Most of the people in my life know that I collect Mary songs. With all the changes in the musical media over the past two decades since I began collecting, I have lost many a cassette, album, cd and iTunes file, but trust me when I say; I have easily discovered over 500 songs with my name in them. Here’s a quick list by ranker.com.
There are three basic categories for Mary songs:
- I am mentioned in both the name and the song.
There’s Something about Mary, Jonathan Richman,
The Wind Cries Mary, Jimi Hendrix,
Along Comes Mary, The Association
- I am mentioned either in the title OR in the song.
Mary’s Song (Oh My My My), Taylor Swift,
People who died, Jim Carroll Band,
Let it Be, the Beatles
- Almost Mary’d—I am mentioned in some sound, form or language.
Maria Maria, Santana,
Lake Marie, John Prine,
Love Grows where my Rosemary goes, Edison Lighthouse,
Primary, The Cure,
Marry You, Bruno Mars,
Merry-go-round, Motely Crue
(I have been known to creatively retitle these songs with correct Mary spelling)
Please note: I am not above claiming Nirvana’s All Apologies as a Mary Song. He is clearly screeching Mary. Maybe Mary’d. Counts.
When my kids were younger we would frequent used video, cd, and game shops. We would root through the grimy, incense infused cds, checking song titles until we found a Mary song. A buck to the kid who found the first one.
In addition to the artists that I’m sure you know who do a Mary song, i.e., Jimi Hendrix, The Monkees, The Association, Bruce Springsteen*, and CCR/Elvis/Tina Turner, you might be impressed to note that I have also been honored by America, Deep Purple, Foo Fighters, Tom Petty, Alanis Morrisette, Gnarls Barkley, Liz Phair, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Sublime, Pearl Jam, Alice Cooper, the Who, White Stripes, Tom Jones…
The list is long and eclectic.
*It’s obvious Bruce loves me. He is personally responsible for a handful of Mary songs.
My favorite Mary songs are the ones you probably haven’t heard.
(But could! I’m eager to share. I’ve even made name discs for others as a means to slip in some Mary songs.)
* Narcoleptic Mary by Stuart Davis is a live little gem I found back in the Kazaa days of downloading. It seems I fall asleep in my soup and careen down the hallway bouncing off the sheetrock mattresses.
* Devilish Mary by Odetta is a delightful folk ditty about who wears the pants in the family. (hint: it’s me.) “If I ever marry again, it’ll be for love not riches, I’ll marry a girl about two feet high and she can’t wear my britches.”
* Hail Mary by Cork was one of our first used cd store successes. “It’s a long way from the limo to the gutter, if you don’t Hail Mary, it don’t really matter.” Word.
* Don’t Mess with Mary, by Tina Benez and Plato, was discovered through a google search. It’s part of a compilation called The Beat of Stonewall. It seems that I am also slang for a gay male.
* One highlight of my collection is Li’l Mary by Freddy Jackson, who I met through MySpace. The chorus is, “Little Mary what the fuck?” Need I say more?
Of all the Mary and somebody songs, (and it seems I’ve hooked up with a lot of people), like Joseph and Mary Blues by Mary Rice Hopkins or Mary and Willie by K.T. Oslin, imagine my delight to find the Hot Knives song called Dave and Mary! How cool is that?!
Even though Mary is slutty (“like a doorknob and everybody’s had their turn,” Mary goes ‘round, Ready for the World), druggy (Mary Wanna “take me higher,” The Funkanauts), and crazy, (“got the look on her face and the stare of a ray gun,” Crazy Mary, FM Static), I still think each song is about me.
Mary songs are like my own private accolades. These musical tributes bring me joy.
You may not have thought about me the last time you heard “Left a good job in the city,” but you might next time!
(Post Script: How many Emma songs are there? Ha.)
I found a new (to me) Mary song! It’s really called Cherry Hill Park, but I will creatively retitle it in my music files, :). It’s by Billy Joe Royal and I heard it on XM radio channel 6.
“Oh Mary Hill was such a thrill after dark.”