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Hey, Jude: Names from the Beatles and beyond

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

MAXWELL

MICHELLE

PAM

PENNY (though Penny Lane was a place name)

PRUDENCE

RITA

ROCKY

SALLY

Of course there are hundreds of other songs by other artists, and you probably have your own favorites, but here are just a few:

ADELAIDE —  John Cale

AJA  —  Steely Dan

ALBERTA  —  Bob Dylan

ALISON —  Elvis Costello

ALTHEA   —  Grateful Dead

AMANDA —  Boston

ANGELICA  —  Richard Marx

AUBREY — Bread

BERNADETTE — Four Tops

BILLIE JEAN  —  Michael Jackson

CECILIA  — Simon & Garfunkel

CHLOE  —  Elton John

CLEMENTINE —  Jan & Dean

CORINNA  —  Bob Dylan

DELILAH  —  Chuck Berry, Queen

DUNCAN  —  Paul Simon

ELI  —  Laura Nyro, Three Dog Night

EVANGELINE —  The Band

FERNANDO  —  ABBA

GEORGIA  — Ray Charles

GUINNEVERE —  Crosby, Stills &  Nash

HAZEL  — Bob Dylan

IZABELLA  —  Jimi Hendrix

JEREMIAH  —  Sting

JEREMY  — Pearl Jam

JEZEBEL  — Sade

JOSIE —  Steely Dan

LAYLA  — Eric Clapton/Derek & the Dominos

LOLA  —  The Kinks

LORENZO  — Phil Collins

MAGDALENA  — Mothers of Invention

MATILDA  —  Pink Floyd

MOLLY  —  Little Richard

NADINE —  Chuck Berry

NIKKI —  Prince

OPHELIA —  The Band

RHIANNON  —  Fleetwood Mac

ROXANNE  — The  Police

RUBY  —  The Rolling Stones

SEAMUS  —  Pink Floyd

SHARONA  — The Knack

VENUS —  Bananarama

VERA  —  Pink Floyd

VERONICA  —  Elvis Costello

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34 Responses to “Hey, Jude: Names from the Beatles and beyond”

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rachelmarie Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 12:10 am

I love the Beatles, and for a time actually liked the name Lucy because of the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
But then again, how do you explain to your daughter that her name was inspired by a song about drugs? Lol.

I also love the name Jude, but being Jewish from my background, I could never bestow that name onto my child.

But I do love the name Clementine.

disa_lan Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 1:39 am

Great blog! I love the idea of names in songs.You might want to listen to the lyrics really close because one day said child named after said song is going to want to hear it too. Hopefully this blog inspires readers to do more searching for name related songs. Lots of fun!

linda Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 2:21 am

rachelmarie–
If it makes you feel any better about Lucy, I’ve read that the LSD story really isn’t true.

Elsa Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 4:39 am

‘Hey Jude’ was originally going to be ‘Hey Jules’, because Paul McCartney had the idea to write a song for Julian Lennon to comfort him about his parents’ divorce, but Paul changed it to ‘Hey Jude’ as he thought it sounded better. When I discovered this, we started using Jude as a nickname for our son (Julius), because it on our mind it’s a legitimate nickname because of the ‘Hey Jude’/’Hey Jules’ thing!

Em Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 6:34 am

My mom started a tradition of having a song for each of us kids (the song being chosen after the name though) and mine was “For Emily Wherever I May Find Her” by Simon & Garfunkel. My brother had “Sweet Baby James” etc.

Now that I have a son, I’d like to find a song for him- his name is Kevin. I’ve been wracking my brains for a song with Kevin, to no avail, and I’ve tried searching song databases but just end up finding songs BY a Kevin….anyone here have any suggestions?

Also, Cecilia used to be my all time favorite, I’d go around singing it when I was little and my mom thought, hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have let her listen to that so often, she’s 8 years old and singing about “making love in the afternoon with Cecilia, up in my bedroom, I get up to wash my face, when I come back to bed, someone’s taken my place” haha!
I did always tell her I wanted to name a daughter Cecilia, but turns out my husband definitely doesn’t like it, and I’m not as obsessed with it as an adult anyways…

Melissa Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 8:23 am

You left off my favorite pair from a Beatles song–Desmond and Molly.
Also, the Allman Brothers song Sweet Melissa always makes me smile.

Elaine Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 8:29 am

A few more:

“Melissa” by the Allman Brothers Band
“Jolene” by Dolly Parton
“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
… and my personal favorite, “Elaine” by Abba.

