Honouring Paul McCartney and The Beatles

Our favourite songs about someone by the fab four

Honouring Paul McCartney and The Beatles

Iconic artist and philanthropist Paul McCartney will be joined by Tony Bennett, the Cast from The Beatles “Love” by Cirque Du Soleil, Coldplay, Duane Eddy, Foo Fighters, Alicia Keys and Diana Krall as the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year during the 2012 Grammy Awards celebrating his exceptional artistic achievements as well as his philanthropic work. The Grammy Awards airs this Sunday, February 12th.

For so many parents, naming their children John or Paul may not be directly because of The Beatles, but I’ve been told by some that names such as Lennon, Harrison, Abbey, Lucy and even VeeJay (their first record label) were in honour of the group. Along with my music-loving husband Eric, here are our favourite songs by The Beatles that are names to consider if you’re a fan of music’s fab four.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Ok, it was mostly written by John. And in no way were drugs involved in writing this song.


Eleanor Rigby

McCartney said he came up with the name Eleanor from actress Eleanor Bron, who had starred with The Beatles in the film Help! Rigby came from the name of a store in Bristol, Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers, that he noticed while seeing his then-girlfriend Jane Asher act in The Happiest Days Of Your Life. In the 80s, it was discovered that a graveyard of St. Peters Church in Liverpool, where John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met, contains the gravestone of an individual called Eleanor Rigby. Paul McCartney has admitted he may have been subconsciously influenced by the name on the gravestone.


Hey Jude

When McCartney introduced Lennon to his new composition, he came to "the movement you need is on your shoulder" and told Lennon "I'll fix that bit." Lennon asked why, and McCartney answered "...it's a stupid expression; it sounds like a parrot." Lennon parried with "You won't, you know. That's the best line in the song." McCartney thus left the line in, and later said "...when I play that song, that's the line when I think of John, and sometimes I get a little emotional during that moment.



Get Back (Jo-Jo and Loretta)

Fun trivia: It’s the the closing track of Let It Be (1970), which was the Beatles' last album released just after the group split.


Penny Lane

The song's title is derived from the name of a street near Lennon's house in the band's hometown of Liverpool. McCartney and Lennon would meet at Penny Lane junction in the Mossley Hill area to catch a bus into the centre of the city. It’s also the name of the Kate Hudson’s character in one of our favourite movies, Almost Famous.

Eric and I scoured our collection of books, magazines and music and came up with this list of names that may be inspired by The Beatles. To be sure, the list ranges from the obvious to the obscure:

Abbey Alan Allen Anna Apple Asher Barbara Beatrice Belle Billy Blue Bonnie Boyd Brian Britain Carol Charles Chuck Cynthia Dakota Daniel Dave Derek Desmond Dhani Doris Ebony Eleanor George Georgia Harrison Heather Henry Holly India Ivory Jackson James Jane Jason Jet Joan John Johnny Jo-Jo Jude Julia Julian Kate Klein Lane Lee Lennon Lizzie London Louis Lucille Lucy Mae Maggie Martha Martin Mary Mary Jane Matt Maxwell McCartney McKenzie Michael Michelle Millie Molly Mona Nancy Neil Nina Pam Patty Paul Penny Pete Rain Ringo Rita Robert Rose Sadie Sally Sean Shea Sky Stella Stuart Sullivan Taylor Teddy Tony Valerie VeeJay Vera Walter Wilson Zak

(For all things music, you can follow Eric on Twitter @ThatEricAlper or find him at his blog, www.ThatEricAlper.com)


Robert Downey Jr.'s New Baby Boy: Exton Elias

Some Shakespearean Baby Names to Consider

Robert Downey Jr.'s New Baby Boy: Exton Elias

Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan welcomed their baby boy into the world on Tuesday February 7th in Los Angeles. He surprised his wife earlier this year when he revealed the baby’s gender on Jay Leno’s night show.  But he managed to keep the name to himself until after he was born: Exton Elias Downey. The couple have yet to reveal the meaning behind the unique name choice. It could be that the Downeys are fans of Shakespeare and chose the name based on Sir Pierce of Exton from his Richard II.

Elias is Hebrew, Greek and English in origin and means My God is the Lord. Robert Downey Jr. Has an 18-year-old son who also has a unique name: Indio.

