Tonight in Seattle:  

Top 10 songs about imaginary girls

As you may have read here on TIG, I am all knocked up, expecting a baby girl in early January. We've been trying to think of the perfect baby name for the wee one... and while it's not a requirement per se, it would be great to give our girl a name that already has an amazing namesake song. I mean, I blush to the core with giddiness every time I hear "O Dana" (either version, but particularly the Okkervil River remake. Swoon!).

I've gone through a pretty extensive list of what I've dubbed "Songs About Imaginary Girls" to try to find the perfect name for our little girl.

{Note: In order to be considered, not only does the name need to be good, but the song must also kick ass. Great songs about icky names have been ruled out, as well as bleh songs about great names.}

Top 10 Songs We're Considering Naming Our Bebe Girl After:

  1. "Veronica" by Elvis Costello
    Though "Allison" is the more obvious choice, I've always had a soft spot for the rollicking chorus in "Veronica." Plus I love the name... though I'm not crazy about "Roni" as a nickname.
  2. "Charlotte Sometimes" by the Cure
    "Come to me / Scared princess /Charlotte sometimes" -- too heavy a legacy to give to such a wee girl??
  3. "Sweet Adeline" by Elliot Smith
    Great song, great name. *Sigh*

  4. "Sally Cinnamon" by the Stone Roses
    Will kids beat her up on the playground for that one?

  5. "Sheila Take a Bow" by the Smiths or "Sheila Na Gig" by PJ Harvey
    Though I think I'd rather name her Polly than Sheila.
  6. "Emily Kane" by Art Brut
    Too bad Emily is the most popular name in like, 16 countries right now, or we might go for it based on my love for this song alone.

  7. "Rosanna" by Toto
    You knew I couldn't make a list like this without bringing in the Soft Rock, right?
  8. "Josie" by Tullycraft
    "Josie wants to be in a punk rock band!" What a great legacy to give our girlie!
  9. "My Coco" by stellastarr*
    Their first and, in my humble opinion, greatest song.

  10. "Lucretia My Reflection" by Sisters of Mercy
    My fella nixed the idea of naming our daughter after a song that features such prominent use of the late-80s drum-machine. But I'm still hopeful.

Runners up, in alphabetical order by name:

  • "Abigail" by the Magnetic Fields
  • "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel
  • "Chelsea Dagger" by the Fratellis
  • "Christine" by Siouxsie & the Banshees
  • "Deanna" by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  • "Delia's Gone" by Johnny Cash
  • "Gloria" by U2
  • "Kelly Watch the Stars" by Air
  • "La La La Lisa" by Math & Physics Club
  • "Luka" by Suzanne Vega
  • "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
  • "Mandy" by Barry Manilow
  • "Mimi" and "Nora" by the Long Winters
  • "Cracklin' Rosie" by Neil Diamond
  • "Sara" by Fleetwood Mac or "Sara Smile" by Hall & Oates
  • "Jewels for Sophia" by Robyn Hitchcock
  • "Oh Tina" by the Elephants
  • "Velouria" by Pixies

Have I overlooked any good ones? I'm sure I have. Please, if you know of a great song about a girl, name it here!

I'm partial to "Belinda" by Tullycraft too. And "Alison's Starting to Happen" by the Lemonheads. And maybe "Molly's Lips" by Nirvana?

I'm pretty sure "Luka" is about a boy.

"Kate" by the Ben Folds Five is my favorite imaginary girl song (of course).

Finally, don't forget the notorious "Darling Nikki".

I almost included "Darling Nikki" on the list, but then I thought that was a little creepy for our daughter. ;)

And funny you should say that about Luka. I've always thought the song was about a girl, but most of the Luka's I know these days are little boys. So perhaps I misinterpreted the song as a child and never got with the program that it's always a boy's name? Either way, I'll stand by Suzanne Vega.

"Alice" by Tom Waits just rips yer heart right out.

"Oh Mandy" by The Spinto Band - how can you not love a song with the line "Show me a rerun on the WB" ?

