WERE you cursed with a name that was the backing track to your conception? Even if you weren’t, pity these people named after hits no one will ever forget.
Written and performed by poppy prog-rock band Marillion, this song relates to lyricist Fish’s inability to form lasting relationships. Due to your parents shagging through this tale of woe you’re now lumbered with having to convince every date that you don’t share his fear of commitment. And that you’re not into Marillion.
If you’re called Eileen, you were most likely conceived in the loo or round the back of a social club during a wedding reception. You’ve no doubt had Come on Eileen sung at you all your life, and due to Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ stage clothing, had to deny multiple times that you own dungarees, live in a squat or work as a ‘tinker’.
Unless your parents were fans of 70s pioneering LGBT+ tennis player Billie Jean King, then you were named after a Michael Jackson song in which he consistently denies having a relationship with a woman and fathering her child. Hmm. Considering the track record of Wacko Jacko and kids, it might be less embarrassing to say your parents were shagging during Wimbledon and you narrowly avoided being called Navratilova.
Surely your parents were in no doubt that the song was about a man attempting to save a woman from life on the streets? If it wasn’t bad enough being named after a prostitute, all your life people will hilariously have reminded you that ‘you don’t have to put on the red light’. Plus there’s the embarrassment of knowing your parents were hugely into Sting.
Although Rhiannon is a major figure in Welsh mythology, your parents gave you this name because they were big fans of Fleetwood Mac. So you’re the progeny of MOR classic rock fans, or drug-taking hippies. At least they weren’t so off their heads they named you Albatross, although it would be appropriate now you’re hassling them for the deposit for a house in your 30s.
You wonder if you were named after a great grandparent, or possibly even the Prince song Diamonds and Pearls. Wrong on both counts. You were given this name due to your parents humping to the 70s hit Pearl’s A Singer by Elkie Brooks, about a tragic club singer whose ambitions to make it big were never fulfilled. You’re not a singer, and you can’t play the piano, but you’re in no way successful, so your parents go that bit right.
There’s no escaping the fact that you’ve been named after a Dolly Parton song. ‘Your beauty is beyond compare / With flaming locks of auburn hair’ is a hell of a lot to live up to, and female acquaintances will enjoy joking about you stealing their man ‘just because you can’, which is a bit insulting if Jeff is a paunchy work bore you wouldn’t shag in several million years. Yes, as a musical form country and western has a lot to answer for, as your brother Sue will attest.