Table of Contents
- 1. Angie – The Rolling Stones
- 2. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- 3. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
- 4. Lola – The Kinks
- 5. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
- 6. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
- 7. Susanne – Leonard Cohen
- 8. Layla – Derek and the Dominos
- 9. Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival
- 10. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
- 11. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd
- 12. Roxanne – The Police
- 13. Martha – Tom Waits
- 14. Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground
- 15. Nikita – Elton John
- 16. Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- 17. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
- 18. Maybellene – Chuck Berry
- 19. Jolene – Dolly Parton
- 20. Valerie – Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse
- 21. Black Betty – Ram Jam
- 22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – Bruce Springsteen
- 23. Barbara Ann – Beach Boys
- 24. My Sharona – The Knack
- 25. Annie’s Song – John Denver
- 26. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly
- 27. Darling Nikki – Prince
- 28. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
- 29. Kayleigh – Marillion
Music has always been a way for artists to express their feelings and emotions towards various subjects, including people. It’s no surprise that many of the most iconic songs in history have been written about women. From romantic ballads to empowering anthems, these songs celebrate and immortalize the women who have inspired the songwriters. In this article, we will explore the top 29 songs about women’s names that have resonated with audiences across generations.
Each song has a unique story and perspective, from the heart-wrenching ballad “Alison” by Elvis Costello to the lively and upbeat “Jolene” by Dolly Parton. These songs showcase the power of music to capture the essence of a person and the impact they can have on someone’s life. We will examine the lyrics, melodies, and cultural significance of each song and how they have stood the test of time.
Whether you are looking for a song to dedicate to a special woman in your life or simply appreciate the artistry of great songwriting, this list of the top 29 songs about women’s names has something for everyone. So sit back, turn up the volume, and let these timeless tunes transport you to a place where music and emotion collide.
1. Angie – The Rolling Stones
“Angie” is a melancholic ballad by The Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. The song is said to be about the end of Jagger’s relationship with actress Angie Bowie, the ex-wife of David Bowie. The gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar along with the haunting piano melody and Jagger’s delicate vocals make for a poignant love song. The lyrics are wistful and introspective, expressing Jagger’s sorrow over the breakup and his longing for Angie’s return. The chorus, “Angie, Angie, when will those clouds all disappear? / Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?” is one of the most recognizable in rock history. The song has been covered by numerous artists and has become a classic ballad loved by many.
2. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
“Billie Jean” is a classic song by the late Michael Jackson, released in 1983 as part of his album “Thriller”. The song tells the story of a woman named Billie Jean, who claims that Jackson is the father of her child, leading to a conflict between them. Jackson’s soulful vocals and the iconic bassline make the song instantly recognizable and one of his most popular hits. The lyrics explore themes of fame, paternity, and obsession, showcasing Jackson’s signature storytelling ability. The song’s music video, which features Jackson’s iconic moonwalk and other dance moves, became a cultural phenomenon and helped propel the album to become the best-selling of all time. “Billie Jean” cemented Jackson’s status as a pop icon and remains a staple of his legacy even after his passing.
3. Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne
“Stacy’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne is a catchy pop-rock tune about a teenage boy’s infatuation with his friend’s attractive mother. The lyrics are cheeky and playful, with the narrator pining after Stacy’s mom and dreaming of a romantic relationship with her. The song features a driving guitar riff and infectious melody that make it impossible not to sing along. The chorus is particularly memorable, with the narrator declaring that Stacy’s mom has got it going on. The track became a hit for Fountains of Wayne in the early 2000s and is still a beloved staple of pop culture. While the lyrics may seem a bit tongue-in-cheek, the song is ultimately a lighthearted celebration of youth and teenage crushes.
4. Lola – The Kinks
“Lola” is a 1970s rock song by British band The Kinks, which tells the story of a young man meeting a mysterious woman named Lola in a club. As the night progresses, he becomes more and more infatuated with her, despite her masculine appearance and deep voice. The lyrics are known for their tongue-in-cheek references to gender and sexuality, and have been interpreted as a commentary on the changing attitudes towards gender identity in the 1970s. The song features a catchy guitar riff and a memorable chorus, making it one of The Kinks’ most well-known hits. “Lola” has since become a classic rock
5. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond is a timeless classic that has been embraced by generations since its release in 1969. The song is a tribute to Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and has become an anthem for sports teams and events all over the world. The catchy chorus and upbeat melody make it an irresistible sing-along, while the lyrics evoke a feeling of joy and togetherness. The song’s simple and relatable message about the joy of being in love has struck a chord with audiences, and it’s not uncommon to see entire stadiums of people singing along to the chorus. “Sweet Caroline” has become a cultural touchstone, and its popularity shows no signs of waning any time soon.
6. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a psychedelic rock song by The Beatles. The song was released in 1967 as part of their album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Although many people believe that the song is about drug use, John Lennon explained that the inspiration behind the song came from a drawing his son Julian made of a girl in his class named Lucy. The song’s lyrics describe a surrealistic landscape filled with imagery such as “tangerine trees,” “marmalade skies,” and “cellophane flowers.” The melody is infectious and the psychedelic soundscapes make the listener feel as if they are on a journey through a dreamlike world. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a classic Beatles song that has remained popular throughout the years and has been covered by many other artists.
7. Susanne – Leonard Cohen
“Susanne” is a gentle and poetic love song by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The song features Cohen’s signature deep, gravelly voice over a simple acoustic guitar and light percussion. The lyrics describe Cohen’s admiration and longing for a woman named Susanne, whom he describes as having “eyes like the moon” and a spirit that could “take this sorrow from you.” The melody is delicate and dreamy, evoking a sense of wistfulness and nostalgia. Cohen’s poetic language and the gentle melody combine to create a haunting and bittersweet atmosphere. “Susanne” is a tender ode to unrequited love and the hope it brings, even if it is never fulfilled. The song has become a beloved classic among Cohen’s fans, showcasing his ability to weave poignant and poetic stories through his music.
8. Layla – Derek and the Dominos
“Layla” is a classic rock song by Derek and the Dominos, written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon. It’s a tragic love song about unrequited love, inspired by Clapton’s infatuation with George Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd. The song features a distinctive guitar riff and passionate vocals, and is often considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. The lyrics express the narrator’s longing and despair as he yearns for the love of a woman who is with another man. Despite his best efforts to win her over, he knows that she will never be his, and he is tormented by his unfulfilled desire. The song’s emotional intensity builds throughout, culminating in a searing guitar solo that conveys the narrator’s anguish and heartbreak. “Layla” has been covered by numerous artists and is widely regarded as one of Clapton’s signature songs.
9. Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival
“Proud Mary” is a classic rock song by Creedence Clearwater Revival that tells the story of a woman named Mary who works as a cleaner on the Mississippi River. The song starts with a slow and melodic guitar intro before transitioning into an upbeat, soulful rhythm that captures the essence of the riverboat lifestyle. John Fogerty’s powerful vocals bring the story of Mary to life as she travels up and down the river, cleaning and serving the passengers on the boat. The iconic chorus, “Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river,” is a testament to the hard work and dedication of those who work on the river. The song’s message is one of hope and perseverance, as Mary continues to work hard despite the challenges she faces. “Proud Mary” has become a beloved classic, with its memorable melody and catchy chorus inspiring generations of music lovers.
10. Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac
“Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac is a hauntingly beautiful song about a Welsh goddess that inspired the name of the song. Stevie Nicks, the lead vocalist and songwriter, sings about a woman who becomes possessed by the spirit of Rhiannon and how she struggles to escape from it. The song is driven by the haunting piano chords and the steady beat of the drums. Nicks’ ethereal voice floats above the melody, evoking a sense of mysticism and otherworldliness. The lyrics are filled with mystical imagery and metaphors, and Nicks’ delivery is both passionate and vulnerable. “Rhiannon” remains one of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved songs, and its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless beauty and haunting power.
11. See Emily Play – Pink Floyd
“See Emily Play” is a psychedelic rock song by Pink Floyd that was released as a single in 1967. The song’s lyrics tell the story of a girl named Emily who enjoys playing with her toys and has a vivid imagination. The music, characterized by its catchy guitar riffs and surreal lyrics, perfectly captures the psychedelic and experimental sound of the late 1960s. The song was a commercial success for Pink Floyd, reaching the top ten on the UK singles chart. It also helped to establish the band’s reputation as one of the pioneers of psychedelic rock. “See Emily Play” remains a fan favorite and is often cited as one of Pink Floyd’s best early works.