If you love Shakespeare, here are some names that are a little more (ahem) mainstream than Exton:

Adam – As You Like It

Angus - Macbeth

Anne – Henry VII

Anthony– Henry VII

Antonio – TheTempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Merchant of Venice

Ariel – The Tempest

Audrey – As You Like It

Beatrice – Much Ado About Nothing

Bianca - Othello

Bianca – Taming of the Shrew

Brandon– Henry VII

Cassio - Othello

Charles – As You Like It

Claudio – Much Ado About Nothing

Corin – As You Like It

Curtis – Taming of the Shrew

Dennis - As You Like It

Duncan – Macbeth

Emilia – Othello

Francisco - Hamlet

Frederick – As You Like It

Helena – A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Henry – Henry VII

Iris – The Tempest

Jessica – Merchant of Venice

Joseph – Taming of the Shrew

Julia – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Juliet – Romeo and Juliet

Katherina – Taming of the Shrew

Katherine – Henry VII

Lennox - Macbeth

Leonardo – Merchant of Venice

Malcolm - Macbeth

Margaret – Much Ado About Nothing

Miranda – The Tempest

Nathanial – Taming of the Shrew

Nerissa – Merchant of Venice

Nicholas – Taming of the Shrew

Nicholas – Henry VII

Oliver – As You Like It

Ophelia – Hamlet

Orlando – As You Like It

Patience – Henry VII

Peter – Taming of the Shrew

Phillip – Taming of the Shrew

Portia – Merchant of Venice

Romeo – Romeo and Juliet

Rosalind – As You Like It

Ross - Macbeth

Sebastian – The Tempest

Siliva – The Two Gentlemen of Verona

Stephano – Merchant of Venice

Thomas – Henry VII

William – As You Like It



A Name Story

When everything falls into place

A Name Story

I met Chrystina and her son Lev at The Babytime Show last spring. We had a long talk about his name and the meaning behind it. I have held on to this special name story to share at just the right moment. With Valentine's Day coming up, I thought the timing was perfect to share the story about how little Lev was given his name, as told by his Mom:

Here's the story behind our son, Lev's, name. I must admit, it's a good one :)

A little background on my husband and I. My husband Aaron is Canadian with German and Irish blood (mixed with some Native American and Canadian Indian on both sides), although his family has been here since the 1700's. I was born in Canada, but blood-wise, I am 100% Ukrainian. My father is from Lviv, the Western, patriotic capital of Ukraine and all my grandparents are also from Western Ukraine. 

Several of Aaron’s male relatives bear the name Richard, so we knew from the start that our baby boy’s middle name would be Richard.
We wanted a Ukrainian first name for our son.  We wanted to honour my heritage and it would allow for a traditional name that—in Canada—would be unique.  We didn't want something different just for the sake of being different. Our top four choices were: Nykolai, Roman, Theodore (pronounced TEH-OH-DOOR) and Lev.  We couldn't decide on one name because we loved them all, so I proceeded to research each name, starting with Lev.  

I speak Ukrainian, so I already knew that Lev means 'lion' in Ukrainian.  This is partly why Lev was on our list: our son is a Leo and my husband and I LOVE animals, especially cats.  I also knew that the city that my father's from—Lviv—is named after the founder's son, Lev Halytsky.  A quick online search revealed that Lev means 'heart' in Hebrew, an undisputedly beautiful word, which appeals to the yogi side of my character.  My spiritual and yogi friends also adore how Lev also sounds a lot like 'love'.  My online search also revealed that Lev is short for Leviticus (as in the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament) and the Leviticus priesthood is descended from none other than Moses's brother, Aaron.  This fact took my breath away: 'This is unbelievable' I thought to myself, 'Lev is descended from Aaron and Aaron's my husband's name!' 

I called my husband immediately and shared with him this amazing information.  It's at this point that we decided we'd name our son Lev.  "If we don't", we thought to ourselves, "surely we'd get struck down by lightening."  It was a nice touch that naming our son Lev Richard (in other words, the 'lion-hearted' Richard) would also reflect my husband's love of Medieval history.

 Fast-forward to three-and-a-half-months after my son's birth.  I was reading Eat, Pray, Love and Elizabeth Gilbert was explaining how in the Balinese culture it is not the your birth date that's important, rather it's the day of the week that you are born that bears significance.  She used Thursday as an example.  This piqued my interest because Lev was born on a Thursday.  Gilbert explains a bit about Thursday's child and she goes on to say that he has two guiding animal spirits—the lion and the tiger.  This floored me!  Not only is Lev a Leo, but—according to the Chinese calendar—he's a tiger!  What's more, he was born in 2010 and this was an auspicious year in that it was the year of the white tiger, which happens only ever 60 years.  

So that's my humble story of my Little Lev's not-so-humble name. I don't think I have to tell you that we're stumped for names should there be a baby number two!


I love a good name story! Are you ready to share yours? Email me at [email protected] I would love to make a monthly feature sharing your stories here.