Which songs have the singer's full name in the lyrics?
May 23, 2010 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Can you think of any songs where the singer includes his full name in the lyrics?

I noticed recently that two of my favourite songs, Isasha's Don't You Know and Xiu XIu's Ian Curtis Wishlist both feature the singer singing his full name. I think this is a really neat gesture that kind of belongs to lyric poetry but functions differently in a song and I'd like to think about it some more. First I need to do some research. So, MeFites: Can you help me out?
posted by voronoi to Media & Arts (71 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Dr. Dre and, "The Chronic" and a whole lot of hip-hop?
posted by alex_skazat at 9:52 PM on May 23, 2010

Yours truly, Jens Lekman.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:55 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Marshall Mathers, a song by Eminem, who's real name is Marshall Mathers.
posted by bluejayk at 9:57 PM on May 23, 2010

Response by poster: I didn't think of saying this, but I think this is already really built into hip-hop, so I am less interested in hip-hop suggestions than other suggestions.

(I love hip-hop.)
posted by voronoi at 9:59 PM on May 23, 2010

"You Never Even Called Me By My Name" by David Allan Coe.

And in rap songs too numerous to note people use not only their full rap name but also their full real name.
posted by kensington314 at 10:00 PM on May 23, 2010

"Nasty Boys", by Janet Jackson: "It's Janet, Miss Jackson if you're nasty."
posted by Asparagirl at 10:02 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

'My name's Stuart Ransom Miller
and I'm a serial lady killer...'
Old 97's at their best Barrier Reef
happens at the 50 second mark.
posted by OHenryPacey at 10:08 PM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Not full name, but:

Sincerely, L. Cohen
posted by athenasbanquet at 10:11 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

There are two near misses from Pulp: "I Spy" (“... and it's just like in the old days, when I used to compose my own critical notices in my head – ‘The crowd gasps at Cocker's masterful control of the bicycle, skilfully avoiding the dog turd next to the corner shop’ – Imagining a blue plaque above the place I first ever touched a girl's chest...”) and "Dishes" (“I am not Jesus, but I have the same initials...”).

There's another near miss with the Fall's "Marquis Cha Cha" ("Marquis" = "Mark E" - geddit?) – and Mark E Smith is always mentioning his name, arrogant bastard, although never in full as far as I can recall. A more contemporary example is his tune "Family Fued," a fine Von Sudenfed track, during the chorus of which he announces: “I am the great MES!”

This is a good question. I actually can't think of any full ones right now. I'll keep trying, though.
posted by koeselitz at 10:16 PM on May 23, 2010

Clarence Carter's "Strokin'" (which is probably the dirtiest song I know).
posted by BiffSlamkovich at 10:16 PM on May 23, 2010 [5 favorites]

Do you want only songs where the name is the real name of the person singing, or will songs with the narrator's full name do? If the latter:

"My name is Tommy Luther. I'll soon be 84."
"Oh me name it is Sam Hall, chimney sweep, chimney sweep."
"Me name's Abel Rogers and a share-man am I, on a three-masted schooner from Twillinggate Isle."
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:21 PM on May 23, 2010

Craig David. Just about every other song on his debut CD. [iTunes link]

I don't think rap or R&B songs should count because that's a thing they do as a form of self promotion. Craig David's fist album was brilliant, except for the stupid self shout outs... "Here's another one. Craig David. Check it out." Really dude? "Craig David. Yeah yeah." Really? Whatever. It's a shame because, otherwise, that was a brilliant R&B/pop album.
posted by 2oh1 at 10:26 PM on May 23, 2010

- ABC's "How to Be a Millionaire: "My name is Martin Fry, F-R-Y/Who needs the moon, when we got the stars?"
- India Arie's "Video": "I'm not the average girl from your video/My worth is not determined by the price of my clothes/No matter what I'm wearing I will always be India Arie"
posted by prinado at 10:28 PM on May 23, 2010

The White Stripes' version of Blind Willie McTell's "Lord, Send Me An Angel":
"Well, that new way of lovin', swear to God it must be best
'Cause these Detroit women won't let Mr. Jack White rest."
posted by arto at 10:33 PM on May 23, 2010

T-Bone Burnett's "The Strange Case of Frank Cash" has a spoken part about 2/3 in that includes Burnett's full name.

