, but it's still good and the video's cool):


  15. C'mon Marianne - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

    All the following by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band:
    Betty Lou's Gettin' Out Tonight
    Jody Girl
    Mary Lou

  16. I like most of your list. I wd have put away Layla, too..
    I discovered a bunch of new songs! :D
    My contribution:
    Sad Lisa - Cat Stevens
    Carol - Chuck Berry
    Nadine - Chuck Berry
    Mustang Sally - Wilson Pickett
    Mary jane's last dance - Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
    Caroline - Status Quo
    -->> And some French songs of course:
    Daniela - Les Chaussettes Noires
    Oh ma jolie Sarah - Johnny Halliday
    Ballade de Melody Nelson - Serge Gainsbourg
    Aline - Christophe
    Alexandrie Alexandra - Claude Fran├žois

  17. Pamela by Toto. :) It wasn't a hit for them, but it's a great song.

  18. Jennifer Eccles & Sorry Suzanne - The Hollies
    Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
    Jeanette - The Beat
    Eloise - Barry Ryan

  19. Awesome selections; I must admit, I haven't heard of many of them (Anna - The Beatles & Arthur Alexander... huh?)

    Layla may be overplayed, but the Allman riff at the end is awesome... it could go on for three hours and I'd be happy.

    There's a lot of songs suggested that are, shall we say, far off the beaten path. I was tempted to include a bunch of obscure tracks, but realized the top 45 are obvious picks for a reason - they're damn good.

    That being said, there's still a ton of good songs named after chicks that I couldn't justify putting in the top 45. This is where my next post comes in. You'll see what I mean.

  20. anna banana - Great points. Luka is about an abused boy? Man is my face red. And YES, "Windy" is definitely an oversight. Good call.

  21. Other good suggestions that should arguably be in the top forty five -

    Jolene by Dolly is an awesome song, and so is Christine 16 by Kiss. Good suggestions, Myrtle.

    I love Boston, but I can't stand "Amanda"; and I like Journey but don't care for Perry's "Oh, Sherrie".

    And, yes, I did sing along with you, Paul. Great one!

  22. Runaround Sue - Dion & The Belmonts
    Alice's Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie

  23. A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

  24. @gilligan I agree about Steve Perry's song!, I can remember having a lot of the songs on my list on 45's, 33's and 8-tracks!

    And my husband was a KISS fanatic. He's a preachers son and his Dad caught him with KISS trading cards in the mid 70's and made him put them in a mayo jar and bury them by the garage!

    Too bad they tore the garage down a few years ago, we have NO idea where to treasure hunt!

    My husband text "Peggy Sue" to me last night from the bedroom after he went to bed, lol!

  25. Sweet Lorraine - Uriah Heep
    Come Away Melinda - also by Uriah Heep, though this song is about a daughter, not a girlfriend.
    Charlotte the Harlot - Iron Maiden

  26. Glad to see Peg & Josie here !
    Steely Dan half, Donald Fagen also sang "Maxine", then rearranged "Ruby Baby".

  27. Uh, Gilligan? You left out Jenny Artichoke by Kaleidoscope and Suzy Creamcheese by Zappa !
    Not to mention:
    Bernadette - Four Tops
    Jessica - Allman Bros.
    Oh, Candy - Cheap Trick
    Oh, Caroline - Cheap Trick

    And my anna wouldn't let me get away without mentioning this one :

    Anna (el Negro Zumbon) - many covers including Chet Atkins, Esquivel, The Spotnicks, Martin Denny, Herb Alpert.....

  28. What first struck me was the omission of Dyan's "Maggie's Farm." And just to be funny, I'm going to suggest "Me & Bobbie McGee" (the Kris Kristopherson version, perverts!)

    But the omission of Mustang Sally by the Wicked Pickett is simply unforgivable.

    And I think "I'm Not Lisa" is a Crystal Gayle song.

  29. Let me see if I can add a few to tis list . . .

    R. B. Greaves - Take a Letter Maria
    Chuck Berry - Maybelline
    Everly Brothers - Cathy's Clown
    Frankie Avalon - Venus
    Frankie Laine - Jezebel

    Hugo Winterhalter - Vanesa
    Jimmy Rogers - Honeycomb
    Kingston Trio - Call The Wind Maria
    Kingston Trio - Little Maggie
    Kingston Trio - Saro Jane

    Little Richard - Good Golly Miss Molly
    Little Richard - Long Tall Sally
    Mitch Miller - My Darling Clementine (cheat?)
    Mitch Miller - Peg O' My Heart Peggy O'Neil
    Nat King Cole - Mona Lisa

    Nat King Cole - Ramblin' Rose
    Edison Lighthouse - Love Grows where my Rosemary goes

