The neck of my Guitar
Songs named after men The Guardian

Dorian Lynskey
Friday August 3, 2007

Any expectant parent will tell you that choosing a name for a boy is harder than it is for a girl. Songwriters face a similar quandary. Look around your friends and workmates and it´s likely that most of the women´s names would make serviceable song titles - many already have - while most of the men´s would fall flat. One tends towards poetry, the other, prose. There is not a single man´s name (well, not a single Anglo-American one) as intrinsically musical as, say, Emily. Small wonder that most musicians favour the richer cadences of a full name (the Coral´s Simon Diamond), the extra weight of a famous one (Dylan´s John Wesley Harding) or the glamour of an exotic one (Abba´s Fernando).

Simon & Garfunkel´s Richard Cory is a 19th century David Watts: rich, charming, immaculate. You can see why Paul Simon´s struggling wage slave envies Cory´s wealth and ´the orgies on his yacht´ (An orgy! On a yacht!), but even when Cory puts a bullet in his own head, the chorus doesn´t change - the narrator still thinks the rich man´s got the better deal. Only marginally less forlorn is the beaten and bowed little boy in Suzanne Vega´s Luka.
This week´s playlist

1 Jackie Sinead O´Connor
2 Nathan Jones The Supremes
3 Clint Eastwood Gorillaz
4 Jacques Derrida Scritti Politti
5 Hercules Aaron Neville
6 Barabajagal Donovan
7 Richard Cory Simon & Garfunkel
8 Luka Suzanne Vega
9 Johnny B Goode Chuck Berry
10 Roscoe Midlake

See also these last articles

America's Greatest Living Composer blogcritics.org - 0000-00-00 posted by unknown

Simon influences Vampire Weekend The Arizona Republic Jul. 12, 2007 - 0000-00-00 posted by unknown

Simon concert a crowd pleaser Sioux City Journal - 0000-00-00 posted by unknown