Table of Contents
- 1. “Little James” by Oasis
- 2. “James Bond” by Iggy Pop
- 3. “James and the Cold Gun” by Kate Bush
- 4. “Rick James” by Keyshia Cole
- 5. “Bobby James” by N.E.R.D.
- 6. “Beautiful James” by Placebo
- 7. “James James Morrison Morrison” by Chad Mitchell Trio
- 8. “James Dean” by Eagles
- 9. “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor, Carole King
- 10. “James” by Blue October
- 11. “James” by MGMT
- 12. “Oliver James” by Fleet Foxes
- 13. “James Joint” by Rihanna
- 14. “Brother James” by Sonic Youth
- 15. “James (Hold The Ladder Steady)” by Sue Thompson
- 16. “James” by Billy Joel
- 17. “King James” by Anderson Paak
- 18. “John and James” by Toots and the Maytals
- 19. “James” by The Bangles
- 20. “Dear James” by Hanoch
James is a name that has been around for centuries, and it has been a popular subject in music. Whether it’s a tribute to a friend, family member, or just a popular name for a character, songs with the name James in the title have become a staple in music history. From classic rock to modern pop, this name has been celebrated by artists across genres.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 songs with the name James in the title. These songs have stood the test of time and have become fan favorites for their catchy hooks, meaningful lyrics, and memorable performances. We’ll explore each song in detail, discussing their origins, lyrics, and why they’ve become such beloved classics. So whether you’re a James yourself or just a fan of good music, join us as we take a trip down memory lane and celebrate the best songs with this timeless name in their titles.
1. “Little James” by Oasis
“Little James” by Oasis is a sentimental ballad from their 2000 album “Standing on the Shoulder of Giants.” The song was written by Liam Gallagher as a tribute to his stepson James Kerr, and it features a melodic guitar riff and Liam’s distinctive vocals. The lyrics are touching and heartfelt, as Liam sings about his love and concern for James, and his hopes and dreams for the future. The song’s simplicity and emotional resonance make it one of Oasis’s most endearing tracks.
2. “James Bond” by Iggy Pop
“James Bond” by Iggy Pop is a high-energy rock song from his 1981 album “Party.” The song’s lyrics are a tribute to the legendary British spy, James Bond, and Iggy delivers them with his trademark snarl and swagger. The song features a driving bassline and a propulsive beat, as well as Iggy’s electrifying vocals and some scorching guitar solos. The lyrics reference many of Bond’s most iconic traits and moments, and the song is a fitting tribute to the suave and deadly secret agent. “James Bond” is one of Iggy Pop’s most exhilarating and memorable tracks.
3. “James and the Cold Gun” by Kate Bush
“James and the Cold Gun” is a song by British singer-songwriter Kate Bush from her 1978 debut album “The Kick Inside.” The song features a catchy, upbeat melody and dynamic instrumentation, including horns and electric guitar. The lyrics tell the story of a dangerous criminal named James who wields a “cold gun” and eludes the police, with Kate’s vocals shifting between different characters in the narrative. The song showcases Kate’s imaginative storytelling and unique vocal range, as well as her ability to combine diverse musical elements into a cohesive and memorable track. “James and the Cold Gun” remains a fan favorite and a classic of Kate Bush’s early work.
4. “Rick James” by Keyshia Cole
“Rick James” is a song by American R&B singer Keyshia Cole from her 2007 album “Just Like You.” The song is an homage to the late funk musician Rick James, and features a sample of his hit song “Cold Blooded.” Keyshia’s soulful vocals express her admiration for James and his music, while also acknowledging his troubled personal life. The song’s production incorporates the signature sound of Rick James, with funky guitar riffs, synthesizers, and a thumping beat. “Rick James” is a catchy and energetic tribute to one of the most influential and colorful figures in funk and R&B music, and demonstrates Keyshia Cole’s ability to blend classic and contemporary sounds in her music.
5. “Bobby James” by N.E.R.D.
“Bobby James” is a song by American rock band N.E.R.D. released in 2010. The song features an upbeat and catchy melody with Pharrell Williams’ trademark smooth vocals. The lyrics tell the story of a young man named Bobby James who is trying to make it in life despite facing challenges and setbacks. The song’s upbeat tone and motivational lyrics make it a great anthem for anyone struggling to overcome adversity. The chorus of the song features a repetitive “Don’t give up on life” refrain, driving home the message of perseverance and resilience. Overall, “Bobby James” is an inspirational and uplifting track that encourages listeners to keep pushing through the tough times.
