Songs directly addressed to someone non-famous (a friend or lover or half-brother, perhaps) who is named in the song but not in the title

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Specific enough for you?

Examples:
The Sundays - 'Heaven on Earth': 'Sarah, you live and you learn you're invisible'
Charlotte Hatherley - 'Grey Will Fade': 'I wish that I could find a way/to make you feel much better, Faye'

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:10 (six months ago) Permalink

"Lucy, you're my girl; Lucy, you're a star" - Brian Eno, "Some Of Them Are Old"

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:14 (six months ago) Permalink

"Only the Good Die Young."

mime kampf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:16 (six months ago) Permalink

"Emma tried to run away" & "Laura's feeling just ideal"
Belle and Sebastian - This is Just A Modern Rock Song

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:26 (six months ago) Permalink

'There There My Dear' by Dexys

woof, Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:29 (six months ago) Permalink

hmmm, kinda feeling like it should be second-person or somehow more "directly addressed." like "This is a song about Susan" in Everclear's "So Much For The Afterglow" would count I'd say.

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:30 (six months ago) Permalink

xxpost I would specify that the idea here is songs which directly address a person rather than simply naming them. Like imagine if 'Sara Smile' was called 'A-Wontcha Smile a While for Me'.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:31 (six months ago) Permalink

Yes, Dr. C gets it.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:32 (six months ago) Permalink

"Annie are you OK?"

coombespair gaz prices (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:32 (six months ago) Permalink

"Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy are you goofing on Elvis, hey, baby?
Are we losing touch?"

coombespair gaz prices (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:34 (six months ago) Permalink

Non-famous!

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:38 (six months ago) Permalink

forgot that bit

Smooth Criminal still counts tho

coombespair gaz prices (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:42 (six months ago) Permalink

Yes, that's a good one.

It just struck me this morning what an odd authorial choice this is for a songwriter to make, addressing a song to someone specific but whose relationship to the singer is oblique or unspecified. It seems like a fairly rare phenomenon but I look forward to y'all proving me wrong.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:45 (six months ago) Permalink

And I mean also the thing where the direct address is almost an afterthought and not part of the title. I'm overexplaining, and I apologize profusely.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:48 (six months ago) Permalink

these feel like a cheat but...

Beautiful South – Song For Whoever

Paul Simon - 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover

faust apes (NickB), Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:51 (six months ago) Permalink

10,000 Maniacs - Gun Shy

kornrulez6969, Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:21 (six months ago) Permalink

Famous blue raincoat by Leonard cohen

kolakube (Ross), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:37 (six months ago) Permalink

Not sure if that counts, it's addressed to his brother but he mentions jane often

kolakube (Ross), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:44 (six months ago) Permalink

I stand by my initial choice of "Come out, Virginia, don't let me wait / You Catholic girls start much too late," as direct address.

Another one you may want to look at is "Thunder Road." "The screen door slams / Mary's dress waves... Don't run back inside / Darling you know just what I'm here for."

Sure, there is a gap between the non-title named character and the direct-address sections; does that disqualify it? If so you are definitely looking for a weirdly narrow category.

mime kampf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:46 (six months ago) Permalink

*Starts to type "Empty Garden"
*looks at "non-famous" in thread title
* gets more covfefe

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:48 (six months ago) Permalink

The Who, "Baba O'Riley" ("Sally, take my hand...")

Grateful Dead, "Loser" ("Last fair deal in the country, sweet Susie")

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:51 (six months ago) Permalink

I am definitely looking for a weirdly narrow category, YMP. It's what I do.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:51 (six months ago) Permalink

Alrighty then. Rock on witcho bad self, OL.

mime kampf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:53 (six months ago) Permalink

iirc half of springsteen's songs are addressed to mary

mookieproof, Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:53 (six months ago) Permalink

Actually if we're going Springsteen, "Born to Run" is a better example ("Wendy, let me in, I wanna be your friend, I wanna guard your dreams and visions" etc.)

