Baby Names

baby and family pretending to play rock music in article about names inspired by  songs
Kohei Hara/DigitalVision/Getty Images
47 Baby Names Inspired By Songs

Imagine always having your very own theme song

Originally Published: 

When we found out we were expecting a son, I told my husband I wanted to name him “Cash.” His response was, “No way, that’s the most hipster thing I’ve ever heard." So we compromised and named our son Jackson, mainly because we both loved the name and the diminutive Jack. And partly because that was the name of one of our favorite Johnny Cash songs (music is a huge part of my family’s lives). If you, too, always carry a song in your heart, there are plenty of baby names inspired by songs and can carry extra meaning when naming your child.

Our son’s room is decorated in a “rock and roll” theme with guitars and song lyrics in prints all over the place. And quite frankly, it’s one of my most favorite rooms in our whole house. I always knew I wanted our kid’s name to have something to do with music or literature, whether it came from a song name, a character’s name, a musician’s name, or part of a song lyric.

Every time I hear the song “Jackson,” on one of my Johnny Cash albums, I always sing it to him and it makes him smile. Maybe one of these song-inspired names will have you singing to your little one, too.


"Andy Warhol" – David Bowie

Mitchell Gerber/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images

Whether you name your kid after the famous painter Andy Warhol, or after the song about him, your kid is guaranteed to be creative, eclectic, and cool, right? David Bowie found great inspiration in the artist. In the above picture, Bowie is in costume as Warhol for the film Basquiat. Andy is derivative of Andrew, which means "strong and courageous" in Greek.


"Fancy" — Reba McEntire

If you name your daughter Fancy, she'll be as fierce and strong as the Fancy in Reba's song. As for the meaning, well, you can probably guess that one on your own.


"Me & Bobby McGee" – Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin arguably made this song famous (even though others had sang it before her), and it was her only top 10 hit.

Originally inspired by a secretary at Combine Music (where musician and songwriter Kris Kristofferson worked) named Bobbi McKee, they wanted to make sure this song could be about a man or a woman with the name "Bobby." So naming your child Bobby (or Bobbi) could ensure they are strong, free spirits in search of learning all they can about their world.

Bobby comes from Robert, which means “bright fame.”


"Daniel" — Elton John

Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics to this song and Elton John wrote the music. Taupin was inspired by a story in TIME magazine about the soldiers who found it hard to return to normal life after coming back from serving in the Vietnam war. "Daniel" was written from the perspective of a younger brother of a veteran soldier.

Though the meaning is somber, the song is one of Elton John's most popular hits. Daniel comes from Hebrew and means "God is my judge."


"Eleanor Rigby" – The Beatles

Paul McCartney wrote the majority of this song, per songfacts: "McCartney explained at the time that his songs came mostly from his imagination. Regarding this song, he said, 'It just came. When I started doing the melody I developed the lyric. It all came from the first line. I wonder if there are girls called Eleanor Rigby?'" Though the song may be about lonely people, your kid won't be lonely with a name from a Beatles song. That's quite the conversation starter. Plus, Eleanor is a beautiful name meaning "bright shining one” in Greek.


"Eli's Coming" –Three Dog Night

Eli is a Hebrew name that means "ascension." Hopefully your kid won't be a heartbreaker like the one described in the song, but will be unpredictable and fun like the song of his namesake.


"Guinnevere" – Crosby, Stills & Nash

The song “Guinnevere” is about an anonymous person that David Crosby of Crosby, Stills & Nash loved.

Guinivere is a Welsh name (and the precursor to the name Jennifer) and means “white fairy.”


"For Emma" – Bon Iver

This song comes from Bon Iver's stay for three months in a log cabin in a snowy northeast Wisconsin. "I remember there was a day before I left that it was minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but the sun was shining and it was sort of a brilliant contrast," Iver said in an interview with Weekend America. And that comes through in the song, with its dark quiet undertones and the brightness with the louder chorus.

Your baby will be a bright light in the dark if you name her Emma. Emma also means "whole or universal" and comes to English by way of German.


"Rosalie" – Cole Porter

This classic Cole Porter song features the beautiful name Rosalie, and it was written for a 1937 comedy's opening number. Even if you don't name your kid after this particular song, Rosalie is a gorgeous, classic name of French origin, and means “rose.”


"Good Golly Miss Molly" — Little Richard

One of Little Richard's favorite DJs was Jimmy Pennick, and this song title came from his catchphrase, "Good golly miss Molly." Even though the song's origins are questionable (Is it about a whorehouse? Does balling mean dancing or something else?), it's still a catchy tune that everyone knows when they hear it.

Molly is an Irish name that means "star of the sea."


"Gracie" – Ben Folds

This sweet song is about Ben Folds’ daughter Gracie. Grace is one of the many common “virtue” names in English (like Faith or Hope) and speaks to forgiveness and understanding.


"Helena" — My Chemical Romance

Emo fans loved this song dedicated to Gerard’s grandmother back in 2004 — especially those of us with swoopy bangs, thick black eyeliner and black nail polish. But the name isn't so dark. Helena means "light, torch, bright," and it derives from the Greek legend of the beautiful wife of the king of Sparta.


"Gabriel and Me" — Joan Baez

This sweet song is about Joan Baez's son, Gabriel, and it's a whimsical tale of a horse that only she and her son can see. Gabriel is a Hebrew name that means "devoted to God" or "God is my strength.


