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Category: Elvis Costello

beatlesbabies

What could be sweeter than for your baby to have its (I know–you can’t call it ‘it’) own theme song, a readymade melody featuring  his or her name,  for you to sing along and dance to together?  Some of the most appealing of these can be found in the Oldies section, from the era of first-generation, classic and folk rock.

A logical place to check out first is the Beatles Songbook, which actually has had something of an influence on baby naming.  It was no coincidence that when “Michelle, ma belle” won the Grammy Song of the Year award in 1966, Michelle was simultaneously shooting up the name popularity list.  And now Jude–which took awhile ( linking to the good looks and sunny personality of Jude Law didn’t hurt)–is moving up the charts.

Here, names taken from Beatles titles:

ANNA

BILL

ELEANOR

JUDE

JULIA

LIZZIE

LUCY

MADONNA

MAGGIE

MARTHA

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In Praise of Regular Guy Names

Fred

When I heard yesterday that former child star (I bet she hates that) Mayim Bialik had named her baby boy Fred (only to discover later in the day that it was actually Frederick) I must admit a warm comfy feeling swept over me.  Fred, I thought, what a great name!  And not just because it wasn’t yet another day-of-the-week name or a South American capital city name or an invented name starting with X–I’ve learned to adjust to those names over the years to the point where I can honestly say nice things about (some of) them and mean it.

It’s just that there’s something about Fred.  And Frank and George and Joe, and even Ralph–something so straightforward and honest and unfashiony and I have nothing to prove about them, it’s like the honking traffic suddenly comes to a halt for a minute on the naming superhighway and time stands still and dads are still smoking pipes and going bowling every Thursday night.  It’s probably  why so many pressured parents have named their kids Jack and Henry over the past few years–except that by trying to escape the trendy they unintentionally established a couple of trends of their own.

A few celebs have more successfully tried this path as a detour around the cleverness competition by choosing names like George (Kristen Scott Thomas, Eva Herzigova) and Frank (Diana Krall & Elvis Costello), Joe (Kate Winslet), and Ralph (Matthew McFayden)–except that, being British, it might be pronounced Rafe, thereby destroying my whole premise.

Strangely enough, I can’t think of any female names that produce quite the same feeling.  Classics like Margaret and Virginia are too buttoned-up, others like Ann and Jean are more cool than warm and fuzzy.

No, it’s definitely a guy thing.

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