Friday, June 09, 2006


When my clock radio switched itself on this morning, I woke to find myself being serenaded by Smokie, singing their 1978 hit 'Oh Carol'.

In the few seconds it took for me to properly wake up and hurl my clock radio through the window, I wondered if there are any girl's names left that haven't been immortalised in popular song. The ones that have been taken run from the ordinary (Runaround Sue, Annie's Song, Maggie May) to the esoteric (Elvira, My Sharona, Delilah). I cast my mind through the female members of my family and social circle, and there seemed to be a song that at least mentioned every one of them.

And then I wondered; why are there so many songs sung by men to women, and yet so few songs sung by women to men? To the best of my knowledge, there's no song called 'Robert'. Or 'James'. Or even 'Hiroshi'. The only examples I could come up with were 'Mickey' by Toni Basil and 'Fernando' by Abba, and even then I'm not sure that the Abba one counts, given that I've neither met nor heard of anyone named Fernando outside this song. It could all be some twisted conspiracy of Agnetha's.

I for one think this huge gender imbalance is an outrage. If there's ever going to be any genuine equality in this world, the ladies are going to have to start serenading the gentlemen like there's no tomorrow. So get to it, girls!

And yes, I do realise that there's not a lot that rhymes with 'Timothy', but we must accept that the road to social justice is never smooth.


Blogger LindyK said...

What about Mack the Knife? Erm, that's about all I could come up with. But you're right -- the disparity is rather marked, when you think about it...

There are some tough to rhyme with female names, too, though -- like Penelope. Or Apple.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I met a guy called Fernando once. And he went by "Fern". Man, he was a dork, he looked like Leo Sayer. And that was at Arcadia - that's how long ago that was! And I still remember him.

Hmm... Pearl Jam have "Jeremy". So do songs by men FOR men count?

8:50 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

I'm not including non-romantic songs sung by men about men (eg 'Jeremy', 'Ben', 'Arthur'). They're just songs that happen to mention some guy (or some rat, in Ben's case). They're not addressing the romantic imbalance.

Come on, ladies! Is it that hard to sing about the man you love? Why is there an "Oh Carol" but no "Oh Warren"?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Terios said...

'Jesse' by Carly Simon, and 'Jesse Hold On' by B*Witched

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Terios said...

Denis by Blondie.
Billy Don't Be a Hero by Paper Lace.

On the other hand, Mickey by Toni Basil only half counts, as it was a re-write of Kitty by Racey.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Terios said...

Joey by Concrete Blonde.
Me And Bobby McGee by Janis Joplin.

3:58 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Terios, I'll be more impressed if you can swear to me that you only used your own recollection to come up with those songs, rather than mining Google.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Terios said...

Jesse, Jesse and Billy were mine. Joey, Bobby and Denis were Google's.
Kitty was a vague memory which I refreshed with Google's help.
Still a huge imbalance. I reckon I could remember three times this many songs about women / girls. And with Google I reckon we'd get 10 times.

6:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

"Sweet Baby James" by James Brown.

*runs off*

6:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home