21 Of The Best Songs With A Boy’s Name In The Title

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

Artists writing songs about a specific person, whether real or imagined, is nothing new. In fact, with a little research, you’ll find a myriad of songs that mention a person’s name in the title.

The beauty of these songs lies in their personal touch. They could be about an actual person, a fictional character, or just a symbolic representation.

Today, we’re going through 21 of the best songs with a boy’s name in the title. These songs cross various genres, each carrying a unique narrative about a particular boy. So what are you waiting for? Read on!

1. “I’m Henry The Eighth, I Am” By Herman’s Hermits

First off, we have “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits. It appears on the group’s 2017 album Herman’s Hermits Sessions.

“I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am” is a perfect example of a song bearing a boy’s name in the title. It is a lively and upbeat number referring to King Henry VIII of England.

However, the song is not about the historical aspects of the king’s reign. It’s about a man who marries a widow, only to find out he’s the eighth husband named Henry she’s had.

2. “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim” By Jim Croce

In our next song, the main character of the narrative is someone named Jim. Notably, “You Don’t Mess Around with Jim” by Jim Croce is not about the singer himself.

The lyrics revolve around Big Jim Walker. He is a notorious pool hustler who has established quite a scary reputation. As the line in the song says, “You don’t mess around with Jim.” But being bested by someone tougher than him is a rude awakening for Jim.

In essence, this song is about a tough guy who thinks he is untouchable. It conveys a message about pride and comeuppance, which resonates with listeners.

3. “Ben” By Michael Jackson

With its touching and sentimental lyrics, who would have thought that the titular character in Michael Jackson‘s “Ben” is a rat? This song was written for the 1972 movie Ben, a sequel to a film called Willard. Both movies feature a rat protagonist.

Despite Ben and Willard being horror movies, the ballad is the perfect song for a friendship. The lines “With a friend to call my own / I’ll never be alone” reflect that sentiment.

This is quite a moving song, with Jackson’s soulful rendition providing emotional depth. It became a huge hit and was Jackson’s first #1.

4. “Arnold Layne” By Pink Floyd

An intriguing sample of a song having a boy’s name in the title is Pink Floyd‘s “Arnold Layne.” The titular character here is revealed to have an unusual hobby.

The narrative of “Arnold Layne” is centered on a man who has an unconventional hobby of stealing women’s underwear from washing lines. Arnold Layne’s character was actually inspired by a real person, which adds an extra layer of fascination to this notable track.

This song is a memorable track from Pink Floyd’s discography. The compelling narrative and the intriguing character add to its allure.

5. “Perry Mason” By Ozzy Osbourne

The hard rock song “Perry Mason” by Ozzy Osbourne references a cultural icon. This fictional character is a criminal defense lawyer and the main character in Erle Stanley Gardner’s series of books.

The song does not revolve around Perry Mason. Rather, it uses his image and reputation for dealing with complex and hopeless cases. This is embodied in the lines “Who can we get on the case? / We need Perry Mason.”

“Perry Mason” stands out because the name is not used to evoke emotions or experiences but to create a mood and setting.

6. “The Ballad Of Curtis Loew” By Lynyrd Skynyrd

Up next is “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, a notable addition to our list. Curtis Loew is a fictional character, depicted as a black blues guitarist who plays for spare change.

The lyrics follow the narrator, a young white boy, who collects and exchanges soda bottles for money. He would then give the money to Loew, who would “play all day for [him].” Loew then uses the money to buy booze.

Despite Loew’s circumstances, the narrator looks up to him. In his young eyes, “Curtis Loew was the finest picker to ever play the blues.”

7. “Dear John” By Taylor Swift

The Speak Now album by Taylor Swift features songs about what she wants to tell people but cannot tell them face to face. One notable song is the power ballad “Dear John,” released in 2010.

The title serves a dual purpose. Firstly, many believe it’s about John Mayer, whom Swift dated before. Secondly, it uses the concept of a Dear John letter. This is traditionally a letter written by a woman to end a relationship with a man.

