The 125 Greatest Songs With A Woman’s Name In The Title

song name mosaic

Naming a song after a woman has, over the years, become the biggest music cliché ever; however, there’s been a ton of great ones, and is thereby prime fodder for music lists. So, 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 Flashbak, so we’re not looking at songs from the 1990s on up to the present.   Now, let’s go!…


1. Eleanor Rigby – The Beatles
Back before orchestration within a pop song was still fresh, McCartney unleashes this sweeping tale of isolation. Like Lady Madonna, another of Paul’s female sob stories, there’s not much humor in it. And here we are about 5 decades past, and it’s every bit as poignant and amazing.

2. Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel

3. Suite Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills and Nash

4. Martha My Dear – The Beatles

5. Along Comes Mary – The Association
Is it about the dreaded marijuana plant? Who knows, but their odd introduction for a live performance has me leaning towards “yes”.


6. Lola – The Kinks
The true gender of Lola has been under debate for years, but the riff and building energy is a rock masterpiece regardless.

7. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
Yes, it’s the very definition of a One Hit Wonder, but this is pop nugget gold – an example of a melody is both catchy and wonderfully melodic. Who doesn’t get a lift when this comes on the radio?

8. Mandy – Barry Manilow
For my take on Mr. Manilow, see Guilty Pleasures: 5 Musicians Of The 70s You’re Supposed To Hate (But Secretly Love)

9. My Sharona – The Knack

10. For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her – Simon & Garfunkel

11. Aimee – Pure Prairie League

12. Michelle – The Beatles

13. Beth – KISS
To a 70s kid, the Destroyer album was rock’s greatest gift. It had its anthem (Detroit Rock City), its Knights in Satan’s Service spectacle (God of Thunder) and this ballad sung by the raspy voiced drummer. To the skeptic, it’s saccharine fluff, to the initiated, it’s forever a classic.

14. Gloria – Them

15. A Rose for Emily – The Zombies
Unlike the Faulkner novel, it’s not about necrophilia. What it is about, I suppose is anyone’s guess. A brilliant piece of baroque pop.

16. Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town) – Kenny Rogers
One of the most depressing songs on the list. He’s injured from the waist down from Vietnam, but Ruby just has to get laid. Don’t go to town, Ruby!

17. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

18. Lovely Rita – The Beatles

19. Layla – Derek and the Dominos
Nobody wants to hear 67 minutes of multiple guitarists playing slide at the same time…. Unless it’s just this damn good.

20. Sarah Smile – Hall and Oates

21. Sheena is a Punk Rocker – The Ramones

22. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

23. Josie – Steely Dan
Is there a better crafted pop song on this list? Becker and Fagan were precision engineers.

24. Help Me, Rhonda – The Beach Boys

25. Cara-Lin – The Strangeloves

26. Sally G -Paul McCartney

27. Melissa – The Allman Brothers

28. 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…”

29. Peg- Steely Dan

30. Aubrey – Bread

31. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds – The Beatles

32. Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners

33. The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix and the Experience

34. Rosanna – Toto
A tribute to Rosanna Arquette – sadly, she wasn’t impressed.

35. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd

36. Lucille – Little Richard

37. Fanny (Be Tender with My Love) – Bee Gees

38. Roxanne- The Police

39. Matilda Mother – Pink Floyd
When they weren’t singing about Hobbits, satanic felines and interstellar journeys, they were singing about the verses from Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Tales. Is there a better example of unbridled creativity than early Floyd?

40. Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground

41. Victoria – The Kinks

42. Wendy – Beach Boys

43. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond

44. My Cherie Amour – Stevie Wonder

45. Jennifer Juniper – Donovan

46. (Love Song) For Annie – Kaleidoscope

47. Maggie Mae – Rod Stewart
A great song made even greater by a mandolin coda (not by Jeff Beck).

48. My Maria – BW Stephenson

49. Angie – The Rolling Stones

50. Valerie – The Monkees

51. Angie Baby – Helen Reddy
One of the strangest, cryptic songs ever written. Angie lives in a dream world, then is visited by a man with “evil on his mind”, and he’s sucked into her stereo…. Wh-what?

52. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly

53. Candida – Tony Orlando and Dawn
Stephen King listed his top 20 songs for Entertainment Weekly and had the balls to list this song at #15. (What did he put at #1 you ask? Answer:”Tube Snake Boogie” by ZZ Top – go figure)

54. Bernadette – The Four Tops

55. Annie’s Song – John Denver

56. Charlena – Ruben and the Jets

57. Fannie Mae – Buster Brown
From the film American graffiti (also features Wolfman Jack. What’s not to love?

58. Jennie Lee – Shuggie Otis
Just repeat to yourself that not everything entering your auditory canal needs to have been a big hit. Sometimes you have to jump off the fairway and hunt around in the rough because the hidden gems often are the sweetest.

59. Jessica – Allman Brothers

60. Linda Lu – Ray Sharpe

61. Sheila – Tommy Roe
You can tell Tommy was a huge Buddy Holly fan. Written when he was only 14.


62. Darling Nikki – Prince and the Revolution

63. Sheila Take a Bow – The Smiths

64. Mary Ann – Link Wray

65. Rosalie – The Searchers

66. Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

67. Sylvia’s Mother – Dr. Hook

68. Ophelia – The Band

69. Mary Lou – Buddy Knox

70. Suzie Q – Dale Hawkins
Pure badass. I’ll take it over the later Creedence version.

71. She Sheila – The Producers
From MTV New Year’s Eve Rock & Roll Ball – 12/31/82

72. Rio – Duran Duran

73. Candy-O – The Cars

74. Emily – Frank Sinatra

75. Jolene – Dolly Parton

76. Sara – Fleetwood Mac

77. Windy – The Association

78. Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers

79. Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys

80. Elvira – The Oak Ridge Boys

81. Amanda – Waylon Jennings

82. Carrie Ann – The Hollies

83. Think of Laura – Christopher Cross

84. Christine 16- KISS

85. Delilah – Tom Jones

86. Sherry – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

87. Eleanor – The Turtles

88. Sad Lisa – Cat Stevens

89. Nadine – Chuck Berry

90. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett

91. Jamie’s Cryin’ – Van Halen

92. Caroline – Status Quo


93. Oh! Ma Jolie Sarah – Johnny Halliday

94. Denise – Randy & The Rainbows

95. Rosie – Joan Armatrading

96. Alice Long – Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart

97. Pamela – Toto

98. Sorry Suzanne – The Hollies

99. Jeanette – The English Beat (UK The Beat)


100. Eloise – Barry Ryan

101. Runaround Sue – Dion & The Belmonts

102. Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie

103. Lady Samantha – Orange Bicycle
An early Elton John – Bernie Taupin composition. Certainly not great, but there’s hints of what’s to come.

104. Sweet Lorraine – Uriah Heep

105. Charlotte the Harlot – Iron Maiden

106. Jenny Artichoke – Kaleidoscope

107. Suzy Creamcheese – Frank Zappa

108. Izabella – Jimi Hendrix

109. Oh, Candy – Cheap Trick

110. Anna (El Negro Zumbon) – Esquivel

111. Ballade de Melody Nelson – Serge Gainsbourg

112. Roberta – Billy Joel

113. Cinderella – Sonics

114. Tracy- Cuff Links

115. Hello Mabel – The Bonzo Dog Band

116. Sweet Rosie Jones – Buck Owens

117. 867-5309/Jenny – Tommy Tutone

118. Daisy Mae – The Seeds

119. Jennifer Tomkins – Street People

120. Jennifer Eccles – The Hollies

121. Margorine – Tinkerbells Fairydust

122. Hallo Susie – Amen Corner

You may prefer The Move’s greetings to Susie, but I’m partial to this one.


123. Fade Away Maureen – Cherry Smash

124. Sara Wells – Stone Circus

125. Caroline Goodbye – Colin Blunstone

This song by ex-Zombie Blunstone is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t concentrate on the order of this list. An argument could be made that this should be at number one, and I wouldn’t argue with it.


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