Music · Trivia

UK #1 hit singles containing girls’ names

Our friends from Worthing came up for the day today. As usual, for a Saturday, we had “Pick of the Pops” playing live on the radio (1-3pm, BBC Radio 2). I have noted elsewhere that I can usually work out what was #1 before the chart rundown at the end of each hour. The second hour, featuring the top 20 from this date in 1982, was easy enough: “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners, halfway through its 4-week run at the top (to be replaced by Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”).

“Come on Eileen” prompted me to mention a quiz question that will keep most people of my generation occupied for up to an hour: name as many UK #1s as possible that contain a girl’s name. There have been more of these than UK #1s that contain a boy’s name, though that question can occupy plenty of time too.

When I have tried this question out, with willing participants, the phrase that I have to repeat most often is, “It didn’t get to number one”.

Sweet Caroline? “It didn’t get to number one.” Delilah? “It didn’t get to number one.” Penny Lane? “I would allow it (even though the title doesn’t come from a girl’s name), but it didn’t get to number one.” Wake up little Susie? “Didn’t get to number one.” And so on.

If you’re at a loose end you can try it yourself but you’ll need something (or someone) authoritative nearby to confirm whether your song choices got to #1 in the UK. I recommend everyhit.com, though unfortunately it only goes up to January 2011.

At the end of this piece there are tables showing the songs in date order and alphabetically according to the girls’ names used in the song titles. I have included a few questionable titles. “Oopsy Daisy” by Chipmunk from 2009 might not be about someone called Daisy and “Hey Jude” might be about a boy rather than a girl (Julian Lennon, if the legends are true), but Jude is a girl’s name too.

There are 41 song titles in all.

 

 

 

In year order

Name Artist Song Year
Rose Marie Slim Whitman Rose Marie 1955
Josephine Johnnie Ray Yes Tonight Josephine 1957
Diana Paul Anka Diana 1957
Mary Harry Belafonte Mary’s Boy Child 1957
Claudette Everly Brothers Claudette (double A side with All I Have To Do Is Dream) 1958
Cathy Everly Brothers Cathy’s Clown 1960
Laura Ricky Valance Tell Laura I Love Her 1960
Marie Elvis Presley His Latest Flame (Marie’s the Name) (double A side with Little Sister) 1961
Diane Bachelors Diane 1964
Juliet Four Pennies Juliet 1964
Michelle Overlanders Michelle 1966
Eleanor Beatles Eleanor Rigby (double A side with Yellow Submarine) 1966
Bonnie Georgie Fame Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde 1968
Cinderella Esther & Abi Ofarim Cinderella Rockefella 1968
Madonna Beatles Lady Madonna 1968
Jude Beatles Hey Jude 1968
Lily Scaffold Lily The Pink 1968
Yoko Beatles Ballad Of John & Yoko 1969
Rosemary Edison Lighthouse Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) 1970
Maggie Rod Stewart Maggie May 1971
Clair Gilbert O’Sullivan Clair 1972
Annie John Denver Annie’s Song 1974
Grace Tymes Ms Grace 1975
Lucille Kenny Rogers Lucille 1977
Mary Boney M Mary’s Boy Child-Oh My Lord 1978
Julie Shakin’ Stevens Oh Julie 1982
Eileen Dexy’s Midnight Runners Come On Eileen 1982
Billie Jean Michael Jackson Billie Jean 1983
Candy New Edition Candy Girl 1983
Jane Rod Stewart Baby Jane 1983
Carolina Shaggy Oh Carolina 1993
Barbie Aqua Barbie Girl 1997
Asha Cornershop Brimful Of Asha 1998
Maria Blondie Maria 1999
Mandy Westlife Mandy 2003
Lola Shapeshifters Lola’s Theme 2004
Lyla Oasis Lyla 2005
Grace Mika Grace Kelly 2007
Ruby Kaiser Chiefs Ruby 2007
Daisy Chipmunk Oopsy Daisy 2009
Candy Robbie Williams Candy 2012

 

 

 

Alphabetically by girl’s name

Name Artist Song Year
Annie John Denver Annie’s Song 1974
Asha Cornershop Brimful Of Asha 1998
Barbie Aqua Barbie Girl 1997
Billie Jean Michael Jackson Billie Jean 1983
Bonnie Georgie Fame Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde 1968
Candy New Edition Candy Girl 1983
Candy Robbie Williams Candy 2012
Carolina Shaggy Oh Carolina 1993
Cathy Everly Brothers Cathy’s Clown 1960
Cinderella Esther & Abi Ofarim Cinderella Rockefella 1968
Clair Gilbert O’Sullivan Clair 1972
Claudette Everly Brothers All I Have To Do Is Dream / Claudette 1958
Daisy Chipmunk Oopsy Daisy 2009
Diana Paul Anka Diana 1957
Diane Bachelors Diane 1964
Eileen Dexy’s Midnight Runners Come On Eileen 1982
Eleanor Beatles Yellow Submarine / Eleanor Rigby 1966
Grace Tymes Ms Grace 1975
Grace Mika Grace Kelly 2007
Jane Rod Stewart Baby Jane 1983
Josephine Johnnie Ray Yes Tonight Josephine 1957
Jude Beatles Hey Jude 1968
Julie Shakin’ Stevens Oh Julie 1982
Juliet Four Pennies Juliet 1964
Laura Ricky Valance Tell Laura I Love Her 1960
Lily Scaffold Lily The Pink 1968
Lola Shapeshifters Lola’s Theme 2004
Lucille Kenny Rogers Lucille 1977
Lyla Oasis Lyla 2005
Madonna Beatles Lady Madonna 1968
Maggie Rod Stewart Maggie May 1971
Mandy Westlife Mandy 2003
Maria Blondie Maria 1999
Marie Elvis Presley Little Sister / His Latest Flame (Marie’s the Name) 1961
Mary Harry Belafonte Mary’s Boy Child 1957
Mary Boney M Mary’s Boy Child-Oh My Lord 1978
Michelle Overlanders Michelle 1966
Rose Marie Slim Whitman Rose Marie 1955
Rosemary Edison Lighthouse Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) 1970
Ruby Kaiser Chiefs Ruby 2007
Yoko Beatles Ballad Of John & Yoko 1969

 

 

 

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