"Gary Gilmore's Eyes" — The Adverts

Gary is an Old English name that means "spear." And that's pretty punk rock in and of itself.


"Happy Jack" — The Who

Jack is an English diminutive form of John, which means "God is Gracious."


"Hey Jude" — The Beatles

Paul McCartney wrote this song to comfort John Lennon's 5-year-old son, Julian, while his parents were getting a divorce. Originally titled "Hey, Jules," the title changed to “Hey, Jude.”

Jude is a Hebrew name that means "praised.”


"Dear Prudence" — The Beatles

United Archives/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This song was inspired by Mia Farrow's sister Prudence, a spiritual person who was friends with The Beatles. Legend says Lennon wrote this hoping to cheer Prudence up when she was depressed.

Prudence is another virtue name that refers to having good judgment.


"Come On Eileen" — Dexys Midnight Runners

Eileen is an Irish version of Helen and means "bright, shining one." Which is how the song sounds — bright and shining.


"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" — The Beatles

John Lennon's son Julian came home with a picture he drew of a classmate named Lucy, and he had sketched some stars in the sky around her and called it "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."

Lucy is a Latin-derived English name that means "light.” How precious is that?


"Oliver's Army" — Elvis Costello

Want your kid to have strong political convictions and be a peace-loving kind of person? Naming them after this song may be a good choice. The origin of Oliver is contentious, some say it’s a French name meaning “olive tree” while others thing it’s a Norse name meaning “ancestor’s descendent.” Others still think it comes from German and means “elf army.”


"Peter Piper" — Run-D.M.C.

This fun Run-D.M.C. song is based on popular nursery rhymes. They of course used the tongue twister nursery rhyme "Peter Piper" to show off their vocal talents.

Peter comes from Greek and means “rock.”


"Matilda's Mother" — Pink Floyd

What song by Pink Floyd isn't whimsical, weird, and psychedelic? "Matilda's Mother" is no different. Though I'm not 100% sure what the song is about, it sure sounds awesome. Plus, you could always name your kid Matilda after one of the best Roald Dahl books of all time, right?

Matilda is a Germanic name that means "strength in battle.”


"Miss (Martha) King" — B.B. King

Martha is an Aramaic name that means "lady,” and this song is about B.B. King’s wife at the time of recording.


"Mona Lisa" — Nat King Cole

Obviously, Mona Lisa is the name of the famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting, and that's just what Nat King Cole is comparing his love to in this song. He loved her smile and mystique. The song was written for the movie, Captain Carey, U.S.A, and the song spent eight weeks in the number one spot in the Billboard charts in 1950. So whether you prefer Mona or Lisa, this is a sweet moniker for your little one.


"Ophelia" — The Lumineers

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/Getty Images

This Lumineers song is based on the Shakespeare character Ophelia in Hamlet. It’s a beautiful name that means "helper" in Greek.


"Peggy Sue" — Buddy Holly

Peggy, an English diminutive of Margaret means "pearl," and Sue means "lily of the valley," so Peggy Sue is made up of two very beautiful things. Now the song Peggy Sue was based on a woman named Peggy Sue Gerron who was dating Buddy Holly's drummer with The Crickets.


“Luka” — Suzanne Vega

I won’t lie: this song is a bummer... lyrically. Musically it’s a total bop, and the name Luka is rad. This gender-neutral name is Italian (and is also spelled “Luca”) and means “bringer of light,” which is sweet and heartwarming.


“Paloma” — We Are Wolves

This song, sung in English and Spanish, absolutely slaps and I love the name, which is of Mexican origin and means “dove.” (Fun fact, when you pop the Spanish lyrics into Google translate, “mía Palomita” comes out literally as “my little dove,” which is a sweet nickname.


Other baby names inspired by song titles...

  • Mary (“Proud Mary,” by Tina Turner – Hebrew; “star of the sea, bitterness, beloved”)
  • Johnny (“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry – Hebrew; “God is gracious”)
  • Georgia (“Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles – Greek; “earth worker, farmer”)
  • Alejandro (“Alejandro” by Lady Gaga – Spanish from Greek; “defender of mankind”)
  • Cecilia (“Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkle – Latin; “blind”)
  • Kenneth (“What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?” by REM – Irish; “handsome”)
  • Rhiannon (“Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac – Welsh; “great queen, goddess”)
  • Jamie (“Jamie” by Weezer – Hebrew; “supplanter”)
  • Juliet (“Juliet” by Robin Gibb... also a whole bunch of others – Latin; “youthful”)
  • Romeo (“Romeo’s Seance” by Elvis Costello, see above – Italian; “from Rome”)
  • Gloria (“Gloria” by Laura Branigan – Latin; “glory”)
  • Tom (“Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega – Aramaic; “twin”)
  • Caroline (“Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond – Latin; “free woman”)
  • Fernando (“Fernando” by ABBA – Spanish; “courageous adventurer”)
  • Delilah (“Hey There, Delilah” by The Plain White T’s” – Hebrew; “delicate”)
  • Dionysus (“The Cult of Dionysus” by The Orion Experience – Greek; “son of Zeus”)
  • Jolene (“Jolene” by Dolly Parton – French; “pretty”)
  • Jessie (“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield – Hebrew; “the lord exists”)
  • Louie (“Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen – French; “famous warrior”)

No matter which name you choose, naming your child after a song is one of the most rock-and-roll moves you can make as a parent. Hopefully at least one of these names that have been mentioned in popular songs will be music to your ears.

This article was originally published on