Thursday, April 26, 2018

Names from Paul Simon Songs

Hello, readers!

Alright, so I'm a little young to be a Paul Simon fan, but this is what happens when your parents play a little too much 70's and 80's music in your childhood. (If anyone out there knows of a support group for James Taylor fans, let me know).

Mr. Simon included tons of names in his lyrics, and was definitely ahead of the game when he and his wife named their son Harper James in 1972. (His other kids are Adrian Edward, Lulu Belle, and Gabriel Elijah). I've also included names inspired by his music.

This classic Biblical choice increased in use right along with Paul Simon's career, from the late 1960's onward. With this attractive surname in the zeitgeist, it's no wonder that Simon hit all the right notes for so many boys.

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
These are simple names with single syllables and rhythmic sounds - Jack, Stan, Roy, Gus, Lee. While Jack is the current favorite, I think Gus will rise in popularity over the next few years. Personally, I'm a big fan of Stan :)

Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
As a Californian, I've met quite a few Julio's in my day - and this handsome Latin name is sure to endure. The song also includes "Rosie, the queen of Corona" - but I'm sure I don't need to tell Anglophone readers how sweet the name Rosie is!

I've been listening to this song for the last few days - check out this amazing cover by The Tallest Man on Earth - and I'm now convinced that Graceland would make a great name. Memphis is the other wearable city name in the song, and it toes that line between Southern and ancient.

You Can Call Me Al
According to Wikipedia, the famous line "I can call you Betty / And Betty when you call me / You can call me Al" came from a mishearing of the names Paul (as in Simon) and his first wife Peggy. I'm a proponent of bringing sassy Betty back - but should it return on its own or as a nickname for Elizabeth again?

The Obvious Child
Sonny is a rare example of a 70's name that would wear very well today - it has that cute nickname sound, it works as a short form for a bunch of longer "-son" options, and it's not too attached to any one individual (anymore.... Some of us remember Sonny Bono, but many do not).

"Lincoln Duncan is my name / And here's my song" - I'll give $20 to anyone who names their son Lincoln Duncan X, just send me a copy of the birth certificate. Duncan is used far too infrequently, and makes a fabulous alternative to Dylan or Declan.

Kathy's Song
A lovely romantic ballad, this song helps us forget the unfortunate dated qualities that Kathy still has. Now that Katie is also in decline, what's the best option for a Katherine? Kate, Kitty, Kit, Kat, Katya, Rina, Kateri?

Oh, Marion
Marion and its many forms - Mary Anne, Marian, Marianne - have been on my mind lately. A classic combo name, Marion et al could honor quite a few family names as well as bringing a vintage vibe to the table.

There's a few hundred more Paul Simon songs I didn't include - tell me your favorites in the comments!