Songs where the singer refers to their own name (and are called Steve)
February 27, 2019 4:05 AM   Subscribe

I have long admired the line in Stevie Wonder's 'Please Don't Go' where he sings: "Baby, please don't leave, don't leave Steve." I recently came across a song by Steve Monite, 'Only You', where he refers to himself (Steve) a lot, and it got me thinking: are there any other songs where the singer refers to their own name? (especially Steve)

I would love any songs where the singer refers to themself - Betty Wright, 'Let me be Your Lovemaker' comes to mind - but songs by and about 'Steve' are particularly appreciated.
posted by 0bvious to Media & Arts (67 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Ariana Grande's recent song "Thank you Next" mentions that her new love is "Ari"
posted by Dressed to Kill at 4:10 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Fire by Jimi Hendrix ..... "Move over Rover, and let Jimi take over"
posted by Fig at 4:16 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Kanye does this often. In "Power" (How's 'Ye doing? / I'm surviving)... And he's got a song called "I Love Kanye" where he says his own name like 30 times.
posted by Fig at 4:22 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Not quite a Steve, but a Steven at least...

Morrissey's 1989 single Ouija Board, Ouija Board contains the lines:

The table is rumbling
The glass is moving
"No, I was not pushing that time"
It spells: S.T.E.V.E.N
The table is rumbling
The glass is moving
"No, I was not pushing that time"
P.U.S.H.O. double-F

Annoyingly, Morrissey chose to edit this amusing bit of the song out in a 2010 remaster.
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:23 AM on February 27 [6 favorites]

It's Britney, bitch!

And, of course, TV tropes has you covered.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:57 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

Robert Cray, "I Wonder"

I hear a car coming round the corner,
I hear footsteps on my front porch,
I see a shadow from the light above,
I hear a voice,
Oh it's not yours

Why does this happen,
What's going on,
I wonder,
Could this be a dream,
Or has Bob gone crazy,
I wonder,

posted by snuffleupagus at 4:59 AM on February 27

Chaka Khan does in Whitney Houston's version of I'm Every Woman.
posted by fuse theorem at 5:20 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Texas Flood Stevie Ray Vaughan
posted by effluvia at 5:29 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

"You may call me Bobby, you may call me Zimmy"

Dylan's Serve Somebody
posted by el_presidente at 5:43 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

Teenage Wildlife does this. “David, what shall I do they wait for me in the hallways?” and I’ll say, “Don’t ask me, I don’t know any hallways.”
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:44 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Not Steve, but ABC - The Look of Love

And all my friends just might ask me
They say, "Martin, maybe one day you'll find true love"...

posted by Mchelly at 5:45 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]

Van Halen, "Ice Cream Man":

Now summertime's here babe, need somethin' to keep you cool
Ah now summertime's here babe, need somethin' to keep you cool
Better look out now though, Dave's got somethin' for you

posted by tomcooke at 6:09 AM on February 27

Alabama Shakes, Hold On.

There must be someone, up above,
sayin' "Come on, Brittany, you got to come on up."

posted by bricoleur at 6:13 AM on February 27 [5 favorites]

Taxi, by Harry Chapin
posted by JimN2TAW at 6:17 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

And Sequel, by the same.
posted by worldswalker at 6:22 AM on February 27

"Woke her up around one
she didn't hesitate, to call Ice Cube the top gun"

Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
posted by el_presidente at 6:31 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]

k. d. lang (born Kathryn Dawn Lang), "The Mind of Love," repeatedly:

Talking to myself
Causing great concern for my health
Where is your head Kathryn
Where is your head

I'm trying hard to escape
This constant pull towards ache
Why do you fight Kathryn
Why do you fight

Surely help will arrive soon
And cure these self induced wounds
Why hurt yourself Kathryn
Why hurt yourself
Why hurt yourself

Can your heart conceal
What the mind of love reveals

I'm taking to myself again
It's causing great concern for my health
Where is your head Kathryn
Where is your head
Where is your head Kathryn
Where is your head

Can your heart conceal
What the mind of love reveals
Can your heart conceal
What the mind of love reveals
(Can your heart conceal)
What the mind of love reveals

posted by Spathe Cadet at 6:39 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

In my favorite version of Hallelujah I Love Her So, Ray Charles sings "She kisses me and holds me tight and tells me 'Ray Charles, everything's alright.'"
posted by ChuraChura at 6:41 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

Another Ray Charles-- in "I Believe to My Soul" he sings:
Last night you were dreaming and I heard you say
"Oh, Johnny" when you know my name is Ray...