6. “Beautiful James” by Placebo
“Beautiful James” is a melancholic and introspective song by British alternative rock band Placebo. The song was released in 2013 and features Brian Molko’s distinctive vocals set against a haunting and atmospheric instrumental arrangement. The lyrics explore the feelings of loss and loneliness that can come with fame and fortune. The title character James is portrayed as a tragic figure who is unable to find happiness despite his success. The song’s somber tone and poignant lyrics create a sense of emotional depth that is characteristic of Placebo’s music. “Beautiful James” is a powerful and moving track that speaks to the complexities of human emotion and the struggles that come with success.
7. “James James Morrison Morrison” by Chad Mitchell Trio
“James James Morrison Morrison” is a comical song by the Chad Mitchell Trio, a popular American folk music group of the 1960s. The song is based on a poem by A.A. Milne, the author of “Winnie the Pooh,” and tells the story of a man named James who has a very long name. The song features playful lyrics and a catchy melody that make it a fun and enjoyable listen. The trio’s harmonious vocals and upbeat instrumentation add to the song’s lighthearted and whimsical feel. “James James Morrison Morrison” is a classic example of the humorous and irreverent style of folk music that was popular during the 1960s.
8. “James Dean” by Eagles
“James Dean” is a song by American rock band Eagles released in 1974. The song features a bluesy guitar riff and Don Henley’s distinctive vocals. The lyrics pay tribute to the iconic American actor James Dean, who was known for his rebellious spirit and tragic death at a young age. The song describes the allure of James Dean’s image and the impact he had on popular culture. The chorus of the song features a repetitive “Don’t you know we love you more” refrain, expressing the admiration and affection that people had for James Dean. “James Dean” is a classic rock song that captures the essence of a cultural icon and the emotions that his image evoked.
9. “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor, Carole King
“Sweet Baby James” is a classic folk-rock song by American singer-songwriter James Taylor, released on his 1970 album of the same name. The song is a tribute to James’ nephew, who was named after him, and its gentle, melodic sound and nostalgic lyrics evoke a sense of home and family. Carole King, a close friend and frequent collaborator of Taylor, provides background vocals and piano on the track. “Sweet Baby James” has become one of James Taylor’s most beloved songs and a staple of his live performances, and its enduring popularity reflects its universal appeal and timeless quality.
10. “James” by Blue October
“James” is a song by American alternative rock band Blue October, from their 2006 album “Foiled.” The song features a driving rhythm, soaring vocals, and emotive lyrics that express lead singer Justin Furstenfeld’s struggles with addiction and mental health issues, as well as his desire for redemption and connection. The song’s production incorporates a range of sonic elements, from electronic beats and synths to live instrumentation, creating a dynamic and powerful sound. “James” has become a fan favorite and a standout track in Blue October’s catalog, with its honesty and vulnerability resonating with listeners and highlighting the band’s talent for crafting compelling and deeply personal music.
11. “James” by MGMT
“James” is a song by American psychedelic pop band MGMT, released on their self-titled third album in 2013. The song features a catchy synth-pop melody, shimmering guitars, and a driving beat, and its lyrics explore themes of identity, self-doubt, and the search for purpose in a world that can be confusing and overwhelming. The song’s production incorporates a range of sonic elements, from electronic blips and bleeps to lush harmonies and cascading arpeggios, creating a dreamy and atmospheric sound. “James” is a standout track on MGMT’s album and a testament to the band’s talent for crafting
12. “Oliver James” by Fleet Foxes
“Oliver James” is a song by American indie folk band Fleet Foxes, released on their self-titled debut album in 2008. The song features a plaintive acoustic guitar melody, delicate vocal harmonies, and introspective lyrics that explore themes of loss, regret, and the fleeting nature of time. The song’s sparse instrumentation and restrained production create a sense of intimacy and vulnerability, and lead singer Robin Pecknold’s haunting vocals add a sense of emotional depth and resonance. “Oliver James” is one of Fleet Foxes’ most beloved songs and a highlight of their debut album, demonstrating the band’s skill for crafting poignant and evocative folk music.