"Stacy's mom" kidding, kidding...

Just to be a completest, I'll add "Elizabeth, my dear" to the list (it's quite pretty albeit kinda morbid and very short -- it's more like a jingle). There's also:

"Candy" by Ash (and the other version by Iggy Pop)
"Kathy with a K" by Bright Eyes
"Dear Gabby" by the Eames Era
"Eleanor Rigby" by the Beatles
"Henrietta" by the Fratellis
"Reno Dakota" by the Magnetic Fields
"Miss Amanda Jones" by the Rolling Stones (or "Suzy Jones" by the Manhattan Love Suicides)
"Jenny G" by the Push Kings (super fun!)
"My Date with Rachel Sweet" by Six Cents and Natalie

hmm... and I'm sure there's more...

1. Veronica is great, though that song is terribly morose. And don't think of it as "Roni", think of it as "Ronnie"! Girls names shortened to what sound vaguely like boys names are great!

2. If you name her Charlotte, people will call her Char. And we can NOT be having that.

@Rick -- I've never really thought of Veronica as morose. I've always thought of it as more bittersweet/tragic... like she lead this great life, and now she's demented, but she has this core sense of self that's still there, despite the ravages of age. It's certainly not uplifting lyrically, but the melody is sure nice. Trivia question -- does everyone know who co-wrote that song with Elvis C?

And yes, having another Char around would be tricky indeed.

These are all great names! Looks like we need to start thinking about having more babies just to get to name them! (um, I KID).

i love love love velouria!

sean lowry from tennis pro named his daughter adeline, so watch out there.

i also agree with erik on allison's starting to happen and molly's lips though it was the vaselines originally, not nirvana. splitting hairs, but then again this is IMPORTANT!

i second what liz said about "jenny g." by the push kings, or "jennifer" by faust is a good one, but i'm a little biased...

"Veronica" is a great one, as is sweet adeline.
I'd suggest Belle and Sebastian "Mary Jo," Possum Dixon "Regina" and Local H's "Hey, Rita!" (or, for the same name, Beatle's "Lovely Rita, Meter Maid") for consideration.

how about 'grace' by supergrass? love that song!

"Mathilde" by Scott Walker.

And I can't lie, I've always liked "Abegail Anne" by Mr. Enigk.

Funny thought -- "Billie Jean" HAH!

Can I name a band as a contender? The Judy's! There's also Coco Rosie, and my previous life suggestion of Stellastarr (* is not required and if used could be some kind of copyright infringement, I'm sure).

Good thing it's not a boy - I'd have to force "Colin Zeal" on you. Zeal is such a great middle name.

"I Heard Ramona Sing" by Frank Black... I love this game.

How about Roxanne?

It's actually my sister's name;
you can imagine the hard time other kids used to give her.

I should think my vote is obvious.

"Jenny" by the Mountain Goats always wins favor with me, even if not the most unique name. "Delilah" as covered by Flogging Molly, though if Tom Jones is more up your alley, run with it. "Goodnight Irene" - Leadbelly or Tom Waits - either way wins.

What... no Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline?"

@Trip_Audrey -- I think "Sweet Caroline" is too karaoke bar nowadays. So I went with "Cracklin' Rosie" instead.

@randy -- I think "Roxanne" needs at least another generation or two until it's not playground fodder, no? Tho Roxy is super cute!

@greg small change -- great suggestion!

@igliz -- if band names count, you know I'm all over Carissa's Wierd... and Ramona is SUCH a good name! This IS big fun!

I can't believe no one's mentioned "Jessica" by the Allman Bros.! OK, I can believe it, and I'm remedying it right now. Too bad Jessica is right up there with Emily in the overabundant name category.

The fact that no one has mentioned the Ramones' "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" is a total travesty, though.

Oh, and then there's "Shirley" from Greetings to the New Brunette" by Billy Bragg.

Oh, and "Martha My Dear" (Martha's my mom's name, so respect it!)! So many to choose from!

Dana, please, for the love of God, don't name your baby "Coco" (Stellastarr).

