Brian: Wow, a song named after a girl. There aren't a million of those already.
, Maggie May
, Barbara Ann
, Billie Jean
, Jenny from the Block.
Songs named after girls, usually the Love Interest
of the male singer. This trope is one that just keeps coming back
, but for some reason female singers tend to not name songs specifically after guys.
Not to be confused with One-Woman Wail
. For songs about men, see One Man Song
Alternative Hip Hop
- "Laura" - Scissor Sisters' pop number opening their first full album. Also the name of a song by Billy Joel.
- "Mary Jane" - Alanis Morissette
- "Valerie" - The Zutons (covered - Mark Ronson, of course). Also the name of a song by Steve Winwood.
- "Ramona" - Beck (From Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
- "Isobel" - Björk
- "Emaline" - Ben Folds Five
- Also "Julianne," "Kate," "Alice Childress," and "Gracie."
- "Gracie" is written (and named) for Folds' daughter.
- Also Ben Folds' (no longer Five) "Saskia Hamilton" and "Kylie from Connecticut"
- "Caroline" - Concrete Blonde
- "Grace" - Jeff Buckley
- "Magdalena", "Brena", and "Judith" - A Perfect Circle
- "Jacqueline" - Franz Ferdinand
- "Tautou" - Brand New
- "Mary", "Talula", "Ophelia", "Marianne" and "Josephine" -Tori Amos
- "Lucy" - Skillet
- "Ruby note " -The Kaiser Chiefs
- "Adrienne" - The Calling
- "Alison" - Slowdive
- "Claudia Lewis" - M83
- "Alice", "Marian (Version)" and "Lucretia My Reflection" - The Sisters Of Mercy
- "Christine" - Siouxsie and the Banshees, especially odd due to the song being sung by a woman.
- "Charlotte Sometimes" and "A Letter To Elise" - The Cure
- "Caroline" and "Louise" from The Velvet Underground album Squeeze
- Tales of Us by Goldfrapp is an entire hard-to-categorise album of down-tempo single-person songs and seven of them are One Woman Songs: "Jo", "Annabel", "Drew", "Ulla", "Thea", "Simone" and "Laurel".
- Swedish-language lied "Rose-Marie" by Zachris Topelius and Karl Collan. It's about Rose-Marie being pretty and seventeen.
- "Molly", "Isabel" and "Annie's Song" - John Denver
- "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" - Kenny Rogersnote
- Spawned an answer song "Billy, I've Got To Go To Town" by Geraldine Stevens
- "My Maria" - Brooks & Dunnnote
- "Sweet Annie" — Zac Brown Band
- "Adalida" — George Strait
- Zig-zagged with Alan Jackson's "Dallas". The title refers to both the city and a girl named Dallas, with the narrator singing that "I wish Dallas was in Tennessee".
- "Amy's Song" by Brent Anderson, which samples "Amie" as seen below
- "Annabelle (Arkansas Is Callin' You)" by Hot Apple Pie
- "Arlene" by Marty Stuart
- "Kathleen" and "Loretta" - Townes Van Zandt
- "Amie" - Pure Prairie League
- "Delilah" - The Dresden Dolls
- Of course we cannot forget the more famous song of the same name by Tom Jones (she stood there laughing / I felt the knife in my hand, and she laughed no more.)
- "Suzanne" - Leonard Cohen
- "Barbara Allen" (Also "Barbarous Ellen", for her treatment of the Jimmy Grove.) - traditional British; variants all over the English-speaking world.
- "To Ramona" - Bob Dylan
- "For Emma" - Bon Iver
- "Hazey Jane I" and "Hazey Jane II" - Nick Drake
- "Molly Malone" - an Irish traditional about a beautiful seafood-peddling girl who died and continued wandering the streets with her barrow as a ghost.
- "Cecilia" - Simon & Garfunkel (She's breaking his heart, shaking his confidence daily; AND he's begging her please to come home)
- If you're feeling generous, "For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her" ... though with that one if you don't know what the name is you would never guess it (there's no chorus per se and the name "Emily" never appears in the song itself at all, only in the title).
- "Sally Anne", "Penelope" and "Margarita" - Great Big Sea.
- "Rosie" - Fairport Convention
- "Alison Gross" (a witch) - Steeleye Span
- "Hey Rose", "Genevieve", and "Viola" by Girlyman, though only one was written by a man.
- Martina-Phranc, by a woman this instance.
- "Polly" by Walk Off The Earth
- "Jenny" by The Mountain Goats (an allusion to Pirate Jenny).
- "Beth" - KISS (He hears her callin', but he can't come home right now)
- "Carrie" - Europe
- Thin Lizzy have "Sweet Marie", "Sarah", and "Sarah": Both songs called "Sarah" were completely unrelated musically, but were about different relatives of Phil Lynott with that first name (the first was about his grandmother, the somewhat more well-known second was about his then-new-born daughter). There's also "Rosemarie", which they Covered Up from Bob Seger.
