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"Here we go again! My, my, how can we resist this title?"
A work (music videos don't count because of course they're titled after their music) titled after a pre-existing song, i.e. not something written in conjunction with the show/movie. If it's not the song's real title, it's something one could Refrain from Assuming it was.
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Closely related to Literary Allusion Title. The Film of the Song is a form of this. Idiosyncratic Episode Naming can sometimes employ this as well. A Sister Trope to Musical Theme Naming, where characters may be named after songs. Hence, if the work is named after a character therein, and the character is named after a song, you get both tropes. Sometimes a lyric comes full circle, and becomes A Good Name for a Rock Band.

For music albums titled after songs on them, see Title Track.


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Examples (by category):

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Using the song (not necessarily as a Theme Tune):

    Anime & Manga 
  • Elfen Lied is named after the music piece "Elfen Lied". The song plays a role in the manga, but is notably absent from its anime adaptation. This makes it something of an Artifact Title.
  • Great Pretender is named after The Platters' song "The Great Pretender", the cover of which by Freddie Mercury plays in the end credits. The credits are even (mostly) a copy of Mercury's music video starring Mercury's cats.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
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    Films — Animation 
  • Strange Magic is a Jukebox Musical about how a Love Potion complicates politics between a kingdom of fairies and a kingdom of goblins.
  • Yellow Submarine was the only Beatles movie which was based on a Beatles song instead of having the song written for the movie, having first appeared in 1966 on the album Revolver.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Blue Velvet - after a Bobby Vinton hit, used in the movie.
  • (Kenny Rogers as) The Gambler (the song was originally a hit for him)
  • The House I Live In — the title song was originally featured in the 1943 musical Let Freedom Sing
  • In the Mood for Love (as far as the original title is concerned)
  • In the Mood — Not only using the Glenn Miller classic, but set in the time it was popular.
  • La Bamba, a biopic of Ritchie Valens, who had the best known hit version of the title song.
  • Last Night in Soho is named after the eponymous song by English pop band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, which plays over the film's end credits.
  • Little Annie Rooney (1925) has Annie Rooney thinking about how much she used to hate the song "Little Annie Rooney", a dance hall song from the 1890s.
  • Man on the Moon (The 1992 R.E.M. song about Andy Kaufman became the title for his Bio Pic in 1999. The band wrote the film's underscore and incorporated the song as a Leitmotif. They also wrote a new song for it, "The Great Beyond", that serves as a companion piece to the original tune.) The 2017 documentary behind the making of Man on the Moon was called Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond, an homage to the companion song.
  • French movie Ma Petite Entreprise.
  • Meet Me in St. Louis had both songs newly written for the movie and period tunes. The former include "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Belonging to the latter group are "Under the Bamboo Tree" and the title song. "Skip to My Lou" straddles the line.
  • The Midnight Hour (although the song's full title is "In The Midnight Hour".)
  • The Mighty Quinn - a Justified Title; the Bob Dylan song is sung in the movie by some of the characters.
  • Shock Treatment: Though the song was written for the movie, the film went through a couple of Working Titles before they decided to name it after a song that was present from the start.
  • Stars in My Crown is a Western, titled after the hymn "Will There Be Any Stars in Our Crown?". It's the favorite hymn of the preacher who is the protagonist of the film.

