Sunday, July 25, 2010

Names for Girls

I've said it before: Everyone I know is having babies. Seriously. It suddenly seems like every girl I know is in some stage of motherhood, and they're either thinking about names, narrowing down names, or settling on names as we speak.

Because of this, I've gotten a little swept up. I've thought about all the lovely things you could name a girl so that she has a song--because we all know how much I crave having a good song for my name--so that, someday, somewhere, a boy (or a girl--hey, whatever) will write those lyrics in some sweet note that'll get passed to the beloved during study hall.

Here are some of the songs that are on my list, if ever I decide I want to have children (and then get a girl):

"Caroline" by Old Crow Medicine Show

"You were born in St. Clair's Hospital, but I say you were born up in the sky..." Oh, hello. Tell me you wouldn't like those lyrics in a song about you.

"Helen" by Nizlopi

I've loved this song for a long time, but I like it even more now that I'm dating The Lady-Killer. Part of the song--"You sent me singing through the woods last night. You sent me singing. I'm a happy, singing boy because of you"--reminds me of him, about the first night we kissed. I went to see him at work. I did not go thinking I would kiss him, but, well, what can I say? There was a little bit of a moment, and we kissed. He had to go back inside almost immediately--his break was up--so we said goodbye, and while I was buckling my belt, he made his way around to the front of my car, put his hands on my hood to get my attention, and then he pointed back up to his face--which was smiling--with both index fingers.

"Grin!" he said.

I think the Nizlopi song captures a moment like that pretty well. (Good for you, Helen. Good for you.)

"Jolene" by Ray Lamontagne

I couldn't love this lyric any more than I do: "A man needs something he can hold on to: A nine pound hammer or a girl like you."

"Hannah" by Ray Lamontagne

Speaking of Ray Lamontagne, here's another good, good song. "All my wounds turned to gold when I kissed your hair..." Oh yes.

"Jolene" by Cory Branan

Dude, Jolenes have all the luck! Do you know how many songs about Jolenes there are? I especially like this one--probably because I like everything Cory Branan does. Do you hear his voice? Doesn't that voice sound like it belongs to a man you'd like to drink several thousand beers with?

"Kathleen" by Josh Ritter

This isn't the first time I've mentioned this song. In fact, I talk about this song all the time. I make everyone listen to this song, and then I talk about how much I love it, and then I give lectures on my favorite lyrics (1. The first line; 2. This part: "I know you are waiting, and I know that it is not for me. But I'm here, and I'm ready, and I've saved you the passenger seat. And I won't be your last dance, just your last goodnight. Every heart is a package tangled up in knots someone else tied...").

Other people have even gotten in on the supporting of my "Kathleen" habit: This is my ringtone on Christine's phone.

This disturbs TLK a little bit, as his mother's name is Kathleen, but that didn't stop him from trying to quote this song to me one night. He looked over at me, pushed hair back from my face, and said, "You're the North Star." It was close. The lyric he was going for was this: "All the girls here are stars; you are the Northern Lights." But I didn't mind the change. I didn't mind being compared to the star that guides people home, takes people to exactly where they need to be.

"Goodnight Rose" by Ryan Adams

I could write an entire thesis on how much I love Ryan Adams, how he got me through all kinds of ugly stuff with the Wily Republican during grad school, but this song came later, after all of that, when I was already living in Maine. There's just something so hopeful about it.


I've got more, of course--tons!--but that's a start. Each of those songs makes me a little jealous but a little encouraged, too--like maybe someday one of those guys will meet and fall in love with a girl named Jessica and just like that, I'll finally have a song.


KNC said...

I only approve of Hannah. Maybe Kathleen if you called her Katy. What ever happened to Magdalena? I found out that Madelyn is a form of Magdalena, so I technically already stole your name. Sorry.

Jess said...

Magdalena is my favorite, of course, but I couldn't find the video--it's obscure--on You Tube. Sad.


(I allow it.)

♫Celestrialterrestrial♫ said...

there appears to be somekind of magic formula that equates song-dedication-worthiness with the an ending combo of n and e..."JoleNE" "KathleEN" "HelEN" "CaroliNE" and oh hey, won't you look at that, "ChristiNE"...I clearly qualify in the mysterious, alchemical process that is music making and yet no one (well except Kiss, so again...NO ONE) will write a song about me....curses!

Josh Rouse, David Gray and a Perfect Circle all have songs about Magdalena...that's by far my favorite of the with the nickname Maggie, she'd have a Rod Steward, Bob Dylan and Colin Hay song...and by the sounds of all those, she's be a real firecracker...:)

mainetoboston said...

For The Hand of Magdelena