- "Mary Jo" - Belle and Sebastian
- "Silvia" and "Julie" - Jens Lekman. (He also has a Dear Friend Lisa.)
- "Hey There Delilah" - Plain White T's
- "Sylvia" - The Antlers
- "Cath..." - Death Cab for Cutie
- "Geraldine" - Glasvegas
- "Celestine" - Kirsty Mac Coll
- "Girl Called Alex" - Kurt Vile
- "Silvia" and "Billie Holliday" - Miike Snow
- "Jezebel" - Two Hours Traffic
- "Dr. Suzanne Mattox PhD" and "Patricia the Stripper" - The Wombats
- "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", "Peg", and "Josie" by Steely Dan.
- "Audrey," "Jessica," and (debatably) "Amber" - Dir en Grey
- "Tallulah" - Sonata Arctica
- "Eva" by Nightwish is a melancholy ballad about a lonely girl who lives in her imagination.
- "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)" from Led Zeppelin II by Led Zeppelin.
- "Johanna" and its reprise from Sweeney Todd: the young sailor addresses beautiful Johanna and tells her he's going to take her away.
- "Darlene" - Erasure (interesting in that it is sung as if to a love interest, but the singer is a gay male)
- "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart, about a possessive girlfriend.
- "Billie Jean" - Michael Jackson's signature song, from Thriller. If you are one of the few people who haven't heard it, it's about how the titular Billie Jean has been going around telling everyone she and the narrator are lovers, and that her child is his.
- Also, "Dirty Diana," from the Bad album.
- "Jenny from the Block" - Jennifer Lopez's Rockstar Song
- "Kitty" - Written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, recorded by Racey and Covered Up by Toni Basil.
- "Eve" and "Julia" - Chantal Kreviazuk.
- "Sherry", "Ronnie", "Dawn" and "Marlena" are all the Four Seasons.
- "Brandy" - Looking Glass (She's a fine girl. What a good wife she would be.)
- "Diana" by Paul Anka: "I'm so young and you're so old, this, Diana, I've been told."
- "Rosanna" by Toto, sung about the lead singer's girlfriend at the time, Rosanna Arquette.
- Less famous ones from various albums include "Anna", "Holyanna", "Pamela", and "Melanie".
- "Alison" - Jordy (with both the singer and the cartoon girl being children).
- "Célimène" - David Martial.
- "Oh! Carol" - Neil Sedaka
- "Windy" - Ruthann Friedman, sung by The Association
- "Angie" - Cobra Starship
- "Carrie Ann" - The Hollies
- French singer Najoua Belyzel is particuarly fond of these songs, as she has a female example and THREE male examples. The female example is "Stella" and the male examples are "Gabriel", "Denis" and "Jérémie".
- "From Sarah With Love" - German singer Sarah Connor.
- "I've Got A Crush On Hilary Duff" - Australian singer Scott Cain.
- "Racey Lacey" - Girls Aloud
- "Anita" - Doe Maar
- "Nachtzuster ("Night Nurse") - Doe Maar from their album Virus.
- "Black Lady" - Donna Summer from I Remember Yesterday.
- "Haushinka" - Green Day. Also "Maria", "Amy", "Ashley", and "Amanda".
- "Josie" - blink-182
- "Jasey Rae" - All Time Low
- "Dakota" - A Rocket to the Moon
- "Sarah Smiles" - Panic! at the Disco
- "Ashley" - Escape the Fate
- "Emily" - From First To Last
- "Alice" and "Marian" - The Sisters Of Mercy
- They also covered "Emma" by Hot Chocolate and "Jolene" by Dolly Parton.
R & B
- "Denise" - Fountains Of Wayne
- "Jenny" - The Click Five
- Waltham were apparently pretty fond of this trope, as four different songs on their self-titled album were named after women: "Cheryl (Come And Take A Ride)", "Joanne", "Maria Simeone", and "Nicole".
- "Bernadette" - Four Tops (Some men spend their whole lives searching for what we had)
- "Charlene" - Anthony Hamilton
- "Michelle" and "Mari-Johanna" - by Mariska, a female artist. Even though the song explicitly refers to Mari-Johanna as a girl it can be easily taken to stand in for something other than an actual girl.
- "Michelle" is an unusual entry on this list since it has the narrator longing for their crazy romance with Michelle — but they acknowledge that their feelings are irrational, as their life is now good and a living hell with Michelle, an apparent narcissist and explicitly stated psychological and physical abuser.
kun sä lähdit sen jälkeen en oo osannu luoda mitään
aiheet pistit taskuun mulle ei jäänyt
kuin mustelmat siitä illasta marraskuun
Sairaalalaskuun kääntöpuolelle raapustan kaipaan sua Michelle
- "Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter's Daughter" - Kendrick Lamar, based on his real high school girlfriend of the same name.