    Literature 
  • Several of Manly Wade Wellman's Silver John stories are named after/inspired by Appalachian folk-tunes, including "Shiver In The Pines", "The Little Black Train" and "The Desrick on Yandro". The eponymous hero always sings at least a verse or two of the song in question, accompanying himself on his silver-strung guitar.
  • Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis, named for the Elvis Costello song.
  • Here Comes the Sun
    • A novel by Tom Holt. The chorus is sung in the final scene.
    • Nicole Dennis-Benn also has a novel by this title.
  • A pattern with Wally Lamb: She's Come Undone, We Are Water, I Know This Much is True, The Hour I First Believed, and Wishin' and Hopin'.
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, named for a famous gospel standard.
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. (Murakami is a noted fan of The Beatles.)
  • Joan Didion's essay collection The White Album is yet another Beatles example. Zig-zagged in that it's named for an album (obviously) rather than a song, and it's not even the official name of the album in question.
  • I Think I Love You is titled after the Partridge Family song, which is quoted at several points in the story.
  • The Rivers of London short story "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" is titled after The Kinks song. The narrator claims to be the actual person the song was about.
  • From the New World: Named after the title of Dvořák's Symphony No. 9. Might be passed off as coincidence if not for the frequent use of the "Goin' Home" theme from the symphony's 2nd Movement ("Largo") throughout the anime adaptation.
  • Bring the Jubilee by Ward Moore and Marching Through Georgia by S.M. Stirling are two alternate-history novels with titles taken from the pro-Union American Civil War song "Marching Through Georgia".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Every episode of True Blood is named after a song which serves as a Literary Allusion Title to an episode's plot and are featured in the end credits of said episode.
  • The Young Ones. The 1959 Cliff Richard tune was used as the opening theme.
  • In the middle of Miami Vice's first season, former Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey released "Smuggler's Blues", a song about cocaine trafficking. The producers of the show immediately jumped on it, and not only titled the resultant episode "Smuggler's Blues", but they based the storyline on the lyrics of the song and cast Glenn Frey as Jimmy the Bush Pilot.
  • Eureka episode "I'll Be Seeing You." The song is also used in several other episodes.
  • The CBS Schoolbreak Special Dedicated to the One I Love.
  • Every episode in season 1 of Luke Cage (2016) is named after a Gang Starr song.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had "I Only Have Eyes For You".
  • Goodness Gracious Me, a BBC radio and TV sketch comedy series with an all-British Indian cast, named (with pointed irony) after a comic song by Peter Sellers in which he used his "comedy Indian" accent. The series used a Bhangra-style cover of the song as a theme.
  • British medical drama Staying Alive is named after The Bee Gees song.
  • The Umbrella Academy: Episode 2 is titled after "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid, which plays in a flashback to when Five traps himself in the future.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "I Dream of Genie" refers to the line "I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair" from the 1854 song "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" by Stephen Foster.
    • "Ninety Years Without Slumbering" refers to the first line of the chorus of the 1876 song "My Grandfather's Clock" by Henry Clay Work. Sam Forstmann sings the song during the episode. An instrumental version of the song is also heard on two occasions.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): "Shelter Skelter" is a reference to The Beatles song "Helter Skelter".
  • It's a Sin is named after the Pet Shop Boys song which is used in trailers.
  • Several Glee episodes are titled after or referencing songs that are performed in the episode, though not always (as seen below).
    • From season one, both "Home" (after the song from The Wiz) and "Dream On" (by Aerosmith.
    • Season two had "Silly Love Songs" (by Paul McCartney), "Blame it on the Alcohol" (by Jamie Foxx), and "Born This Way" (by Lady Ga Ga).
    • Season three had "I Kissed a Girl" (by Katy Perry), " "Saturday Night Glee-ver" (a reference to the song, album, and film Saturday Night Fever), and "Dance With Somebody" (by Whitney Houston).
    • Season four had "Diva" (by Beyoncé).
    • Season five had "Love, Love, Love" (a lyric from "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles) and "Movin' Out" (by Billy Joel).
    • Season six has "What the World Needs Now" (written by Burt Bacharach) and "We Built This Glee Club" (referencing the song "We Built This City" by Starship).

    Music 

    Pinballs 

    Radio 

    Theatre 
  • Almost all Jukebox Musicals: Mamma Mia!, Rock of Ages, We Will Rock You etc.
  • One might expect My Fair Lady not to include "London Bridge." Yet in the original production, its music was part of the Opening Ballet. In the recent revival produced by Cameron Mackintosh, it was actually sung in the middle of "Get Me To The Church On Time."
  • Jerusalem
  • ROMEO in the Darkness gets the first half of its title from the SolidS song "ROMEO", which is indeed used as the theme song. The "in the darkness" part, however, is a quote from the bridge of a different SolidS song, the intense sexually-charged "Crazy Baby Show", which the band does indeed perform in the act 2 concert. The full line is "kotae wa itsumo in the darkness" (The answer is always in the darkness), and it is title-dropped entirely in Japanese ("kotae wa itsumo yami no naka") in the climax of the story.
  • The folk opera Down in the Valley by Kurt Weill and Arnold Sundgaard. All the narration is sung to the tune of "Down in the Valley." Four other American folk songs are also included.
  • Sweet Adeline. At least one version of the show used the barbershop quartet favorite, as did the 1934 movie version, though at the time of the setting, it hadn't in fact been written yet.