In Donny Hathaway's version, he changes it to:
Last night while you were sleeping I heard you say
"Oh Ronny," when you know my name
When you know my name, when you know my name is Donny...

posted by CiaoMela at 7:04 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Some of the answers in this previously might fit the bill.
posted by aka burlap at 7:10 AM on February 27

Half of the Beastie Boys catalog?
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:22 AM on February 27 [3 favorites]

Mama's and the Papa's Creeque Alley mentions the band members and then some—unfortunately, no Steves in the lot.
posted by she's not there at 7:37 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

"They called me up in Tennessee
They said Tammy, stand by the JAMS"

KLF feat. Tammy Wynette - Justified & Ancient
posted by el_presidente at 7:42 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

In One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer John Lee Hooker has the bartender refer to him as "Johnny" several times.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:59 AM on February 27

My first name ain't Baby
It's Janet
Miss Jackson if you're nasty
posted by dywypi at 8:02 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

This is a super-common trope in rap, e.g.:

"He's Scott La Rock, I'm KRS-One"

"I can get illin' at normal killin'
Bambino along, Rakim'll remain calm"

"Run-DMC is hard as hell"

And, of course: "Alexander Hamilton,
My name is Alexander Hamilton,
And there's a million things I haven't done..."
posted by praemunire at 8:10 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Let’s go to “Lukenbach, Texas, “ with Waylon and Willie and the Boys.
posted by spitbull at 8:11 AM on February 27

"Eric B. is on the cut."
posted by aspersioncast at 8:19 AM on February 27

Seasick Steve, "Walkin' Man."
posted by dlugoczaj at 8:20 AM on February 27

"Random Rules" by Silver Jews:

I asked a painter why the roads are colored black
He said, "Steve, it's because people leave
And no highway will bring them back."

(The singer is not named Steve, but Stephen Malkmus was in the band at this point so maybe it counts?)

Also, "Kevin Roland's 13th Time" by Dexy's Midnight Runners:

My name is Kevin Rowland
I'm the leader of the band
Herein I wish to clarify
Relate and state my plans

posted by tealsocks at 8:20 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

The Human League, "Love Action (I Believe in Love)", in which Phil Oakey sings: "But this is Phil talking/I want to tell you/What I found to be true".

The Wikipedia article says the line was inspired by Iggy Pop's line "Jesus? This is Iggy", from "Turn Blue".
posted by theatro at 8:34 AM on February 27

In The Joker, the singer refers to his own name, and his name is Steve. But people call him Maurrrrrice. Because. You know. The pompatus.
posted by The Bellman at 8:57 AM on February 27 [4 favorites]

ooh, Def Leppard, Armageddon It

Yeah, but are you gettin' it?
(Armageddon it)
Ooh, really gettin' it?
(Yes, Armageddon it)
C'mon, Steve, dig it, huh

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:02 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

(although he's talking to a bandmate)
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:15 AM on February 27

Cory Branan, Miss Ferguson

Hey Miss Ferguson
It's Cory from work, calling to say
Hey Miss Ferguson
I was wondering what you were doing
a little later on today

posted by holborne at 9:44 AM on February 27

Tom Waits - I Can't Wait to Get Off Work

But this job sweeping up here is gainfully employing me tonight.
"Well Tom, do this and Tom, do that, and Tom ... don't do that"
Count the cash, clean the oven, dump the trash

posted by komara at 9:55 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

Jacques Brel: Grand Jacques and Jacky.
posted by elgilito at 9:55 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Led Zeppelin's How Many More Times (Robert Plant, vocalist)

Oh, Rosie, oh, girl, oh, Rosie, oh, yeah
Steal away now, steal away
Steal away, baby, steal away
Little Robert Anthony wants to come and play
Why don't you come for me, baby, steal away, alright, alright

posted by jquinby at 10:38 AM on February 27

In "New Orleans is Sinking" by The Hip, Gord Downie does not refer to himself as Gord but the female character does.