Rock and Roll
- "Roxanne" - The Police about "redeeming" a prostitute.
- "Michelle" - The quintessential Silly Love Song from The Beatles.
- "Eleanor Rigby" - The classic Beatles Tear Jerker, of course.
- "Julia" and "Sexy Sadie", too.
- "Angie" - Depending on which rumor you believe: Mick Jagger bragging about nailing David Bowie's wife, Mick Jagger lamenting wanting Bowie's wife, or Mick Jagger apologizing for nailing her husband.
- "Barbara Ann" - The Regents, from 1961. Covered later by The Beach Boys. They tried other girls, but they knew they wouldn't do.
- "Sara" - Bob Dylan
- "Sara" - Starship (Storms are the wind in her eyes, of course.)
- "Rosalita", "Leah", "Sherry Darling" - Bruce Springsteen
- "Suzy Lee" - The White Stripes
- "Emily" - The title of songs by From First to Last, Elton John, and Michael W. Smith, and Frankie Valli, all unrelated to one another
- "Susie Q" - originally by Dale Hawkins, made famous by Creedence Clearwater Revival (Baby, I love you)
- "Sophia" - Hed PE
- "Rosemary" - Lenny Kravitz
- "Lydia" - Fur Patrol
- The same band later inverted this trope with their next single "Andrew".
- "Maria Maria" - Santana
- "Mary" - The Feelers
- "My Sharona" - The Knack (by the way, the woman named Sharona, who was on the single cover, is an ordinary woman who sells real estate in Southern California.)
- "Ann" - Andy Dwyer's song about Ann Perkins on Parks and Recreation; written and performed by Chris Pratt, the actor who plays Andy. Subverted in a later episode when he wrote a song about April... and titled it "November".
- "Carol" and "Anna" - Al Stewart
- "Vivica" - Jack Off Jill
- "Jane" - Jefferson Starship
- "Martha" - Tom Waits from Closing Time.
- "Vera" - Pink Floyd (The One Woman in this case is the real-life Vera Lynn)
- "Ramona" - Tuomari Nurmio
- "Milla" - Anssi Kela
- "Lucille" - Rauli Badding Somerjoki
- "Peggy" and "Amalia" - Samuli Edelmann
- "Cross-Eyed Mary" - Jethro Tull, from Aqualung
- A metric tonne of Finnish Schlager canon, including but not limited to:
- Foksi songs: "Eeva", "Irja", "Maruzella", "Karina"
- Humppa songs: "Sheila", "Amalia" (or "Erokirje heilille")
- Walzes: "Emma", "Saariston Sirkka", "Ramona", "Kyllikki", "Joensuun Elli", "Anniina"
- Finnish Tangos: "Humiko", "Sabina", "Aila", "Annabella", "Anneli Anneli Anneli", "Monika Monika Monika", "Ritva", "Angelique"
- Humorous couplets: "Lievestuoreen Liisa", "Babylonin Sanna", "Ieva", "Lenita", "Elsa, kohtalon lapsi", "Esteri, tyttö sadepisarain"
- Others (not intended to be danced): "Lulu", "Sulamit"
- Tango songs: "Perfidia"
- "Santa Lucia" is originally a Neapolitan song that's about the city and boating with repeats of "Saint Lucy" added in pretty much like filler, but the Nordic Saint Lucy celebration songs actually are about the saint.
- "Lilian" - Depeche Mode. Ostensibly about a really evil ex who's just broken up with the singer.
- "Mary Jane" - Tori Amos. It's not about a girl.
- Also subverted in "Song for Whoever" by the Beautiful South, where due to repeated Muse Abuse the singer/writer can't remember which of the many One Women is which:
Oh Shirley,Oh Deborah, Oh Julie, Oh Jane
I wrote so many songs about you I forget your name
Oh Cathy, Oh Alison, Oh Phillipa, Oh Sue
You made me so much money I wrote this song for you
- Subverted in "Helena"; the song is about grieving for a dead woman (Word of God says the singer's grandma.)
- Subverted in "Debra" - Beck. The song's lyrics begin to direct the song towards one girl ("oh girl, I only wanna be down with you") until it's revealed that Beck has a secondary interest: Debra, the girl's sister ("and your sister, I think her name is Debra"). The track is done in the vein of R. Kelly-like R&B ballads and seems to be one until the hilarious twist of Beck pining for a little more is made apparent.
- "Jamie" by Weezer, a tribute to their lawyer. Similarly, "Susanne", about their A & R assistant.