    Video Games 
  • Twisted Metal: Black uses The Rolling Stones' "Paint it Black" for its ending theme.
  • Burnout Paradise's Paradise City is named after the Guns N' Roses song used for the theme tune.
  • Sega's Teddy Boy Blues featured the song of the same name by J-pop star Yoko Ishino. Releases outside of Japan dropped the song and changed the title.

    Webcomics 
  • What If I Know Too Many Reasons I Can Be Strong?: The title of the webcomic references the beginning lyrics of "Gurenge" from the anime adaptation of the original manga. The motion comic adaptation plays the instrumental version of the song during the credits.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Using a brand-new title song:

    Live-Action TV 
  • Bewitched had a theme song with lyrics written for it, but the producers ultimately decided to go with an instrumental version for the opening credits.
  • Glee has two episodes (season three's "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" and season four's "All or Nothing") which are titled after original songs written for said episode.

    Theatre 
  • The musical Of Thee I Sing.
  • The musical Merrily We Roll Along had an original title song by Stephen Sondheim, though the title was really from the Kaufman and Hart play. Whether or not that play's incidental music included the traditional song is probably lost to history.

Song titles used without the song:

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who
    • The Doctor Who Unbound drama Sympathy for the Devil is named after a The Rolling Stones song.
    • The Doctor Who Unbound drama Masters of War is named after a Bob Dylan song.
    • The title of the Fifth Doctor drama 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men is a slight variant on a piece of classical music called "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland.
  • The Faction Paradox drama In the Year of the Cat is named after an Al Stewart song.