"Sometimes I feel so good I gotta scream
She said 'Gordie baby, I know exactly what you mean'"
posted by Cosine at 10:51 AM on February 27

Leonard Cohen does the same as The Hip, having a woman call him by name in 'Ballad of the Absent Mare' and also in 'Because Of':

And they say,
"Look at me, Leonard
Look at me one last time."


But my darling says
"Leonard, just let it go by
That old silhouette
On the great western sky"
posted by Cosine at 10:59 AM on February 27 [2 favorites]

Bruce Springsteen sort of does this in "Tenth Avenue Freezeout" - he sings about a singer named "Bad Scooter" meeting someone called "The Big Man", and ultimately "When the change was made uptown and the Big Man joined the band/From the coastline to the city, all the little pretties raise their hands".

"Bad Scooter" has the same initials as "Bruce Springsteen", so it's meant to be himself; and "The Big Man" was the band's and fans' nickname for Clarence Clemons, and the song was inspired by how the E Street Band really started cooking when Clarence joined them.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:00 AM on February 27

They Might Be Giants does this a bit. A couple examples:

When Will You Die
This is Dan
And that's Dan
And that's Marty on the drums
To complete the band
And I'm John
And he is also John
And all of us are wondering
When you're gonna die

Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love
John, I've been bad
and they're coming after me.
Done someone wrong,
and I fear that it was me.

This also comes up a bit in songs about being in the band itself, like They Got Lost.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:06 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Do the Hansa by The Cure

"Steve oh yeah"

Sadness Will Prevail by Today Is the Day

"In my dodge
Steve don't be afraid"

Clean Steve by Robyn Hitchcock

"As he got up to leave
He said, "A friend of yours was here
But we all call him Steve""

Steve Earle by Sugarland

"Well I heard Steve Earle had a lot of wives
About as many as cats have lives"

Uncle Steve by Jandek

"Settle down and don't think twice
Your uncle Steve was awful nice
Yeah he was very nice
Yeah Steve he was very nice"

Stick With Me by Jandek

"Steve, don't leave
Steve, don't make me grieve"

Jammin Me by Tom Petty

"Take back your Iranian torture
And the apple in young Steve's eye
Yeah take back your losing streak
Check your front wheel drive"
posted by Cosine at 11:10 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]

Dream City by Samantha Fox

Jane was an actress, now she's a waitress
Steve's at the cafe parking cars

Scooby Snacks by Fun Lovin' Criminals

We got Steve outside, carrying a full pack

I Believe to My Soul by Humble Pie

It was hard to believe you said
"Oh! Charlie!"
When you know my name is Steve!

Wreck of the Old '97 by Johnny Cash

They gave him his orders at Monroe Virginia
Sayin' Steve you're way behind time
This is not '38 but this it's old '97
Put er into Spencer on time

Solitaire by Jethro Tull

A game of chess he's playing,
But you're wrong, Steve.
posted by Cosine at 11:23 AM on February 27

Now when I start making love to my woman
I don't stop until I know she's sassified
And I can always tell when she gets sassified
because when she gets sassified she start calling my name
She'd say: 'Clarence Carter, Clarence Carter, Clarence Carter
Clarence Carter, ooh shit, Clarence Carter'

posted by miaou at 11:55 AM on February 27

In Iggy Pop's "China Girl":

"And when I get excited
My little China Girl says
Oh, Jimmy, just you shut your mouth
She says ... shhhh..."