13. “James Joint” by Rihanna
“James Joint” is a short interlude by Barbadian singer Rihanna from her eighth studio album “Anti.” The song was released in 2016 and is a tribute to marijuana, with James being a reference to the drug. The song features a jazzy instrumental with Rihanna’s sultry vocals layered over it, creating a dreamy and seductive atmosphere. The lyrics of the song are minimal, with Rihanna singing about the effects of the drug and how it makes her feel. The song captures the mood of relaxation and escape that is often associated with marijuana use. “James Joint” is a smooth and sensual song that showcases Rihanna’s unique voice and artistry.
14. “Brother James” by Sonic Youth
“Brother James” is a song by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released in 1986. The song features a catchy guitar riff and distorted vocals by Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. The lyrics of the song are minimal and repetitive, with the title being chanted throughout the song. The song is said to be about James Nares, a British artist and friend of the band who created the artwork for the album “Evol.” “Brother James” is a fast-paced and energetic song that captures the raw and experimental sound that Sonic Youth was known for. The song showcases the band’s unique style of blending noise and melody to create a distinct sound that influenced many alternative and indie rock bands that followed.
15. “James (Hold The Ladder Steady)” by Sue Thompson
“James (Hold The Ladder Steady)” is a song by American country-pop singer Sue Thompson, released in 1962. The song tells the story of a young boy named James who dreams of one day becoming a firefighter. The catchy, upbeat melody and Thompson’s warm, inviting vocals make the song an endearing tribute to the aspirations of youth. The song features a simple arrangement, with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and backing vocals that create a sense of joyful, exuberant energy. “James (Hold The Ladder Steady)” is a classic example of early ’60s country-pop and remains a beloved tune that captures the innocence and optimism of a bygone era.
16. “James” by Billy Joel
“James” is a song by American singer-songwriter Billy Joel, released on his 1976 album “Turnstiles.” The song features a jaunty piano melody, catchy chorus, and poignant lyrics that tell the story of a man who has left his home and family behind to pursue his dreams. Joel’s rich, expressive vocals and the song’s energetic, jazz-infused instrumentation create a sense of restless energy and forward momentum. “James” is a powerful testament to the importance of following one’s own path, even if it means leaving loved ones behind. The song has become a fan favorite and a classic in Joel’s extensive discography.
17. “King James” by Anderson Paak
“King James” is a song by Anderson .Paak, released in 2019 as part of his album “Ventura.” It is a tribute to basketball player LeBron James, and it showcases .Paak’s signature style of blending funk, R&B, and hip-hop. The song features a groovy bassline, funky guitar riffs, and horn stabs, and .Paak’s soulful vocals provide a smooth delivery of his lyrics, which talk about James’ career and accomplishments, as well as his role as a cultural icon.
18. “John and James” by Toots and the Maytals
“Toots and the Maytals” was a Jamaican reggae and ska vocal group that had a string of hits in the 1960s and 1970s. “John and James” is a song from their 1973 album “In the Dark,” and it features the group’s characteristic harmonies, catchy melodies, and upbeat rhythms. The song is a celebration of two men who represent the working class, and it talks about their struggles, dreams, and achievements. The lyrics convey a message of hope and solidarity, as they urge people to come together and support each other in the face of adversity. The song’s upbeat tempo and catchy chorus make it a classic example of Toots and the Maytals’ style.
19. “James” by The Bangles
“James” is a song by American pop-rock band The Bangles, released in 1984. The song features a jangly guitar riff and upbeat vocals by lead singer Susanna Hoffs. The lyrics of the song are about a boy named James who is “as sweet as candy” and how the singer wants to be with him. The song captures the fun and youthful energy of the 80s pop-rock era, with its catchy melody and playful lyrics. “James” was one of the early hits for The Bangles and helped to establish them as one of the most successful all-female bands of the 80s.
20. “Dear James” by Hanoch
“Dear James” is a song by Israeli singer-songwriter Hanoch Levin, released in 1990. The song features a slow and mournful melody with lyrics that are a letter to James, who is revealed to be a dead friend. The lyrics are introspective and explore themes of loss, grief, and memory. The song captures the sadness and pain of losing someone close and the difficulty of moving on. Hanoch’s emotive vocals and poetic lyrics create a haunting and poignant atmosphere that is both beautiful and heart-wrenching. “Dear James” is a moving tribute to a lost friend that resonates with anyone who has experienced the pain of loss.