- "Magdalena" by dEUS from The Ideal Crash.
- "Lucille" by Kenny Rogers, which is about the man's wife running off and leaving him to raise their four children alone on a farm.
- Played with in that Rogers is not singing as the jilted husband, but as the poor barfly Lucille was trying to hook up with who is now having to watch this poor stranger's life fall apart.
- "Jolene" by Dolly Parton, sung by the cuckolded wife to the woman her man is having an affair with.
- "Boy Named Sue" - Johnny Cash, as the title says the girl's name in this case doesn't relate to a girl.
- "Reva Thereafter" by Girlyman, about the singer's grandmother, and coping with her suicide.
- "Mary Jane" by Rick James. Like the Tori Amos song, not about a girl.
- In "Polly" by Nirvana the narrator addresses their rape victim as if she was a pet bird.
R & B
- More than half of the songs on Slint's Tweez are named after women ("Carol", "Charlotte", "Darlene", "Rhoda", and "Nan Ding"). The thing is that all of these are non-appearing titles that have nothing to do with the song content, and the remaining four songs have male names. They decided to just title the songs as arbitrary shout outs to band members' parents. As for why there's an odd number of names, well, Rhoda was drummer Britt Walford's dog.
- "Lola" - Silly little number by The Kinks... that's actually about a Transvestite. Maybe. All we know for sure is that the singer is glad he's a man and so is Lola.
- Similarly, "Chelsea Dagger" by The Fratellis.
- "Delilah" by Queen. The lines "You get away with murder so innocent" and "you pee all over my Chippendale suit" feel somewhat out of place in a sweet and catchy love song, if you don't realise that it's about a cat.
- Why Leelee Won't Love Me by Primitive Whore.
- "Martha My Dear" by The Beatles. It's about Paul's dog.
- "Noelle" by Daniel Amos, which isn't a love song by any means.
- "Mia" by Chevelle. No one's quite sure what it's about.
- "Andzia" by the Polish band Oddział Zamknięty. This is ostensibly a love song about a girl the singer "can no longer live without". In reality, this is a way of Getting Crap Past the Radar - while "Andzia" is a girl's name, it also sounds very much like "gandzia" (pronounced similar to "ganja"), i.e. cannabis. The song, in reality, is about a man's enjoyment/addiction to marijuana.
- "Sara", "Rhiannon" and "Annabel Lee" by Fleetwood Mac.
- "Ilona" by Apulanta is about Ilona's suicide and the narrator's grief, not the girl herself.
- "Thea"note by Schoolyard Heroes is about a real bitch of a (former) friend.
- "Pamela" by Jaakko Teppo is about the character in TV series Dallas and the narrator is a (moderately sane) Loony Fan who sings about his reasoning behind his choice of Pamela as his favourite lady. (Lucy is too "tiny" and Sue-Ellen too heavy a drinker for him.)
- Stephen Colbert had a signature song that was "chart-adjacent" in the eighties, entitled "Charlene", where the narrator is obsessed with the titular woman and the song literally spells out how the narrator stalks her.
- There was a sequel song recently that Colbert sang with the Black Belles called "Charlene 2 : I'm over you". Hint:he's not really.
- Martina Navratilova, Wish You Were Mine-As heard on the ''Tony Horne In﻿ The Morning'', the song talks about how the legendary tennis champ is Not Like Other Girls, broke the singer's fingers, looks manly, and how he probably wishes she was his girlfriend.
- Paul and Storm have "K-R-I-S-T-I" about Kristi Lee of the Bob & Tom show, which is a song in the acrostic poem mold. The first I stands partially for "my eye, which you adorned with pepper spray", while T is for "tears I shed from love ... and pepper spray" while the other I is for "my other eye, which you also pepper sprayed."
- "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga is possibly a triple subversion. First it is inverted. Second there are three men in the song. And finally Gaga is fending off their advances.
- "Stephen" by Kesha is a song about a man, sung by a woman.
- "Etienne" by Guesch Patti, also a song by a woman about a man.
- "Jillian (I'd Give My Heart)" by Within Temptation takes this subtrope Up to Eleven. The song is sung about a woman, from the perspective of her male love interest, by a woman. (It was written as a Shout-Out to a fantasy novel series).
- "Römppäisen Veikko", "Merkonomi Blomqvist", "Rullatuoli Aatu", "Abdullah", "Visa P.A. Kottinen" by Jaakko Teppo are non-romantic songs about a man, by a man.
- As is "Stefan-eno" by Martti "Huuhaa" Innanen.
- "Gunnar vierasmaalainen" ("Gunnar the foreigner") seems to be about a man sung by a man... until the pre-verse chorus is over and the lyrics reveal Gunnar to be a wandering ram who ends up seducing a full herd of domestic ewes.