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Arguably, Poppy Z. Brite's Exquisite Corpse, after the song by Bauhaus.
  • Several chapters of John Weir's book The Irreversible Decline of Eddie Socket are titled after songs by Stephen Sondheim.
  • When Gravity Fails (from the Bob Dylan song "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues") and its sequel, Fire in the Sun (from "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue")
  • I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb, a novel named from/after the Spandau Ballet song "True".
  • Diamond Dogs is titled after a David Bowie song (and album).
  • Less Than Zero is titled after an Elvis Costello song; its sequel Imperial Bedrooms is an album title.
  • Jill Churchill's Grace & Favor series:
    • Anything Goes
    • In the Still of the Night
    • Someone to Watch Over Me
    • Love for Sale
    • It Had to Be You
    • Who's Sorry Now
  • "Out of the Night When the Full Moon is Bright" by Kim Newman, which mixes werewolves into the legend of Zorro, takes its title from the opening theme of the 1950s Zorro TV series.
  • Bernice Summerfield: Life During Wartime, a short story collection set during the invasion of the Braxiatel Colection by the Fifth Axis, takes its name from the Talking Heads song.
  • The Doctor Who New Adventures novel No Future by Paul Cornell, in which Benny joins a punk band, is titled after the refrain and Working Title of The Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen". It also has a chapter called "England's Dreaming".
  • Scary Godmother: Ghoul's Out For Summer is named after the Alice Cooper song "School's Out".
  • Merrill Joan Gerber's Handsome as Anything is named after part of a line of "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof.
  • Ghost Roads: The short stories that were later collected into the first novel are all named after popular songs. "Tell Laura I Love Her" is notable because it's an example of the "lost my baby in a car wreck" genre that was popular in the late 50s to early 60s; "Dead Man's Curve" because it's about a wreck similar to the one that claimed Rose.
    • The author, Seanan McGuire, also wrote a song called "Sparrow Hill Road" about Rose, the same as the title of the first novel. However, they were released around the same time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Almost any individual episode of a TV show with a song title, because it doesn't pay to license a song for just one episode, particularly if it's done as a form of Idiosyncratic Episode Naming.
    • Angel has various episodes titled after songs, e.g. "Shiny Happy People", "Over the Rainbow", "Not Fade Away"
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had already done this occasionally. The peak was when at one point in season two, three out of four consecutive episodes had song titles: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered", "Killed By Death", and "I Only Have Eyes For You".
    • Starting in Season 2, Degrassi: The Next Generation uses (mostly)'80s songs for its episode titles. This changes in seasons 10-14, as many episodes are named for songs from the '90s and 2000s.
    • Desperate Housewives titles its episodes after songs, mostly by Stephen Sondheim.
    • Farscape episodes titled after songs include "Won't Get Fooled Again," "A Kiss Is But A Kiss" and "Dream a Little Dream."
    • Grey's Anatomy also uses song titles for episodes, including the two-parter "It's The End of The World"/"... As We Know It."
    • Lost used the titles "House of the Rising Sun" and "Born to Run" without the songs (though the lyrics of the former certainly would have echoed the episode.)
    • One Tree Hill uses song titles/lyrics/album names as episode titles, as well as being named after a U2 song.
    • Covert Affairs named all the Season One episodes (except the pilot) after Led Zeppelin songs, their Season Two episodes after R.E.M. songs, their Season Three episodes after David Bowie songs, and their Season Four episodes after songs by The Pixies.
    • Cougar Town names most of their episodes after songs by Tom Petty. The only exceptions are "Pilot" and "Everything Man".
    • Each of the four final seasons of That '70s Show had episodes titled after songs from a particular band per season (Led Zeppelin on S5, The Who on S6, The Rolling Stones on S7 and Queen on S8).
  • I Dream of Jeannie (the original Theme Tune was simply named "Jeannie", and the lyrics weren't used at all)
  • Every episode of ALF was named for a song title.
  • Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, titled after a Cole Porter song.
  • British sitcom September Song. The song in question was already being used by a rival broadcaster's May to December.
  • Californication, although entirely unrelated to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
  • The Supernatural episode "In My Time Of Dying" based on a gospel song covered by Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin. Various other episodes use song-based titles as well (e.g. "Folsom Prison Blues", "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "I Believe the Children Are Our Future", "Good God Y'all", etc.)
  • Veronica Mars episode "Like a Virgin" is titled after the Madonna song and album.
  • Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Good-ish is a play on the Blur album Modern Life is Rubbish, which in turn is a line from the song "For Tomorrow".
  • The Battlestar Galactica (2003) episode "A Day in the Life" is named after The Beatles classic from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • The BBC Scotland Schools history programme Jacobites had three episodes, each titled after a song of the period: "Ye Jacobites by Name" (the Hanoverian perspective), "Charlie is My Darling" (the Jacobite perspective) and "Over the Sea to Skye" (the aftermath).
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: "Samson And Delilah" and "Born to Run" are both named for songs by Bruce Springsteen.
  • The Enemy at the Door episode "After the Ball" shares its name with a 19th-century popular song. The verses don't fit the episode, but the refrain does:
    Many a heart is aching,
    If you could read them all;
    Many the hopes that have vanished
    After the ball.
  • Midnight Caller was originally the title of a Badfinger song.
  • Legends of Tomorrow episodes "Here I Go Again" and "Dancing Queen" are named after Abba songs.
  • One Foot in the Grave had an episode titled "The Man In The Long Black Coat" after a Bob Dylan song. There was also an episode titled "The Executioner's Song", a common alternate title for "I've Got A Little List" / "As Someday It May Happen" from The Mikado.
  • Doctor Who has done it a couple of times, taking episode titles from Semisonic's "Closing Time"note  and Wham!'s "Last Christmas"
  • Though there are plenty of Glee episodes which are titled after songs that are performed in the episode (see above), others are clearly references to songs that are nowhere to be seen.
    • "Bad Reputation" in season one is about songs with a bad reputation, but has nothing to do with the Joan Jett song of the same name.
    • "The Sue Sylvester Shuffle" is named after the infamous Superbowl Shuffle, as it aired directly after the 2011 Superbowl. However the song itself is never heard.
    • "Hold On to Sixteen" from season three has Sam reference the lyrics of "Jack and Diane" by John Mellencamp, but never performs the song.
    • "Girls (and Boys) On Film" from season four was all about famous songs from movies, despite being a clear reference to the song "Girls on Film" by Duran Duran (although the song was later covered in the next season during Sam's modelling career, which is a more fitting use anyway).
    • Also from season four, "Sweet Dreams" is named after the song by Eurythmics, but part of the plot is kicked off by Will suggesting the song for the club's Regionals setlist and the kids rejecting it for being old-fashioned.
    • Despite being the second part of the season five's Beatles tribute, "Tina in the Sky with Diamonds" never features a cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds".
    • The sixth and final season opens with "Loser Like Me", named for the original song that was performed in season two. Despite this there's no reprise of it in sight (though that might be because it was redone late in the previous season).