I've thought before, if I ever had a daughter, naming her Stella from Interpol's "Stella was a driver..."
Although tweeking it to Estella from "Great Expectations" is a prettier name, I think.

eeeek! congratulations, dana!!!

how about that infamous song by Prince about a girl of the same name?
you guessed it: Pussy Control! Darling Nikki!

no. seriously though.

i know jesus and mary chain's song "April Skies" isnt *necessarily* about a girl named April. BUT. it totally could be.

XOXO holly

also.... "caroline" sung by harry nilsson and written by randy newman! ooh pretty!

My suggestions:

Sukie in the Graveyard - Belle and Sebastian
Caroline - Concrete Blonde
Julia - The Beatles
Lola - The Kinks
Daria - Cake

I love the name 'Josie'...

holly chernobyl @20 has me thinking. You know what would be a really pretty name? November Rain.

I had a friend called Coco, she parties all the time. This is all I have to say for now.

@Levi -- You have nailed it!!! NOVEMBER RAIN it is.

Except that would curse her with a life as long and tedious as that video was...

Josie is a super cool name for a girl... I think she'd be spunky and what an awesome song to be named after

I think I will throw in my two cents...

"Arienette" by Bright Eyes
"Keely Aimee" by The Good Life
"Kaite Come True" by Son Ambulance
"Kylie's Got A Crush On US" Bmx Bandits

Just some not so average names :)

I forgot to add both "Winona" and "Evangeline" by Matthew Sweet. Both gems.

Of course, I like the name Sheila the best. Doesn't hurt that I love Morrissey!

Since I just saw Mt. Eerie last night, I would say "Oh Anna" by the Microphones? Although, I always liked the sound of adding anna to the end of a name, like Emilianna.

I am not a very good reader hunh.

What about:

Judy - the Pipettes
Lora's Song - Sleater-Kinney
Neko Loves Rock and Roll - Girl Trouble
Mary Ann - Regina Spektor
Song for Heather - the Dirtbombs
Come on Jenny - Dressy Bessy
Sister Kate - the Ditty Bops (which I know is a cover)
Delilah - the Dresden Dolls (but absolutely NOT "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's)
Angelita - Jon Auer

and since someone mentioned "Stacy's Mom" in jest, I'd also say that if you delved into the Fountains of Wayne catalogue (or at least my iPod) you'd find a "Denise" a "Hey Julie" and a "Maureen".

I looove the idea of Sweet Adeline!

There is also

Jenny by Stellastar*
Haley by Aveo (but that might be about the comet? I forget)
Sukie in the Graveyard by Belle and Sebastian
Dear Gabby by Eames Era
Then of course the New Pornographers are always singing about Jackie

But none of those names are very nice...go with Adeline!

i'm probably stating the obvious, but "Lucy in the sky with diamonds"

OK, so someone already mentioned my personal favorite - Lola

I really do like Coco as well....

Someone mentioned "Charlotte Sometimes" by the Cure but what about "Letter to Elise"?

Um, "Rosemary" by 90s Portland band Doris Daze.....

Not a personal favorite but "Angel" from any myriad of songs

Ah, it sounds maybe like a less than woo hoo name but "Jennifer" by Eurythmics is beautiful in my opinion...

"La Dulcinea" by the Judybats

"Dorothy" by McKinley

"Candy" by Iggy Pop

Have you thought of something like "Seattle" by P.I.L?

"Coy" by Wild Colonials

And finally, "Come On Eileen" by Dexy Midnight Runners, and Save Ferris....

I myself, was named after a fine album - Abbey Road. I was almost named after the Donovan song "Jennifer Juniper." I wouldn't recommend that name now either.

I love Adeline (espescially), Emily Kane and Veronica, but here are a few others:

"Abigail Anne" by Jeremy Enigk
"Annie" from "The Weight" or "Ophelia" by the Band
"Visions of Johanna" or "Corrina, Corrina" by Bob Dylan
"Martha My Dear" or "Julia" by The Beatles
"Emaline" by Ben Folds
"Annabelle Leigh" by Tariko (C. Meloy's first band)
"Helen" by The Cave Singers
"O Valencia,""Song for Myla Goldberg" by The
"Izabella" by Jimi Hendrix

O Valencia!!!! Yes, Abbey!