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:54 (six months ago) Permalink

usually if a song is directed towards somebody, it's enough to get their name into the song title. right? "alison," "maggie may," "4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy)," "Mandy," etc.

in these examples, the lyricist probably just could've penciled in "baby," but chose a name instead

porg and bess (voodoo chili), Thursday, 11 January 2018 15:54 (six months ago) Permalink

Also Pixies' "Gigantic"

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:01 (six months ago) Permalink

Disco 2000 by Pulp seems to meet all the criteria but feels against the spirit… maybe because the name is so foregrounded?

woof, Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:05 (six months ago) Permalink

in these examples, the lyricist probably just could've penciled in "baby," but chose a name instead

was thinking earlier about the way Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey" moves backwards and forwards between using the title word as a generic endearment and an actual name

which rules it out of this thread but made me think

coombespair gaz prices (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:21 (six months ago) Permalink

I suspect "So Like Candy" does the same thing, NV.

mime kampf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:28 (six months ago) Permalink

"Death at One's Elbow" by the Smiths

mahb, Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:34 (six months ago) Permalink

The Kings, "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide"

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:38 (six months ago) Permalink

Outkast, "Roses" is a confusing one since the opening "Caroline" turns out to be third-person but then we shift into direct address for most of the lyric.

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:43 (six months ago) Permalink

If only T. Swift had dropped a specific music writer's name into "Mean" we'd be getting somewhere.

Monster fatberg (Phil D.), Thursday, 11 January 2018 16:59 (six months ago) Permalink

Oh, per my original post and the mention of 'Caroline' I just remembered that Charlotte Hatherley also does this in 'Paragon'.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 17:00 (six months ago) Permalink

Actually if we're going Springsteen, "Born to Run" is a better example

or "meeting across the river" ("hey eddie...")

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 11 January 2018 17:46 (six months ago) Permalink

not a second-person address, but seems to fit here:

the kinks "rock and roll fantasy" ("dan is a fan and he lives for our music / it's the only thing that gets him by / he's watched us grow and he's seen all our shows / he's seen us low and he's seen us high")

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 11 January 2018 17:50 (six months ago) Permalink

billy joel "sleeping with the television on" ("i've been watching you waltz all night, diane...")

fact checking cuz, Thursday, 11 January 2018 17:53 (six months ago) Permalink

So many Steely Dan songs. But those are like 90% fictional characters.

flappy bird, Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:13 (six months ago) Permalink

Fictional characters are total fair game.

the smartest persin in the room (Old Lunch), Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:17 (six months ago) Permalink

Todd Rundgren - We Gotta Get You A Woman

“Leroy boy, is that you?”

faust apes (NickB), Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:20 (six months ago) Permalink

"Get Back" - Jojo and Loretta are both given direct instructions.

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:40 (six months ago) Permalink

Interpol - "Evil"

"Rosemary / Heaven restores you in life" and "Sandy, why can't we look the other way?"

flappy bird, Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:45 (six months ago) Permalink

Kid Creole:

Oh Annie - I'm not your daddy
See if I was in your blood then you wouldn't be so ugly

new noise, Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:46 (six months ago) Permalink

argh named in the title... sorry.

new noise, Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:47 (six months ago) Permalink

probably a ton of Madness songs fit this as they always sang about characters.
without even thinking, off their debut album, In The Middle of the Night : "Nice Man George, newsagent on the corner. Dirty old George ... "

mark e, Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:47 (six months ago) Permalink

a whole bunch of Spoon songs do this ("Black Like Me," "Eddie's Ragga," "They Want My Soul" off the top of my head)

Simon H., Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:51 (six months ago) Permalink

"Eddie's Ragga" (which never mentions anyone named Eddie) takes the unusual step of invoking some's full name:

You can break my legs, you can kick me downstairs
But there ain't no getting over Joanie Hale-Maier

