Music Monday: Gentlemen's Names

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! As promised, this week we're providing the companion to last week's Music Monday. This week we're takin' a look at boy songs, the songs that carry a man's name. And boy songs aren't just singing about awesome dudes either. Sometimes they explore the dark side of being a fella:

Alice Cooper - Ballad Of Dwight Fry

 

Who hasn't had the feeling of being trapped? Or being made to feel like an outcast monster? In this song, horror actor Dwight Fry is a stand-in for the human condition of feeling helpless and out of control. Sure, that's a feeling women have too, but Dwight had a male name, so he qualifies for today's list. Nothing personal, ladies.

More boy songs to come inside. See you right after the jump!

In case you got here late, this is part two of a series. Last week's Music Monday boasted songs about the ladies, and today we're covering the songs about the dudes. Next week our Spotify playlist will return with a great big "Names" playlist made from both mixes, so check it out then! Today, though, let's focus on guy names in the current Music Monday below.

Michael Jackson - Ben

 

Who says all love has to be romantic? This song is about the kind of innocent love two buddies can share. One for all, all for one, and never mind that the main character is actually a murderous rat from a horror movie. What's important it that this song carries the innocent feeling of best friends. And that Ben is a man's name.

Janis Joplin - Me And Bobby McGee

 

Kris Kristofferson wrote this song, and his Bobby was a Roberta. But Janis Joplin's cover makes it clear how her Bobby is a Robert, and that's the version most people remember. Kristofferson and Joplin had a thing once upon a time, and even though he didn't write this song for her specifically, he certainly didn't mind that her version went to number one. Most people doing it now aren't covering Roger Miller, the man who recorded it first. They're covering Janis, the woman who recorded it best. That pretty much makes it her song now, and that makes Bobby a boy.

David Bowie - Andy Warhol

 

 

Now, it's probably impossible to actually shock David Bowie. But back in 1971, when he was still finding his way, it must have been a huge shock for young David to learn that Warhol, one of his idols, didn't actually enjoy this song. It just goes to show that Warhol wasn't always a visionary, because this specific song has won over legion after legion of Bowie fans. And it goes without saying it's about a very important man. PS to purists: the original is here if you don't care for the one I linked.

Paul Simon - Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard

 

I chose this version not because it's the original (which you can find here), but because of how Paul Simon just steps on that little kid's solo the second he's ready to start singing. Somewhere, Art Garfunkel is shaking his head in solidarity. Anyway, this mysterious song doesn't really HAVE an answer, as even Paul himself doesn't know what exactly Mama saw. But it's still super catchy, and it does feature a man's name, so it makes the cut! Unlike that poor little girl. Maybe she went on to sing backup with Los Lobos.

We're likely already waiting in the Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday event, but before you stop in, why not find a song with a guy's name, and throw it in the comments? Also please note that some images come from their corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.