And there's another one, thrashing around at the edge recollection. I'll post it if I manage to reel it in.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 10:37 PM on May 23, 2010

The White Stripes song w/Holly Golightly mentions each other, as well. Meg, Jack and Holly.

I think every other Billy Childish song that's not a cover, as, at the very least, autobiographical, ala: The Day I Beat My Father Up.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:39 PM on May 23, 2010

The Fall's "The Reckoning" contains the phrase "hippie half-wit who thinks he's Mr. Mark Smith," but this is a third-person reference, so I don't really know if that counts. (Nor do his spoken-word bits on The Post Nearly Man, in which he references himself in full several times.)

Bo Diddley surely gets a mention for "Bo Diddley," "Bo Diddley's A Gunslinger," etc., although it's debatable whether he's talking about himself as the Bo Diddley in question.
posted by mykescipark at 10:39 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Many, many of Bo Diddley's songs make reference to the man himself ("Bo Diddley, "Bo Diddley Was A Gunslinger" etc etc etc etc)
posted by bunglin jones at 10:42 PM on May 23, 2010

Jonathan Richmond of the Modern Lovers references himself by his first name, almost every single song.
posted by alex_skazat at 10:42 PM on May 23, 2010

It's a stage name, but in Get On Your Knees by Kevin Blechdom, there's the line, "Cos I'm Kevin Blechdom, and you broke my heart/I wanted to be together, and you wanted to be apart."
posted by CutaneousRabbit at 10:42 PM on May 23, 2010

"Hi everybody, I'm Archie Bell and the Drells, of Houston Texas..."*

Jorge Ben's "Jorge Well" is a literal translation of his name from Portuguese, in a song made up of amusingly poor English.

*Later, Homer Simpson was Archie Bell and also the Drells, at 9:10 here.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:44 PM on May 23, 2010

Here's one with his (Jonathan) full name, entitled, I Eat With Gusto, Damn! You Bet
posted by alex_skazat at 10:50 PM on May 23, 2010

Laurie Anderson also does this in "Language is a Virus", although again as a third-person reference: Somebody came up to me in the street and said, "Hey, you look like one of those Laurie Anderson clones."
posted by mykescipark at 10:50 PM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]

Not full name but 10 first name usages.
posted by unliteral at 10:56 PM on May 23, 2010

It's not a song, but it's kind of like what you're talking about. The animated short "Vincent" by Tim Burton is about a boy who pretends that he's Vincent Price. They got Vincent Price himself to read the narration, which does include Price's own name.

Vincent Price later said that the film was "the most gratifying thing that ever happened. It was immortality — better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:57 PM on May 23, 2010

A different near-miss: In the animated film "Rock and Rule", one major character is a rock-and-roll star named "Mok". He performs a song in the film which includes his own name ("Mok"). The song was sung by Lou Reed, though, and his name doesn't appear in it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:04 PM on May 23, 2010

Queen's Invisible Man has all four band members' names in full.
posted by anaelith at 11:05 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]

Jon Spencer (of The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) occasionally sings the names of his bandmates, and his lyrics often refer to the "Blues Explosion". But as far as I remember, he only refers to himself obliquely (eg. "myself" or "the number one blues singer in the country").
posted by blue grama at 11:05 PM on May 23, 2010

Happy Mondays - Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah - Shaun William Ryder gonna lie down beside ya - fill ya full of joy
posted by philip-random at 11:10 PM on May 23, 2010

In an interesting turn of events, Vampire Weekend recorded a song called Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa that mentioned Peter Gabriel. Then Peter Gabriel covered it, adding the lyric "It feels so unnatural to sing your own name."
posted by lore at 11:10 PM on May 23, 2010

I think the epitome of this sort of thing is "Wesley Willis", by Wesley Willis.

It might also be the world's hardest song to Google up any other information on, thanks to the unique confluence of outsider artist and "song title same as said outsider artist's name."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:12 PM on May 23, 2010

"Les flamingants" by Jacques Brel, which is basically a French-speaking Belgian attacking what he perceives to be the "excesses" of Flemish nationalism.