12. Roxanne – The Police
“Roxanne” is a classic rock song by the British band The Police. Released in 1978, the song was written by the band’s lead vocalist and bassist Sting. The track features an upbeat reggae rock melody with a catchy guitar riff and an iconic chorus that showcases Sting’s distinctive high-pitched vocals. The song tells the story of a man who falls in love with a prostitute named Roxanne but ultimately decides to leave her. Sting’s raw and emotional vocals perfectly capture the heartache and frustration of the protagonist, while the band’s tight musicianship and infectious groove create a perfect sonic backdrop for the lyrics. “Roxanne” was a major commercial success for The Police, reaching the top 40 charts in multiple countries and becoming one of their most well-known songs. The track’s legacy has endured over the years, with its influence being felt in a variety of genres and inspiring numerous covers and remixes by artists around the world.
13. Martha – Tom Waits
“Martha” is a melancholic and sentimental song by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits. The song tells the story of a man who calls an old flame after twenty years of separation, only to find that the years have changed them both beyond recognition. With Waits’ signature gravelly voice and minimalist piano accompaniment, “Martha” evokes a sense of nostalgia and longing for a time that has long since passed. The lyrics are poignant and reflective, capturing the sense of regret and the yearning for lost love that many people experience in their lives. Waits’ emotive performance in “Martha” is particularly affecting, with his raw and vulnerable vocal delivery drawing the listener into the song’s emotional landscape. Overall, “Martha” is a beautifully crafted and deeply affecting song that showcases Waits’ talent for evoking powerful emotions through his music.
14. Sweet Jane – Velvet Underground
“Sweet Jane” is a classic rock song by Velvet Underground, originally released in 1970. The song is known for its upbeat melody and catchy guitar riffs. The lyrics of the song tell the story of a girl named Jane and her struggles to find happiness and meaning in her life. The chorus encourages Jane to hold on and keep fighting for a better life. The song is often interpreted as a commentary on the difficulties of living in a modern society and the need to find strength and resilience in the face of adversity. The song has been covered by numerous artists over the years and has become a staple of classic rock radio. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless message of hope and perseverance.
15. Nikita – Elton John
Elton John’s “Nikita” is a romantic ballad that tells the story of a man who falls in love with a border guard in the Soviet Union. The song features a soaring melody and lush instrumentation, with John’s powerful vocals conveying the longing and passion of the narrator. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the forbidden love affair, with the narrator dreaming of crossing the border to be with Nikita, despite the dangers that await them. The chorus is particularly memorable, with its catchy hook and layered harmonies. Overall, “Nikita” is a powerful love song that captures the magic and mystery of falling in love with someone from a different world.
16. Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” is a haunting and melancholic song by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The lyrics tell the story of a woman named Mary Jane who seems to be on the verge of leaving the narrator’s life forever, and the desperation he feels to keep her with him. The music is bluesy and soulful, with a strong guitar riff and a slow, steady beat that creates a sense of tension and longing. Petty’s vocals are raw and emotional, adding to the sense of vulnerability and desperation in the lyrics. The chorus is catchy and memorable, with the repeated refrain of “Oh my my, oh hell yes, honey put on that party dress.” Despite its upbeat melody, the song has a bittersweet quality to it, with the narrator lamenting the loss of Mary Jane and wondering what could have been. Overall, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” is a powerful and poignant song that showcases Tom Petty’s incredible songwriting talent and the Heartbreakers’ musical prowess.
17. Maggie May – Rod Stewart
“Maggie May” is a classic rock song by Rod Stewart released in 1971. The song tells the story of a young man who falls in love with an older woman named Maggie May. Despite knowing that their relationship is doomed, he can’t help but fall for her. The song is notable for its catchy melody and the emotional depth of its lyrics. Stewart’s gravelly vocals perfectly capture the sense of longing and regret that permeates the song. The song’s memorable guitar riff and soaring chorus have made it a beloved classic that continues to be played on the radio today. “Maggie May” remains one of Rod Stewart’s most iconic and enduring hits, and its themes of youthful passion and lost love continue to resonate with listeners of all ages.