In the lyrics, the narrator recounts her heartbreak over how the guy treated her in the relationship. She regrets disregarding warnings from others about John. Nevertheless, she is reclaiming her power and finding closure after their breakup.

8. “Fernando” By ABBA

One of the best-selling singles of all time, and one that deserves to be on our list, is ABBA‘s “Fernando.” This track is popular worldwide and topped the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

Lyrically, the song is about two veterans reminiscing about a past war they fought together. The narrator addresses the other as “Fernando.” In addition, the name serves as a symbol of nostalgia and camaraderie.

In essence, the song delves into themes of courage, loss, and the passage of time. It uses the backdrop of war to create a powerful narrative.

9. “The Killing Of Georgie” By Rod Stewart

We’re including Rod Stewart‘s 1976 song “The Killing of Georgie” on our list. This is a standout song because it’s one of those that openly addressed homophobia at the time.

In the lyrics, it does not end well for the main character, Georgie. The narrator recounts how Georgie is cast out by his own family due to being gay.

He leaves home for New York, where he becomes the life of the party. Unfortunately, his life is cut short when he is murdered by a New Jersey gang.

In essence, this song is notable for its social commentary and brave confrontation of a sensitive issue. Using a specific name personalizes the broader societal issue of homophobia.

10. “Hit The Road Jack” By Ray Charles

Released in 1961, Ray Charles‘ “Hit the Road Jack” is a classic example of a track with a boy’s name in the title. It was a Grammy Award winner for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.

Lyrically, the song is a verbal duel between a couple who are breaking up, Jack and his lover. His partner tells him to leave and never come back. Apparently, Jack “ain’t got no money” and “just ain’t no good.”

Jack begs her not to treat him “so mean,” promising that he’ll be able to get back on his feet someday. It’s too bad for him that his partner is determined to kick him out of her life.

11. “Hey Jude” By The Beatles

The seminal song “Hey Jude” by The Beatles is up next. Released in 1968, it became one of the most popular tracks by the band.

This song used to be called “Hey Jules,” which Paul McCartney penned for Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s son, during his parents’ divorce. However, the name didn’t sound right musically, so McCartney changed it to Jude.

Through this song, McCartney aims to comfort Julian and encourage him to seize opportunities for happiness despite the circumstances. In essence, “Hey Jude” conveys a message of hope, resilience, and encouragement.

12. “Alfie” By Dionne Warwick

Up next is “Alfie,” which was specifically written for the 1966 movie Alfie. It has been covered by various artists such as Cilla Black, Cher, and Whitney Houston. However, Dionne Warwick‘s version stood out for its emotional depth.

In the lyrics, the narrator directly addresses a person named Alfie. He is asked philosophical questions about the meaning and purpose of life.

It makes him consider whether his self-centered lifestyle is truly fulfilling. The song suggests that love is the key to understanding life’s true meaning.

Notably, the song uses the name Alfie to explore deeper existential questions. In such a way, Alfie’s character becomes a symbol for anyone grappling with similar issues.

13. “Daniel” By Elton John

Since the 1960s, Elton John and Bernie Taupin have been crafting songs, many of which stood the test of time. One of these that fits right into our list is “Daniel,” performed by John and released in 1973.

The song revolves around a man named Daniel. He is depicted as a wounded Vietnam War veteran who has come home.

Wanting to get away from all the attention, he boards a plane to Spain. The line “he’s been there enough” suggests that he finds the place home.

The song was a huge hit for the songwriters. It topped the charts in Canada and certified gold in the US in 1995.

14. “Hey Joe” By Jimi Hendrix

One of Jimi Hendrix‘s most iconic songs is “Hey Joe.” He first recorded this rock standard in 1966 with the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The dark and dramatic narrative is about Joe, who shoots his unfaithful lover and flees to Mexico. The song is a dialogue between Joe and the narrator, where the latter asks Joe about his actions and intentions.

Here, the song portrays Joe as a vivid character acting on jealousy, regret, and desperation. Through his character, the song conveys a powerful story and emotions.

15. “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” By Jim Croce

Our next song has a compelling narrative that revolves around a character named Leroy Brown. Jim Croce‘s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” was released in 1973 from his album Life and Times.