Alright, dearie. We have an Imaginary Valencia about to pop out.

just to clear up the "luka" confusion:

Luka is about gal (of the same name) who is beaten by her lover.


yes, really.

"i walked into the door again/well if you ask thats what ill say"?

anyhow, thanks Levi for being inspired by my April Skies idea, which i firmly stand by. april skies is a beautiful name, written by beautiful artists.

Dana - how could I resist this one...:)?
Sorry if some of these have been mentioned before and also some different songs for the same names.

My favorite names on the list are probably Alice, Samantha and Livia...

Alice – Tom Waits
Amber Waves – Tori Amos
Ana – Pixies
Annie – Elastica
Ava Adore – Smashing Pumpkins
Clair – My Bloody Valentine
Condoleeza, Check My Posse – The Majestic Twelve
Éireann – Afro Celt Sound System
Goodnight Irene – Pere Ubu
Jacqueline – Franz Ferdinand
Jennifer’s Veil – The Birthday Party
Jolene – Ray Lamontagne
Judith – A Perfect Circle
Katie Stood On The Benches – Goya Dress
Kelly’s heroes – Black Grape
Livia – Drugstore
Lola – The Kinks
It’s Lulu – The Boo Radleys
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters – Elton John
Pauline – Eleni Mandell
I Heard Ramona Sing – Frank Black
Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
Ruby’s Arms – Tom Waits
Sally MacLennane – The Pogues
Lady Samantha – Elton John
To Sheila – Smashing Pumpkins
Susan’s house – Eels
Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
Nicotina – Big Sugar
Valerie – The Zutons
Violet – Hole
Willow – Joan Armatrading

Holy cow, I'm *BLOWN AWAY* by all the amazing responses here. Clearly we're going to need to adopt and entire orphanage in order to make use of all the fantastic name selections.

@mad professor -- I can't believe I forgot "Whole Lotta Rosie"!!!! How many Long Winters shows did I attend where peeps screamed for that one? Also, Livia is a great name, tho it does sound a lot like "livid" -- perhaps not a good omen. :)

@abbey -- I didn't know you were named for Abbey Road! That's amazing!!!

@mary -- I ruled out "Letter to Elise" because that's my middle name. I do love that song though!

@nathan -- "Kylie's Got a Crush on Us," brilliant, as is the namesake "Molly's Got a Crush on Us" by Tullycraft.

OMG OMG OMG. Now I'm overwhelmed... and excited!!!!

Also -- I can't believe no one thought of the Rolling Stones (myself included). "Ruby Tuesday" or "Angie" -- both good options. Especially Ruby. Love that name.

So far I'm loving Ruby, Stella and Josie the best. This is a vote thing, right? I assume we can totally override what the parents want? : )

Yes, whichever songs get the most votes wins the right to appear on Bebe's birth certificate. ;)

Congratulations! I don't expect you to take suggestions from a complete stranger, but I can't help adding a few. Music lists are my kryptonite.

Karen or Lee Remmick by the Go-Betweens
Bernice Bobs her Hair by the Divine Comedy
Cath by the Bluebells
Charlotte Anne or Eve's Volcano by Julian Cope
Alison by Slowdive
Felicity by Orange Juice
Jenny Ondioline or Cybele's Reverie by Stereolab
Carolyn or Heather by the Wedding Present

Liz, I'm surprised you didn't mention "Estrella" by Cinerama.

there's a song by mayday parade called center of attention , and it's about a girl named Jennifer (:
Did anyone mention "Sweet Melissa"? ;)
Has no one thought of "Hey there Delilah"? I used to love that song, plus its a great name. What about "Rita Rita Meter Maid"? I love that song. I also absolutely LOVE those names.
Whoops. I guess I got here late.

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