The song ends: "Je chante, persiste et signe, je m'appelle Jacques Brel." (I sing, despite it all, my name is Jacques Brel.)
posted by dhens at 11:27 PM on May 23, 2010

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt?
posted by bink at 11:33 PM on May 23, 2010 [3 favorites]

Queen's Invisible Man has all four band members' names in full.
That was the first one I thought of!

Also Creeque Alley: "No one's getting fat except Mama Cass."

Andre Cymone mentions his own name in the first verse of Kelly's Eyes.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:33 PM on May 23, 2010

Charlie Wilson wrote a song called Charlie, Last Name, Wilson in which he sings his full name no less than a half dozen times.

The song is about his full name, and how he would like women to know it.

I can't imagine there being a better example than this.
posted by Hume at 11:39 PM on May 23, 2010

Lee 'Scratch' Perry often mentions himself in his songs (e.g. 'International Broadcaster'), including under other pseudonyms like Pipecock Jackxon (e.g. in 'Rainbow Throne') or 'The Upsetter'.
The ballad Erin-Go-Bragh also springs to mind: "My name is Duncan Campbell, from the shire of Argyle..." though of course hard to prove it was actually him who wrote it.
posted by Abiezer at 11:50 PM on May 23, 2010

At the beginning of his song "In My Head," Jason DeRulo sings his name with no related context to the song, which I find annoying. It's like he feels the need to remind us who's singing.

JLo sings about herself in "Jenny from the Block" but doesn't sing her whole name.

There are also songs where groups sing their name, like "Everybody (Backstreet's Back) by the Backstreet Boys.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:35 AM on May 24, 2010

Lightnin' Hopkins "Cottonfield Blues" bemoans the fact that "poor Lightnin' too little to carry that heavy load".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:48 AM on May 24, 2010

Oh, and another just first name:

"Hello! I don't think that we've met. My name is Ian, and I'm in Minor Threat."

(from the Minor Threat song "Minor Threat)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:51 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Again, first names only: "Luckenbach, Texas" - "Let's go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon (Jennings) and Willie (Nelson) and the boys..."
posted by five toed sloth at 1:07 AM on May 24, 2010

Liz Phair - Rock Me

"Your record collection don't exist, you don't even know who Liz Phair is"
posted by yellowbinder at 1:43 AM on May 24, 2010

Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Gangster of Love
The Sheriff says, "Are you Guitar Watson?"
(In a very deep voice)
I say, yes Sir, brother Sheriff, and that's your wife on the back of my horse
posted by timeistight at 3:23 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Close but no cigar: Mr Mojo Risin, which is an anagram of Jim Morrison's full name.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:11 AM on May 24, 2010

Seems a big percentage of answers are "first name" so in that vein, the whole of Ian Dury and the Blockheads introduce themselves one-by-one at the start of I Want to Be Straight.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 5:18 AM on May 24, 2010

Not a reference to the singer but, rather, a member of the band...
"Well, here's another clue for you all,
The walrus was Paul."

From the Beatles' Glass Onion. But, of course, that's still a first-name-only reference.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:29 AM on May 24, 2010

Jerry Lee Lewis's cover of "Me and Bobby McGee." He changes one of the lines to "That was good enough for ol' Jerry Lee..." or something like that. Also first name(s) only, though.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 5:57 AM on May 24, 2010

Well, pretty much anything by Jerry Lee Lewis would qualify, but especially his "A Damn Good Country Song," where he sings "Jerry Lee lewis's Life would make a damn good Country song." Man's not wrong.
posted by Splificator at 5:58 AM on May 24, 2010

"I said oh my God what's your name. My name's Lyle." Lyle Lovett, "Give Back My Heart"
posted by kirkaracha at 6:02 AM on May 24, 2010

Bloodhound Gang's Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me: "Why's everbody always pickin' on me?/Always pickin' and rippin' apart poor ol' Jimmy Pop Ali"
posted by griphus at 6:43 AM on May 24, 2010

Young MC's "I Come Off".
posted by mnb64 at 7:07 AM on May 24, 2010

Brendan Benson, You're Quiet
But you're like me, we're the same
I'm Brendan, what's your name?
posted by amethysts at 7:41 AM on May 24, 2010

"Guitar Boy" by Sir Victor Uwaifo includes the words "never run away, Victor Uwaifo."
posted by feathermeat at 7:41 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Near misses:
Jim Dandy by Black Oak Arkansas (as sung by Jim "Dandy" Mangrum). Oddly, a cover.

