Let's face it: music would suck if women stopped breaking men's hearts.
Women are the subjects behind countless ballads in every genre; we find ourselves singing about women every time we turn on the radio.
Some artists shamelessly reveal the inspiration behind a song–or entire album (like Robin Thicke's Paula), while other musicians conceal their muse behind a phony name. Eric Clapton famously wrote his song "Layla" about Pattie Boyd, the wife of friend George Harrison.
Inventing a character is common too: Courtney Love worked with Billy Corgan and Linda Perry to create "Samantha," a rock ballad about a self-destructive woman. Love's motive: to create a song as popular as Sting's "Roxanne" or Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon."
Now it's time to test your music knowledge: can you ID these songs with women's names in their titles? Good luck; the answers are on page four. If you answer more than 10 correctly, feel free to brag in the comment section below.
1. The Cure wrote "A Letter To _______" that said:
"Oh _______, it doesn't matter what you do / I know i'll never really get inside of you / to make your eyes catch fire"
2. Tom Petty says "you've got to put on that party dress," but Elvis Costello wants this girl to take off her party dress:
3. Brandon Boyd of Incubus is a "wounded satellite" without this woman whose name is also a play on words:
A. Moana Lisa
B. Anna Molly
C. Xenia Onatopp
D. Alison Wanda Land
4. Blondie, Patti Smith, Rage Against the Machine, and Justin Bieber have songs named after _______.
5. "Dear _______, you're a part of [Dave Grohl]" in this song by the Foo Fighters:
6. This Barenaked Ladies song was inspired by a waitress at a Pub, not a character from Daniel Clowes' Ghost World.
7. According to the Ramones, this girl is a punk:
8. Oasis says this woman's name over a dozen times in this song, titled the same.
The stars about to fall
So what you say _______
The world around us makes me feel so
If you can't hear me call
Then I can't say _______
Heaven help you catch me if I fall"
9. When Cowboy Junkies slowed down this The Velvet Underground cover song, we really fell in love with:
A. Proud Mary
B. Pretty Polly
C. Sweet Jane
D. Sexy Sadie
10. Little did Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers "know her body was warm delicious vinyl" in "The Adventures of Rain Dance _______."
11. Billy Joel and Bat for Lashes both have songs named after _______. Billy Joel says she's has a very hard life and calls him in the middle of the night.
12. Ween says they know a girl named _______ "with a brain that's kinda spacey." But they "like her more than Sue or Tracy."
13. Although there's no mention of any woman's name in the lyrics of Fall Out Boy's "She's My _______", fans speculate Pete Wentz was comparing his relationship to Ashlee Simpson with another famous relationship between Johnny Depp and ex:
14. Both Fleetwood Mac and Bob Dylan have a song named _______.
15. Goldfrapp has three songs named after women. They are:
A. "Laurel," "Simone", "Annabel"
B. "Laura," "Sandy", "Anna"
C. "Lorelai," "Samantha", "Alexis"
D. "Lara," "Suzanne", "Annie"
16. Chill, _________. In just a few more hours, KISS will come home but they "can't come home right now / Me and the boys are playin' / And we just can't find the sound."
17. "Zuhm-ma zhum-ma-zhum-ma" and "Ling-a ling-a-ling-a", Roy Orbison loves this woman:
18. Steve Winwood says this woman is "so wild, standing there, with her hands in her hair… so cool, she was like jazz on a summer's day."
1. D. A Letter To Elise – The Cure
2. A. Alison – Elvis Costello
3. B. Anna Molly – Incubus
4. C. Maria
5. B. Dear Rosemary – Foo Fighters
6. A. Enid – Barenaked Ladies
7. B. Judy Is A Punk – Ramones
8. A. Lyla – Oasis
9. C. Sweet Jane – The Velvet Underground
10. C. The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie – Red Hot Chili Peppers
11. D. Laura
12. A. Stacey – Ween
13. B. She's My Winona – Fall Out Boy
14. B. Sara
15. A. Laurel, Simone, Annabel
16. B. Beth – KISS
17. D. Lana – Roy Orbinson
18. C. Valerie – Steve Winwood