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Category: rock names

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In her debut blog for Nameberry, our newest intern, Hannah Tenison, shares her favorite classic rock ‘n’ roll baby names.

Layla, you’ve got me on my knees.”

When your name is crooned by Eric Clapton, it takes on a whole new level of cool. Undoubtedly chosen for its lyrical, laid-back, la la la sound, Layla also sports an intriguing meaning that suits the song’s bluesy quality: “ night” in Arabic. Practically unknown before the song’s release, Layla first hit the U.S. Top 1000 in 1972, when Clapton’s rock ballad achieved chart success. There, it hovered for awhile, fell off the charts again, and then emerged anew upon the release of Layla’s Unplugged version in 1992, when it began a steady climb to baby name stardom. Today, Layla rests at an unquestionably popular Number 37, and is sure to climb even higher, given all its attractive characteristics.

Though it is probable that not all parents of little Laylas were inspired by the song, it is sure to have influenced at least some, and for those willing to dig a bit deeper into rock history for inspiration, past the dated “Roxanne” (The Police) and “Barbara Ann” (The Beach Boys), there are a number of likely gems á la Layla, just waiting to be discovered. While that list does tend to favor the girls, who tend to be more popular subjects of love songs than men, if one looks past the songs and toward the artists themselves, a whole treasure trove of possibilities can be found, and not all of them as far out as one would think.

Here are my favorite rock ‘n’ roll baby names for boys and girls, with the songs and artists referenced. (The Beatles, in particular, seem to have had their finger on the baby naming pulse!)  Keep in mind that these lists are not comprehensive, but, rather, reflect those names that seem particularly relevant to the modern day crowd, have an intriguing sound, or simply have that rockin’ edge.

GIRLS

Alice (White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane and Alice Cooper)

Athena (Athena, The Who)

Caroline (Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond)

Cecilia (Cecilia, Simon and Garfunkel)

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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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