18. Maybellene – Chuck Berry
“Maybellene” is a classic rock and roll song by Chuck Berry. Released in 1955, it tells the story of a man who is chasing his girlfriend Maybellene in his car, while she is driving a Cadillac. The song is notable for its catchy guitar riff and driving beat, which helped to establish Berry as a pioneer of the rock and roll genre. The lyrics describe the man’s frustration as he tries to catch up with Maybellene, who is apparently interested in other men. The song became a hit and helped to establish Berry as a major force in popular music. Its influence can still be heard today in countless rock and roll songs that have followed in its wake.
19. Jolene – Dolly Parton
“Jolene” is a country classic written and performed by Dolly Parton. The song was released in 1973 and tells the story of a woman pleading with Jolene, a beautiful red-headed woman, not to take her man away. Parton’s emotive voice and the song’s simple but catchy melody have made “Jolene” a beloved hit that has stood the test of time. The lyrics convey a mix of heartache and desperation as the narrator begs Jolene to “please don’t take my man” and wonders how she can possibly compete with Jolene’s beauty. Parton’s unique vocal style gives the song an added layer of vulnerability and raw emotion that has resonated with listeners for decades. “Jolene” has been covered by countless artists and has become an iconic country song that continues to be a staple in the genre.
20. Valerie – Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse
“Valerie” is a lively and upbeat song by British musician Mark Ronson featuring the soulful and powerful vocals of the late Amy Winehouse. Originally recorded by The Zutons, Ronson and Winehouse’s cover of “Valerie” gained worldwide recognition and became a chart-topping hit in many countries. The song’s catchy melody and groovy rhythm are accompanied by funky brass instruments and a prominent guitar riff, creating a sound that is both classic and modern. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of a man who is pleading with a woman named Valerie to come back to him, despite their previous disagreements and misfortunes. Winehouse’s dynamic vocals add a touch of emotion and depth to the song, bringing the lyrics to life and making it an instant classic. “Valerie” is a timeless tune that remains popular to this day, and it is sure to get anyone dancing and singing along.
21. Black Betty – Ram Jam
“Black Betty” is a rock song by the American rock band Ram Jam, released in 1977. The song features a pounding rhythm, heavy guitar riffs, and aggressive vocals that give it a raw and intense energy. The lyrics are repetitive and cryptic, with the only clear message being the recurring refrain of “Whoa, Black Betty, bam-ba-lam.” The song is actually a cover of an old African-American work song, which itself has a complex and contested history. The origins of the song are unclear, but it has been associated with a number of different contexts, including prison work gangs and railroad workers. Ram Jam’s version of “Black Betty” helped to popularize the song and bring it to a wider audience, and it has since become a classic rock staple, with its infectious beat and primal energy making it a favorite of many fans of the genre.
22. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) – Bruce Springsteen
“Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” by Bruce Springsteen is a high-energy rock song that tells a story of young love and rebellion. The song begins with Springsteen’s longing for his love, Rosalita, and his desire to take her out and show her the world. The lyrics are filled with vivid imagery, from Rosalita’s mother chasing her with a broom to the “gypsy biker” who shows up at the end of the song. The infectious melody is driven by Springsteen’s signature guitar riffs, and the E Street Band’s tight rhythm section provides a solid foundation for his passionate vocals. As the song progresses, it becomes an anthem for breaking free from the constraints of society and following one’s heart. Springsteen’s raw energy and the band’s tight musicianship make “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” a classic rock song that never fails to get audiences dancing and singing along.
23. Barbara Ann – Beach Boys
“Barbara Ann” is a classic rock and roll song by the Beach Boys, released in 1965. The song has a fast and energetic beat with a catchy chorus that features vocal harmonies and call-and-response lyrics. The song is a tribute to a girl named Barbara Ann, who is encouraged to come out and dance with the band. The song is known for its simple yet memorable melody, and for its use of hand clapping and vocal percussion. The upbeat nature of the song has made it a popular choice for parties and dance floors, and it has been covered by numerous artists over the years. “Barbara Ann” is a timeless classic that showcases the Beach Boys’ signature sound and their ability to create fun and catchy pop tunes that continue to be enjoyed by music lovers of all ages.