Abby Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 8:35 am

Elsa, neat story! I love Jude as a nn for Julius. And what a fun post.

As for Ruby, there’s also Rancid’s Ruby Soho (1995) and the Kaiser Chef’s Ruby (2007). She’s supermusical. And don’t forget the Plain White Tee’s Delilah!

I don’t remember all of the lyrics to Prince’s Nikki, but I’m pretty confident that you’d go to Bad Parent He!! if you used that one as a lullaby.

Ellen Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 10:19 am

My daughter and her husband are strongly leaning towards the name Jude if their baby due in January is a boy. Reading rachelmarie’s comment above, I am reminded of my own concerns about some problematic associations with the name Jude. And yet, the name seems to be rising in popularity and well-liked by many parents. It may be that the not-so-positive associations I have with the name are not known or cared about by younger parents. ??? I’ve suggested Julian called “Jude” (even though John Charles Julian Lennon’s nn is “Jules”), but my daughter prefers Jude as the given name.

Jen Maselli Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 12:18 pm

From what I understand, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds isn’t about drugs. It was inspired by a drawing made by Julian Lennon. When John asked what the drawing was, Julien replied, “That’s Lucy (his friend), in the sky with diamonds.”

disa_lan Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 1:05 pm

Em-

I had recently found a site that listed songs that contained the named you searched for. Here is what I found for Kevin. I haven’t researched any of the songs so I’m sure they are a few undesirables in the mix. Hope this helped.

Cousin Kevin (The Who)
Free Kevin Kjonaas (Goldfinger)
Full On Kevin’s Mom (Soundgarden)
Give My Love to Kevin (The Wedding Present)
Kevin (Pansy Division)
Kevin Barry (Hank Locklin)
Kevin Carter (Manic Street Preachers)
Kevin Costner’s Casino (Lawrence Arms)
Kevin’s Blues (Carl Cacho)
Kevin’s Song (Down by Law)
Kevin’s Song (Goo Goo Dolls)
Kevin’s Song (Squad Five-O)
Kevin’s Telescope (The Gathering)
Megan and Kevin (Anne O’Meara Heaton)
Mephisto and Kevin (South Park)
Mephisto And Kevin (TV Theme Songs)
Ode To Kevin Arnold (Ludo)
R.I.P. Kevin (TRU)
Two Kevins (Cigar)

Em Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 2:48 pm

@disa_lan

Awesome! I tried so many different lyric sites and was getting frustrated. Off to research your list…

British American Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 3:50 pm

I know a family with daughters named Eleanor and Lucy, after the Beatles songs. 🙂

Jeremy (Pearl Jam) is a song you really wouldn’t want to be singing to your kids – though I do like the song and the name is ok.

Maria Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I would not sing ‘Jeremy’ to anyone under 14 because it is inspired by a teen who killed himself. However Jeremy is a nice classic name.

redriding Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 4:27 pm

Cool blog. I was in the Beatles Fan Club from 1966 onwards, and my best friend Judith and I, lived and breathed the Beatles. She loved John, and I loved Paul and we spent many summers camped outside Paul McCartney’s house in St. John’s Wood, London. Despite this, I never thought of naming a child after one of their songs,(hate the name Michelle, sorry) although I did (and still do) love “Eleanor Rigby”, and Lucy in the Sky. (Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was my first ever album bought with my own pocket money). This was a very nostalgic blog for me!

Adore the name Prudence, by the way, and as for “Lovely RITA, meter maid” – I wonder if Rita is due for a comeback at all?

Janine Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 4:27 pm

I was named for the Trooper song ‘Janine’. I love having it as a personal little anthem even if it is a depressing song. lol.

teabee Says:

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:47 pm

British American, I totally agree about “Jeremy,” though it’s awfully fun to sing! If anyone was inspired to name a kid after the song, they shouldn’t cop to it.

Ruby Says:

September 3rd, 2009 at 10:32 am

I’m Ruby after Ruby Tuesday, my brother is Jude after Hey Jude and my sister is Sadie after Sexy Sadie (also by the Beatles but not on this list). So we all have our own personal theme tune although Sadie doesn’t get it anyway near as often as me and Jude. And now I get “Ruby” by the Kaiser Chiefs sung to me too.