Fish On by Primus, mentions the guitarist's name, Larry Lalonde name in full.
posted by alikins at 8:26 AM on May 24, 2010

"Alvin, Simon, Theodore!" -- from "We're the Chipmunks" by The Chimpmunks. Sorry for the earworm.
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2010

Near miss:
U2's "Gloria" (from the album "Under a blood red sky).
Somehere in the middle, Bono makes reference to Adam Clayton and The Edge.
posted by theKik at 9:02 AM on May 24, 2010

Mickey Avalon
posted by killy willy at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2010

Not a full name, but The Human League's 'Love Action' has 'But this is Phil talkin'...' and sometimes when I sing along to it, I change it to 'But this is Gill talkin'

ABC#s Look of Love mentions Martin Fry by name.
posted by mippy at 9:31 AM on May 24, 2010

Leonard Cohen's song "Because Of" from the album Dear Heather, references himself although from the point of view of a different person- "Look at me, Leonard/Look at me one last time."
posted by Aubergine at 10:50 AM on May 24, 2010

Revolting Cocks - "Linger Ficken' Good" Lyrics mention full names of most band members:
Bill Reiflin
Paul-Paul Barker
Chris Connelly
Luc Van Acker

Al Jourgensen is listed as "Hypo Luxa", though.
posted by _paegan_ at 11:04 AM on May 24, 2010

Oops, bad editing on my part. Paul Barker does NOT have a double first name.
posted by _paegan_ at 11:06 AM on May 24, 2010

Quite a few Lady Gaga songs have "Gaga," though not the "Lady" I think.
posted by insectosaurus at 11:51 AM on May 24, 2010

Longhaired Redneck by David Allen Coe.
posted by ws at 12:15 PM on May 24, 2010

Jason Anderson "When Will You Say?"
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:39 PM on May 24, 2010

The Letter, Kristin Hersh -- Hips and Makers. Basically a really really weird letter with her signing off, "Love, Kristin."
posted by elendil71 at 1:33 PM on May 24, 2010

Minutemen - One Reporter's Opinion, History Lesson, Pt. 2

Both songs mention the bassist Mike Watt. D. Boon sang but Watt wrote both songs.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:59 PM on May 24, 2010

ABC#s Look of Love mentions Martin Fry by name.

I was going to mention that too, but it's another first-name-only answer, just to clarify for voronoi.

And though my friends just might ask me... they say "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love."
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:34 PM on May 24, 2010

"Wayne Gretzky" by Goldfinger. (NSFW)

As sung by their drummer, Darren Pfeiffer:

Wayne Gretzky, I know he's a manly man
But maybe, he would be attracted to me
Darren Pfeiffer, I'm a stupid American boy

posted by rebel_rebel at 11:42 PM on May 24, 2010

"I Am the King," by defunct-but-glorious Philadelphia horror punk band The Serial Killers has a line where the lead singer introduces himself as "Paul Bearer here, rocking with my band."
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 11:51 PM on May 24, 2010

Marilyn Manson mentions his real name "Brian Warner" in his cover of Patti Smith's Rock N Roll Nigger.
posted by slimepuppy at 5:54 AM on May 25, 2010

"My name is Nick H-E-X-U-M" - 311, Sick Tight

"I hear voices say that's Doug Martinez" - 311, Hive (they have two singers)
posted by getawaysticks at 6:08 AM on May 25, 2010

The Fiery Furnaces - Oh Sweet Woods -- a great song about being accosted by Mormons who are searching for the lost pocket watch of Joseph Smith's great-great uncle's brother-in-law. I said, "You've got the wrong Eleanor Friedberger." Plus, it's built around a twisted version of the beat from "Billie Jean."
posted by hydrophonic at 10:22 PM on March 6, 2011

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