► What’s your name, little girl? International Women’s Day, a holiday I never remember hearing about until, like, last year, seems like the fitting time to follow up on a previous playlist that features songs with girls’ names.
So today, the second in the series: More songs with girls’ names.
Like the first, this playlist will include songs with girls’ names in the titles, by both male and female artists, but since I was going for a certain ambient mood with this selection, some of the titles include other words too.
► A countdown. From mellow to manic.
8 • Adia • Sarah McLachlan ► Probably my favorite part of this song are the very first opening piano notes. So simple but so beautiful and so inviting. I could listen to it over and over—much like one of my college friends who had recorded one whole side of a cassette tape with this song.
7 • Eleanor • Shannon Worrell with Dave Matthews ► If I remember correctly this chill little mesmerizing track was on the other side of my college friend’s tape, all by itself, over and over.
6 • Goodnight Elisabeth • Counting Crows ► This band seems to mention ladies’ names quite a bit in its songs. And why not? They do it so very well. This tender track helps round out my favorite of its albums, Recovering the Satellites. And I may have used this song as a lullaby for one of my daughters. For obvious reasons.
5 • Grace is Gone • Dave Matthews Band ► I just can’t resist that bluesy, string-bending opening pass. Then the lovely and spare first vocal section. Then the gradual adding in of instruments layer by layer, which is one of my all-time favorite musical moves. Then the very catchy chorus, which I daresay Southern in a bluesy way, what with the drinking and love-lamenting and all.
4 • Angela • the Lumineers ► It was this song that sealed my personal opinion that the Lumineers have a similar sensibility as the Counting Crows, especially in the subject matter and poetry of song lyrics. This band, too, seems fond of tossing girls’ names into songs, even titles—Angela, Ophelia, Cleopatra. And that’s just on one album, which is also a girl’s name.
3 • The Wind Cries Mary • Jimi Hendrix ► A guy I knew in college said he got extra credit on a test one time for filling in the lyrics to this song. Some guys have all the luck.
2 • Starla • Smashing Pumpkins ► Settle in for this epic eleven-minute-long song that starts slow and sweet then builds to a blistering manic rage and is one of my Pumpkin favorites. I understand that over the years this song has become a fan favorite, but it was unknown to me for a long time until I found it on a short little five-track album I bought at used record store. But an ex-boyfriend took the album from me and never gave back, so I now have no way of knowing what album that was. Proof that not quite everything can be found on Google. Yet.
1 • Mary Jane’s Last Dance • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers ► Unlike a couple of the other bands already mentioned, Tom Petty does not seem prone to use specific lady-names in his song. But when he does, it’s a chart-topper. Seriously, being released on the Greatest Hits album was like a self-fulfilling prophecy for this hard-hitting tune with its grungy guitars, groove-heavy drums, and ’90s harmonica. ■
► Bonus Track » Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds • the Beatles ► A little psychedelia to close out the mix. ■
unless otherwise noted * graphics, photographs, text © 2018 hilary hall
► In the queue » songs to get zen •