24. My Sharona – The Knack
“My Sharona” is a power-pop anthem by American band The Knack, released in 1979. The song features a driving beat, infectious guitar riff, and catchy vocal hooks that make it an unforgettable classic. The lyrics describe the singer’s infatuation with a girl named Sharona, who he sees as his perfect match. The track became an instant hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and staying there for six weeks. Its popularity endured over the years, making it a staple on classic rock radio and in pop culture. “My Sharona” has been featured in numerous movies, TV shows, and commercials, as well as covered by countless artists. The song’s legacy is a testament to its enduring appeal and the lasting influence of the power-pop genre.
25. Annie’s Song – John Denver
“Annie’s Song” is a romantic ballad written and performed by the American singer-songwriter John Denver in 1974. The song is a tribute to Denver’s wife at the time, Annie Martell Denver, and expresses his deep love for her. The simplicity of the melody and the heartfelt lyrics make this song an enduring classic that is often played at weddings and other romantic occasions. The acoustic guitar and Denver’s soothing vocals create an intimate and peaceful atmosphere, inviting the listener to reflect on their own relationships and the beauty of love. The song has been covered by several artists over the years and has been used in various films and TV shows. “Annie’s Song” remains a timeless tribute to the power of love and the joys of sharing life with someone special.
26. Peggy Sue – Buddy Holly
“Peggy Sue” is a classic rock ‘n’ roll song by Buddy Holly that was released in 1957. It features a catchy melody, upbeat rhythm, and Holly’s distinctive vocals. The song is about a girl named Peggy Sue, who Holly describes as his “darling” and “true love.” The lyrics are simple and romantic, expressing the narrator’s love and admiration for Peggy Sue. The song is also notable for its prominent use of the double-tracked vocals, a recording technique that was innovative at the time. “Peggy Sue” was a big hit for Holly, reaching number three on the US charts and becoming one of his signature songs. Its enduring popularity has led to numerous cover versions and adaptations over the years, cementing its status as a beloved rock classic.
27. Darling Nikki – Prince
“Darling Nikki” is a provocative and controversial song by Prince, released in 1984. It tells the story of a seductive and sexually adventurous woman named Nikki, who leads the narrator down a path of pleasure and danger. The song’s explicit lyrics and erotic content caused controversy upon its release and led to it being one of the songs targeted by the Parents Music Resource Center for promoting explicit content. Despite this, the song was a hit, with its catchy rhythm and memorable guitar riffs, and has since become a cult favorite among Prince fans. “Darling Nikki” is a testament to Prince’s musical prowess and his willingness to push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in popular music.
28. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
“Mustang Sally” is a classic soul and R&B song by Wilson Pickett, released in 1966. The song’s driving beat, catchy chorus, and Pickett’s gritty vocals make it an undeniable hit that has stood the test of time. The song tells the story of a woman named Sally who drives a Mustang, and Pickett urges her to slow down and appreciate what she has before it’s too late. The infectious rhythm and upbeat tempo of the song make it impossible to resist tapping your feet or singing along. Pickett’s soulful voice and passionate delivery inject a sense of urgency and raw emotion into the lyrics. The song’s popularity has led to numerous covers and interpretations over the years, but Pickett’s original recording remains the definitive version. “Mustang Sally” has become a beloved classic, a staple of oldies radio and a favorite for dance parties and karaoke. Its timeless energy and catchy melody continue to captivate new generations of music lovers, cementing its place as one of the greatest songs of all time.
29. Kayleigh – Marillion
“Kayleigh” is a powerfully emotional and melancholic rock ballad by the British band Marillion, released in 1985. The song tells the story of a lost love, with the title referring to the name of the girl that the singer is pining for. The poignant lyrics are complemented by a beautifully arranged instrumental, with soaring guitars and haunting keyboards creating a richly layered and immersive soundscape. Lead singer Fish’s evocative vocals are a highlight of the song, conveying a sense of yearning and heartache that is both relatable and heartrending. “Kayleigh” strikes a balance between introspective introspection and a powerful, anthemic quality, with the chorus providing an uplifting release from the song’s melancholic mood. The song has become a classic of 80s rock, and remains a beloved staple of Marillion’s live performances. Its enduring popularity is a testament to the band’s skillful songwriting and musicianship, as well as their ability to connect with listeners on a deep and emotional level.