The story’s main character, Leroy Brown, hails from the “baddest part of town” in Chicago. He is portrayed as being “badder than old King Kong” and “meaner than a junkyard dog.” The people would do well to avoid him than cross him.

The song paints Leroy Brown as a notorious character. But despite the tough exterior, he ends up losing in a fight over a woman at a bar. This adds an element of irony to the narrative.

16. “Jilted John” By Graham Fellows

Another song from the 1970s perfect for our list is “Jilted John” by Graham Fellows. It peaked at #4 in the UK charts upon its release in 1978.

“Jilted John” is a humorous and relatable tale of teenage heartbreak. The main character, John, is dumped by his girlfriend for another boy, Gordon. The repeated phrase “Gordon is a moron” has become iconic. It often leads people to believe that it’s the title of the song.

In essence, the song stands out for its light-hearted take on a common theme of romantic disappointment. Rather than expressing sorrow, it uses humor and silliness to convey the frustrations of young love.

17. “Jessie’s Girl” By Rick Springfield

Thanks to “Jessie’s Girl,” Rick Springfield was catapulted from soap star to new wave icon. This song was released in 1981 from the album Working Class Dog.

The lyrics spin a tale of unrequited love and longing. The narrator finds himself falling hard for his good friend Jessie’s girlfriend. He admires her from afar, wondering why he can’t find someone like her.

This song focuses on the narrator’s internal struggle rather than the character whose name is in the title. Jessie is more of a secondary character, with the main narrative revolving around the narrator’s feelings for Jessie’s girl.

18. “Vincent” By Don McLean

Singer-songwriter Don McLean penned and sang “Vincent,” a poignant song released in 1972. It is a tribute to the renowned Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.

The song intricately weaves references to Van Gogh’s art into the lyrics. For instance, the opening line, “Starry, starry night,” alludes to a painting by Van Gogh.

Through this lyrical narrative, McLean portrays Van Gogh’s troubled life and mental health struggles. It also serves as a posthumous recognition of one of the most influential figures in the history of Western art.

19. “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” By Paper Lace

The anti-war song “Billy Don’t Be a Hero” by Paper Lace is powerful and thought-provoking. It came out in the mid-1970s, becoming a hit for its catchy tune and compelling narrative.

The lyrics tell a tragic story of a young man named Billy who goes off to war. His fiancee pleads for him to “keep [his] pretty head low” and not “be a fool with [his] life.” She implores him to come back to her in one piece so they can get married.

This song goes beyond personal narratives to tackle broader issues and historical events. Through Billy, the song highlights the personal costs of war and the tragedy of unnecessary loss.

20. “Poor Tom” By Led Zeppelin

A Led Zeppelin song offering a rich narrative is up next. “Poor Tom” was released from the band’s 1982 album Coda.

This song is about Tom, a hardworking railroad worker who experiences betrayal. The narrative is set against a backdrop of him toiling away, changing wheels on the railroad while his wife cooks his meals.

As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there’s more to Tom’s life than just hard work. There’s also a sense of misfortune and hardship.

21. “Stan” By Eminem Ft. Dido

From Eminem‘s album The Marshall Mathers LP comes “Stan,” a collaboration with Dido. Released in 2000, it’s a dark and gripping story of obsession.

Stanley Mitchell, or Stan, is the main character in the narrative. He claims to be Eminem’s biggest fan. His obsession eventually escalates as his letters to Eminem go unanswered. And when Eminem tries to reach out, it’s too late.

In essence, “Stan” delves into the darker side of fandom. It addresses the potential dangers of idolization and obsession.

Summing Up Our List Of Songs Having A Boy’s Name In The Title

And there you have it, just the right mix of songs about particular boys. If you’ve noticed, these songs give life to a character and present an interesting narrative behind the name.

Using a boy’s name in the song’s title provides a unique way to connect and resonate with listeners. It also offers an interesting perspective on storytelling in music.

And that brings us to the very end of this article. We hope you liked the compilation and perhaps found new favorites. If you’ve come across more songs you want to see on the list, let us know!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.