    Music 
  • Deep Purple, from an interbellum ballad that had been a hit for bandleader Artie Shaw.
  • Strangers in the Night, UFO's best-known live album.
  • NWOBHM and early speed metal bands had a tendency to be named after a song by an iconic band. Examples include Chinatown and Black Rose (Thin Lizzy songs), Heavy Pettin' and Obsession (UFO albums), Exciter (Judas Priest song), Overkill (Motörhead song), and Machine Head (Deep Purple album).
  • Bad Brains, after "Bad Brain" by The Ramones.
  • Human Highway, Neil Young song.
  • Powderfinger, after a Neil Young song.
  • Velocity Girl, Primal Scream song.
  • The Canadian indie rock band Eric's Trip named themselves after the last song on side B of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation.
  • Gigolo Aunts are named after Syd Barrett's "Gigolo Aunt".
  • Radiohead, Talking Heads song (though the song is technically "Radio Head")
  • Judas Priest took their name from the Bob Dylan song "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest."
  • Scottish hard rock band Nazareth took their name from "The Weight" by The Band.
  • Dixie Chicks were named after the Little Feat song "Dixie Chicken".
  • Rare "Titled After the Album" example: 1980s country duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo named themselves after The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo album, and even paid homage to said album with the cover of their Buffalo Zone album.
  • The Rolling Stones took their name from Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone".
    • Likewise, Howlin' Wolf took his stage name from another Muddy Waters song, "I'm a Howlin' Wolf".
  • The Lovin' Spoonful got their name from the song "Coffee Blues" by Mississippi John Hurt.
  • Ladytron from the song of the same name on Roxy Music's first album
  • A Certain Ratio were named after a line in ''Brian Eno's "Third Uncle".
  • Death Cab for Cutie, after a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
  • British folksinger John Wesley Harding, after the song and album by Bob Dylan.
  • Cave In, after the Codeine song "Cave-In". They would eventually cover their namesake song as a bonus track to the album Perfect Pitch Black.
  • Mayhem were named after the Venom song "Mayhem with Mercy".
  • Enslaved take their name from an Immortal demo track, "Enslaved in Rot".
  • Moonsorrow are named after the Celtic Frost song "Sorrows of the Moon".
  • Jimmy Eat World's "Authority Song" has the rare distinction of being named after another song ("Authority Song" by John Mellencamp).
  • Bolivian rock band Duvet is named after the song of the same name by Bôa (UK) (which is known as the main song for Serial Experiments Lain).
  • Slowdive are named after a Siouxsie and the Banshees song. Slowdive also wrote their own song with that title, making it a song named after a band, named after a song.

    Podcasts 
  • Frog Kissin', a fan podcast for The Muppets, is named after the Chet Atkins song of the same name. Which, not coincidentally, was performed on The Muppet Show episode with Linda Lavin, though only in the UK extended cut of said episode.

    Roleplay 
  • Many thread titles in Survival of the Fittest happen to be these, due to the storyline being written by a community of writers with differing tastes. If we were to list them all it would take a while.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • The A-Train series of railway sim games is titled after the jazz standard "Take The 'A' Train."
  • Kagirinaki Tatakai, a 1983 game for the Sharp X1 published by Enix, has the same Japanese title as Led Zeppelin's song "The Battle of Evermore."
  • Painkiller (from the Judas Priest song).
  • Rock of Ages
  • Just Dance series after a song by Lady Gaga. Ironically the song did not appear in the games until Just Dance 2014.
  • Mother, after a song by John Lennon.
  • No More Heroes, after an album (and its title song) by The Stranglers.
  • The Doom Game Mod series Back to Saturn X is named after a song by Guided By Voices; the same goes for all the individual episode subtitles of the series and all the map names.
  • Most, if not all Side Jobs in Cyberpunk 2077 are named after historical songs by real bands, such as "Beat on the Brat", "I Fought The Law", and "Queen Of The Highway" (see also a full rundown in this forum thread). From Act 2 onwards, even main story jobs start following the convention, justified by the famous rocker Johnny Silverhand now living in V's head and shaping their self-perception — in fact, it is strongly implied by the quest log entries' style that it is actually Johnny who maintains them for V. The only major exceptions are side jobs directly related to Johnny Silverhand's legacy, which are instead named after the in-fiction songs by Johnny himself and his old band, Samurai.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 

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