15 Great Rock Songs With Girl Names
Written by C.I. DeMann on February 6, 2017
Every couple months, my KPSU radio show “Six Degrees of Rockination” has a theme. In July 2016, that theme was “Girl Names.” No last names allowed. First names and first names alone. What songs did I play?
Possum Dixon – “Regina”
Upbeat jangle pop from the early ’90s. My favorite moment from this song is when the singer sort of half-laughs “I’m gonna say it again.” It almost feels like a mistake, but sometimes those are a song’s best parts.
Better Than Ezra – “Roselia”
Stick around for the end of this song, when they throw in an odd little Mexican-flavored outro. Very mariachi and cool.
The Tragically Hip – “Cordelia”
So moody, so intense. This is one of my favorite bands and they’re at their mysterious, dark, bluesy best on this track.
Jeremy Fisher – “Jolene”
You were expecting the Dolly Parton song? Nope, this is a newer track by Canadian Jeremy Fisher. Beautiful guitar work, here. Wonderful harmonies throughout.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – “Jolene”
Finally, we get to the Dolly Parton song… except this ain’t Dolly, is it? I love these goofballs. They take wonderful old songs we all know and love, then add 100% more rock and 300% more fun.
Barenaked Ladies – “Enid”
Apparently, this song was named after a waitress at some diner the band visited. Someone noted that Enid spelled backwards is “dine,” and from there a song was born.
Old 97s – “Adelaide”
It’s possible this song is named after the city in South Australia, but I’m going to pretend it’s a girl’s name because the song is gorgeous and perfect and I wanted to play it. Forgive me.
The White Stripes – “Isis”
I don’t like Bob Dylan, but I adore Jack White, so I was pleased to discover he’d covered this Dylan song live. Classic Jack White intensity.
Cake – “Daria”
I’ve never met a single actual person named Daria, but she must be pretty awesome since she’s inspired both a cartoon on MTV and this Cake song. Someday, we will meet. And it will be glorious.
Fast Romantics – “Julia”
How was this song not a worldwide number one smash hit? It’s a perfect pop song. I defy you not to love this song. Go ahead and try. You can’t do it.
Alt-J – “Matilda”
I don’t know how Alt-J manage to make “weird” songs like this so incredibly listenable. It’s no easy feat, but they pull it off song after song after song.
The Smithereens – “Elaine”
This is a band that’s made a career out of writing simple, classic, catchy three-minute pop songs. This one’s a perfect example. It could be from 1959. Or today.
Hot Chocolate – “Emma”
Somehow in the course of four minutes, Emma’s five years old, then married at seventeen, and then dead from suicide. What? How? What a story!
Material Issue – “Diane”
Like the Smithereens, these guys write utterly classic rock ‘n’ roll. Also, how can you not love the chorus? “Diane, Diane, Diane, Diane, Diiiiiii-ane.” You know, just in case she wasn’t sure the song was about her.
The Fratellis – “Henrietta”
And we finish with these guys from Scotland. There’s an element of fun to everything the Fratellis do, which makes them perfect for my show.
Want to hear the entire radio show? Here’s the link. A solid hour of fantastic rock ‘n’ roll about girls.