Kerri Says:

September 3rd, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I wanted a “Cassidy” even though I really don’t like that name that much. Its a Grateful Dead song and the lyrics are great to sing to a baby, something like “you were born to me…Cassidy”

Liadee Says:

September 3rd, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Theres also
“Flowers for Zoe” Lenny Kravitz
“Georgia Georgia” Elliot Smith*
“Racey Lacey” Girls Aloud*
“Alayna” LFO*
“Kelsey” Metro Station
“Callie’s Song” Silent Confessions
“Little Rachel” Eric Clapton

Theres also a ton of Kate, Jenn, and Anne songs
* okay so i wouldnt exactly play these songs for alittle kid…

rachelmarie Says:

September 6th, 2009 at 1:12 pm

@ Jen Maselli:
His son actually drew a picture of that because of the song. Julien didn’t get what Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds meant, so he drew that picture of what he though it meant.
I did a research paper about John Lennon in 8th grade and that’s one of the random facts that stuck with me.

Jen Maselli Says:

September 7th, 2009 at 6:40 pm

@ rachelmarie:

I first heard the story about the song being inspired by a painting of Julien’s school friend while watching the Anthology when it first aired in 1995. Many, many sources also report that Julien Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Martin confirm the story and deny that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is directly about LSD. It was other people who pointed out the LUCY SKY DIAMONDS = LSD connection after Sgt. Pepper was released. Obviously John Lennon and the rest of the boys were experimenting with drugs including LSD during the approximate time that Sgt Pepper was being written, and undoubtedly the song and the album were influenced by their experiences, but from everything I’ve read and watched, the song was inspired by Julien’s artwork featuring his classmate named Lucy.

Of course, I could be wrong. All of that Beatles history is now just lore and legend, sometimes separating fact from fiction is impossible.

Vikki Says:

September 8th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Rhonda and Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys. I love name songs. I also love that some of the classic names still have a little spark left in them

Catherine Says:

September 19th, 2009 at 8:47 am

My sister is Barbara Joanne and I used to modify the lyrics to “Barbara Anne” to fit her name…she still hates that song.

My daughter almost ended up Stephanie Rhiannon (yes for Stevie Nicks AND the song) and “Crystal” is another Fleetwood Mac song title…

A great lullaby by Anne Murray is called “Danny’s Song” and it was written for her own son 🙂

ABBA also do a beautiful song called Cassandra but might be kind of depressing as a lullaby..hmm…
And apparently baby Sparrow was named for the Simon & Garfunkel song (at least they didn’t call him Baby Driver)

robynkit Says:

December 22nd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

You forgot Vera, Chuck and Dave (When I’m 64).
Also, Rose and Valarie (screaming from the gallery. . . .Maxwell’s Silver Hammer) and Martha My Dear (Paul’s dog).
Did not see Prudence listed (Dear Prudence) either.

katelin Says:

April 21st, 2010 at 1:05 am

im 18 an im due in june an im having TWINS(boys) an im just in love with the beatles i mean thats all my kids in my tummy listin to an i know im nameing one paul jude but my other one im haveing trouble with i mean i know im nameing him john but john what john julian sounds good but what about john winston lennon then my last name idk

jenbrittt Says:

June 2nd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I love this blog. I want to name my boys after great musicians like John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix and a girl after the song Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac, I wanted another song title for the middle name and this gave me great ideas, thanks!

jenbrittt Says:

June 2nd, 2010 at 4:36 pm

You also forgot one of Bob Dylan’s greatest hits and also a classic, Visions of Joanna.

Amy Says:

July 11th, 2010 at 12:53 am

My kids names are Anna and Jude, both named after Beatles songs. I also like “Abbey Rhode” if it’s a girl 🙂

Valerie Says:

July 17th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

My mother was a huge fan of Phil Collins and when I was born she chose to name me after the song Valerie because she loved the name and the song!

Nancy Says:

August 3rd, 2010 at 2:24 pm

If you don’t like Jude for a boy name, try Julian.

Or if you like ‘Hey Jude’ but having a girl, name her Judy/Judith. 🙂

Natalie Says:

March 1st, 2011 at 10:57 pm

My cousin’s kids are Lucy and Jude, and I just now made the connection!

laurakatex Says:

June 17th, 2014 at 4:44 am

I know of a sibset of two boys and a girl and they are named Lennon, Harrison and McCartney after the Beatles. Their parents were massive Beatles fans. I absolutely love their names.

river_dweller Says:

July 3rd, 2018 at 12:59 pm

“Chelsea Morning”- Joni Mitchell
“Brandy”- Looking Glass
“Lola”- The Kinks
“Penny Lane”- The Beatles (even though it’s ment as a street name)
“Nancy Mulligan”- ed

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