Simon H., Thursday, 11 January 2018 19:55 (six months ago) Permalink

"Venus in Furs" by VU

Josefa, Thursday, 11 January 2018 20:05 (six months ago) Permalink

this thread made me realize that 8 out of 11 songs on "music for big pink" are either entirely in the second person or have at least a verse / chorus in the second person.

the only one that might belong here is "the weight" for the "take a load of, fanny" lyric

budo jeru, Thursday, 11 January 2018 20:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Seasons in the Sun, but only in the last verse ("Goodbye Michelle...").

gjoon1, Friday, 12 January 2018 01:36 (six months ago) Permalink

Maybe Fire and Rain (Suzanne directly addressed in 1st verse).

gjoon1, Friday, 12 January 2018 01:45 (six months ago) Permalink

Bobby Conn "Angels" largely concerns someone named "Richard" who has a bad trip at a party. it's in third person but the chorus is pretty much addressed to them.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 12 January 2018 01:59 (six months ago) Permalink

"Ballad of a Thin Man"

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Friday, 12 January 2018 02:49 (six months ago) Permalink

good one

flappy bird, Friday, 12 January 2018 02:49 (six months ago) Permalink

Mr. Marks in McCartney's "Temporary Secretary." I feel like Paul has soooo many of these but I'm spacing beyond that one and "Get Back" which was already mentioned.

flappy bird, Friday, 12 January 2018 02:51 (six months ago) Permalink

how about Laurie Anderson "O Superman"? is the military industrial complex a person? feel like 'o judge' counts. at the very least there's always mom (hi mom!)

flappy bird, Friday, 12 January 2018 02:53 (six months ago) Permalink

"Stacy's Mom" is just outside the ring, as the song is addressed to Stacy, not the mom, but her name is there nonetheless.

Newb Sybok (Doctor Casino), Friday, 12 January 2018 02:56 (six months ago) Permalink

The Cure - 'The Drowning Man': "Oh Fushia, you leave me breathing like the drowning man".

LeRooLeRoo, Friday, 12 January 2018 16:44 (six months ago) Permalink

Laura Nyro - "Wedding Bell Blues" is addressed to Bill

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Friday, 12 January 2018 16:54 (six months ago) Permalink

Mansion - Stripper Vicar

“Dear Mavis, I'm compelled to write this letter...”

faust apes (NickB), Friday, 12 January 2018 16:59 (six months ago) Permalink

lol autocorrect, that should be Mansun obv

faust apes (NickB), Friday, 12 January 2018 17:00 (six months ago) Permalink

This is a song for Karen!

JoeStork, Friday, 12 January 2018 17:13 (six months ago) Permalink

Don't Look Back In Anger?

Colonel Poo, Friday, 12 January 2018 17:17 (six months ago) Permalink

or does that not count because it just mentions a random name?

Colonel Poo, Friday, 12 January 2018 17:18 (six months ago) Permalink

"This bottle, of Stephen's" - from Weezer's 'Say It Ain't So' (Rivers' Cuomo's stepfather)

PaulTMA, Friday, 12 January 2018 17:18 (six months ago) Permalink

yeah I think that's the same, doesn't really count because it's not addressed to Stephen?

Colonel Poo, Friday, 12 January 2018 17:19 (six months ago) Permalink

Kurt Cobain's father in 'Serve the Servants.' Although his name isn't mentioned: "I tried hard to have a father but instead I had a dad / I just want you to know that I don't hate you anymore / There is nothing I could say that I haven't thought before."

flappy bird, Friday, 12 January 2018 18:45 (six months ago) Permalink

on that note see "Grandma take me home" in Nirvana's "Silver".

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 12 January 2018 19:00 (six months ago) Permalink

Future of the Left "Arming Eritrea" is directed, angrily, to someone named "Rick." I remember it getting hyped on ILM and me being totally baffled as it seemed to be the whiny screechings of a teenaged lout, grounded by his stepdad.

Righteous wax chaperone, rotating Wingdings (Doctor Casino), Thursday, 18 January 2018 16:01 (six months ago) Permalink


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