Bowie's version changes it to "Oh, baby, just you shut your mouth". But Iggy uses his Jimmy name (most times? not exclusively?).
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:12 PM on February 27

As others have pointed out, there are probably more rap songs where the rapper says their own name than there are ones where they don't. Like this one, which aired on Cartoon Network:

Yo, it's Pizza Steve, aka PS
And when I'm on the mic, I be fresh

posted by box at 12:26 PM on February 27

The Barenaked Ladies' song "Enid" does this, to a degree.

In a call out portion of the song where they give their nicknames from childhood, Ed Robertson can be said "They called me Eddie."
posted by theseventhstranger at 1:06 PM on February 27

Lift, Radiohead

This is the place
Sit down, you're safe now
You've been stuck in a lift
We've been trying to reach you, Thom
posted by randomination at 1:13 PM on February 27

songs by and about 'Steve' -- Frank Zappa's "Stevie's Spanking" namechecks Mothers guitarist Steve Vai.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:16 PM on February 27

Robert Cray (again): "Nothin' But a Woman"

"But my weakness ain't drugs, whiskey, or greed
Only one thing that Young Bob needs"

And again: "I've Slipped Her Mind"

"Ohhh, no, no
Don't tell me that this is it
I've planned this night all day, baby
How can you be so cold to Young Bob?"
posted by baseballpajamas at 2:48 PM on February 27

Probably not exactly what you are looking for, but it sure is an extreme example.
posted by ambulocetus at 3:45 PM on February 27

The Small Faces version of Take This Hurt Off Me features singer Steve Marriott changing the second verse to refer to himself (right around :56).
posted by the return of the thin white sock at 4:03 PM on February 27

I Was Made To Love Her - Stevie Wonder (1967)
I was made to please her
You know Stevie ain't gonna leave her, no
Hey, hey, hey
posted by Rash at 4:53 PM on February 27

You Never Even Called Me By My Name, David Alen Coe

Well, I've heard my name
A few times in your phone book (hello, hello)
And I've seen it on signs where I've played
But the only time I know
I'll hear "David Allan Coe"
Is when Jesus has his final judgment day
posted by Right On Red at 5:30 PM on February 27

Barrier Reef, Old 97's

So I sidled up beside her
Settled down and shouted, "Hi there.
My name's Stewart Ransom Miller
I'm a serial ladykiller."

She said, "I'm already dead."
And that's exactly what she said
So we tripped the lights fantastic
We was both made of elastic
posted by Right On Red at 5:45 PM on February 27

Blue Hawaiian - Pavement

When the capital's S, it is followed by a T; and it's probably me — Stephen Malkmus, again
posted by ohkay at 6:23 PM on February 27 [1 favorite]

The Barenaked Ladies' song "Enid" does this, to a degree. In a call out portion of the song where they give their nicknames from childhood, Ed Robertson can be said "They called me Eddie."

I believe the BNL song you're thinking of is actually "Grade 9". And I second that emotion.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM on February 27

This live version of “Until You Come Back to Me” has Stevie singing, “Please see Steve.” Ree is amazing on it, too. So fun.
posted by Riverine at 7:02 PM on February 27

Adam Sandler's song Steve Polychronopolous
posted by mmc at 10:26 PM on February 27

I have heard a live Guy Clark recording of “Homegrown Tomatoes” where just before he gets with a break of fancy picking he says “Pick it, Guy!”
posted by kabong the wiser at 6:24 AM on February 28

The song “Steven and the Stevens” by the band Steven and the Stevens, from Steven Universe season 1, episode 22 Steven and the Stevens.
posted by mbrubeck at 11:14 AM on February 28

Billy Joel!

Piano Man:
'Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he's quick with a joke or to light up your smoke
But there's someplace that he'd rather be

He says, "Bill, I believe this is killing me."
As a smile ran away from his face
"Well, I'm sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place."'
posted by sunflower16 at 11:18 AM on March 1

I see you’re only marking Steves as the answer, but there’s one more Leonard Cohen song I just thought of: “Famous Blue Raincoat,” which is in the form of a letter, and ends “Sincerely, L. Cohen.”
posted by ejs at 3:25 PM on March 1

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