For decades, Americans have been turning to movies (“Tammy and the Bachelor”) and TV shows (Piper from “Charmed”) for baby name inspiration.
Can popular music possibly compete?
Margaret Eby thinks so. Eby, author of the new book “Rock and Roll Baby Names,” offers more than 2,000 options.
“I grew up with an Aja from the Steely Dan album, a Rhiannon, from the Stevie Nicks song, and I knew an Alison who was named after that Elvis Costello song, so I think it’s really out there in the culture,” said Eby, 26, a freelance writer.
“When you’re thinking about names for your child, you want to name them after something that sounds beautiful, or something you love, and a pop song can be both of those.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton, she pointed out, named their daughter Chelsea for the Joni Mitchell song “Chelsea Morning.”
Eby said she was inspired to write about rock ‘n roll baby names because she never found a good Margaret song. “There were all these great Caroline songs, and all these great songs for Jack, and there was never a good Margaret song. They’re usually punk songs about Margaret Thatcher — and they’re never too pleased with her,” she said.
“I found one really good Margaret song. It’s by Camera Obscura, called “Come Back Margaret” and it’s really sweet.”
Eby’s book offers these suggestions: Arlo: rustic, cerebral, a social activist (references folk singer Arlo Guthrie); Delilah: irresistible, sweet, loud, a city girl (“Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s); Johnny: lovable outlaw (Johnny Cash, Johnny Otis); and Michelle: beautiful, breezy, charming (“Michelle” by The Beatles).