    That is about the end of MY collection.
    Ray Charles - Georgia On My Mind (cheat?)
    Roger Williams - Maria
    Bobby Goldsboro - Honey
    Bobby Hebb - Sunny

    Creedence Clearwater - Proud Mary
    Ed Ames - Mary in the Morning
    Herb Alpert - Mame
    Johnny Mathis - Gina
    Limelighters - Molly Malone

    Maurice Jarre - Lara's Theme
    Patti Page - Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte
    Rod Mckuen - Jean
    Seekers - Georgy Girl
    Steely Dan - Josie

    SHAUN CASSIDY - Hey Deanie
    Tommy Roe - Shela
    Tommy Roe - Heather Honey
    Tommy Roe - Sweet Pea
    Jimmy Castor Bunch - Bertha Butt

    Billy Joel - Roberta (one of his best)
    Stevie Wonder - My Cherie Amour
    Frankie Valli - C'Mon Marianne
    Derek - Cinnamon
    Frankie Valli - Dawn go Away

    Cuff Links - Tracy

  30. Kaleidoscope - Jenny Artichoke
    The Rolling Stones - Miss Amanda Jones
    The Bonzo Dog Band - Hello Mabel
    Buck Owens - Sweet Rosie Jones
    Dickey Lee - I Saw Linda Yesterday
    The Statler Brothers - The Official Historian On Shirley Jean Berrell
    Nora Guthrie - Emily's Illness
    Protozoa - Ring Around My Rosie
    P.J. Proby - The Day That Lorraine Came Down
    Paul McCartney - Sally G
    The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band - Angelyne

  31. Two more I can't believe I missed . . .

    Jennifer Tomkins - Street People
    Alice Long - Tommy Boyce

  32. Cut and paste the link below into your browser to hear "Anna" by Arthur Alexander. (You seemed puzzled by my nomination.) It's a fantastic soul record from the 1960s that was also covered by The Beatles (on their first American LP). On my blog I posted the original version of all songs covered by the Beatles.


  33. Blue Sky - Allman Brothers Band

    Blue Sky is the name of Dicky Betts' ex-wife

  34. I was about to point out that Luka is not a girl's name but a boy's, but since Anna Banana beat me to it, I guess I won't.

    By the way, Luca is the equivalent of the Spanish Lucas.

  35. G n R My Michelle

  36. AnonymousMay 29, 2012

    Roxanne by Sting
    Isabella by Dia Frampton
    Carmen by Lana Del Ray
    Miriam by Norah Jones
    Hey Jude by The Beatles
    Why Georgia by John Mayer

    Do Mrs. Robinson and Lady Marmalade count?

  37. Izabella by Hendrix - inspired the spelling of my daughter's name. :-)

  38. Rosie by Joan Armatrading

  39. Elenore by The Turltles

  40. AnonymousMay 01, 2013

    Jamie's Cryin' - Van Halen

  41. AnonymousMay 11, 2013

    Wendy -The Beach Boys

  42. Minnie the Moocher- Cab Calloway

  43. Elvira and Bobbie Sue were both popular in the early/mid 80s - I don't remember who sang them, though.

  44. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Valerie by Steve Windwood, you Flashback Fool.

  45. Wadsworth Mansion - Sweet Mary?

  46. can't belive no one mention Denise by Randy & The Rainbows 1963

  47. "Caroline" and "Tomorrow, Wendy" are two great songs on Concrete Blonde's album Bloodletting.

  48. Led zep Darlene

  49. Angela-Motley Crue. And miss Emilys picture by Jon Conlee

  50. Lorelei. ..by the sticks

  51. Nobody remembers Candy-O by the Cars? Or Candy by Iggy Pop (with Kate Pierson of the B'52's? (Hey, im a diabetic and I remember them songs!) ;-)

  52. how has no one said The Band - Ophelia yet???

  53. Sylvia's Mother by Dr. Hook

  54. Angie Baby by Helen Reddy

  55. Laura by Christopher Cross

  56. Sylvia's Mother by Dr. Hook

  57. AnonymousMay 09, 2015

    Maggie May by Rod Stewart is maybe the best of all of them.

  58. AnonymousMay 25, 2015

    Alison - Elvis Costello

  59. AnonymousJuly 06, 2015

    Guys... Black Betty by Ram Jam? How did we miss that

  60. Love this list:
    Cindy, (cindy's Birthday
    Debby all from Johnny Crawford
    Am looking for a song Shirley from the early 1960s maybe 1962

  61. forgot Judy
    "Judy Loves me" Johnny Crawford

  62. Tammy
    Debby rennals

  63. Lydia the Tatooed Lady - Bing Crosby and Groucho Marx
    My absolute favorite

  64. Trivia: Tammy by Debbie Reynolds is probably the biggest charted song with a women's name.

  65. Valerie? Stevie Winwood? Anyone?