“Girl” is right up there with “baby” as one of the most commonly used words in contemporary music. Whether it’s referring to a female child or woman, artists from across genres use the word girl in the titles of songs to convey different feelings.
Whether they’re love songs or self-love songs, songs with girl in the title elicit a wide range of emotions.
“China Girl” – David Bowie
David Bowie recorded the definitive version of China Girl in 1983, with producer Nile Rodgers. The song was written in the mid-1970s by Bowie and Iggy Pop for Pop’s debut album, “The Idiot.”
Iggy Pop claims the song is about a Vietnamese woman he fell in love with. Nile Rodgers believes Bowie wrote the song about drugs and created a parody of a pop song for the former “Ziggy Stardust” performer.
“I Kissed A Girl” – Katy Perry
Katy Perry launched herself on the pop world with this slice of three-minute pop.
Perry claims the chords for the song popped into her head during the night and fell onto the page almost fully formed.
Professional songwriters, Cathy Dennis, and Max Martin polished the song that launched Perry’s career.
“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” – Urge Overkill
Neil Diamond wrote and recorded “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” in 1967. The song hit the top ten on the Billboard Music Charts and became a favorite with fans of the singer-songwriter.
The indie band, Urge Overkill and Quentin Tarantino relaunched the song of the public on the soundtrack of “Pulp Fiction.” Among the artists to have recorded versions of the song is family-friendly British pop icon, Sir Cliff Richard.
“All The Good Girls Go To Hell” – Billie Eilish
Recorded for the “When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” album, “All The Good Girls Go To Hell” is a perfect slice of modern pop.
The Californian singer-songwriter has created a brand based on subverting her image. The song slides along with a catchy hook that highlights the husky vocals of the singer.
“West End Girls” – Pet Shop Boys
The Pet Shop Boys are a collaboration between Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. “West End Girls” was born from the emergence of hip-hop and synth-pop in the early-1980s. Tennant used his contacts from his work as a music journalist to enlist the help of producer, Bobby Orlando to record their early work.
“West End Girls” began life as a dance anthem in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with European clubbers finding the song before it received a global release.
“Material Girl” – Madonna
In the early-1980s, Madonna was fighting her way to the top of the music industry. The “Like A Virgin” singer explained the materialistic lyrics of “Material Girl” fit the life she was leading as she became a global icon.
Madonna sings about wanting material goods and a guy who can afford to shower her with gifts. The MTV Generation made the Marilyn Monroe parody video a success.
“My Girl” – The Temptations
Hitsville USA was responsible for some of the great soul songs of the 1960s, including “My Girl.”
Written by The Miracles’ Smokey Robinson and Ronald White, The Temptations recorded their first number-one single in the U.S. with their version produced by Robinson.
The song returned to popularity following the release of the movie of the same name in 1991.
“Girl on Fire” – Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys released the song, “Girl on Fire” at a time when she was breaking free of the control of her record label. Keys has revealed she finally felt comfortable enough to write and record the music she wanted after a decade in the music industry.
The song was inspired by an article written about Keys, describing her as a girl on fire. After reading the article by Jeannine Amber, Keys was inspired to write a song about her current mood.
The songwriter has described herself as a lion locked in a cage before the release of this song and the album of the same name.
“Girl” – The Beatles
The Beatles broke the mold of songwriting and performing as a pop group. The Fab Four released “Girl” on the “Rubber Soul” album in 1965.
The song shows the first melancholy cracks in The Beatles’ happy-go-lucky facade.
Credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Lennon revealed the song was his after the band split up. Discussing the song, Lennon revealed the girl of the title was an archetype he would later find in Yoko Ono.
“Fat Bottomed Girls” – Queen
Queen guitarist, Brian May, wrote “Fat Bottomed Girls” for the band fronted by Freddie Mercury.
The song has been described as having a soaring beat and impressive guitar work by critics. “Fat Bottomed Girls” sees Mercury sharing the vocals with guitarist May, who sings the chorus.
“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
This song was released in 1983 by Cyndi Lauper, one of the most prominent pop song artists. It is one of the karaoke songs that girls love. The song also contributed mainly to the start and success of the thrift fashion store.
However, the song was first released in 1979 by Robert Hazard, an American musician.
Lauper sang the music from a feminist point of view to point out that women can have as much fun as men can. The song was a great hit in early 1984 and secured the second spot on U.S Billboard Hot 100.
“Uptown Girl” – Billy Joel
Uptown Girl music is an 80s classic song where Joel is trying to get the attention of an upper-class woman whereas he is only a regular guy from the downtown.
However, Billy Joel was far from a regular guy when he wrote the tune. He already lived a high lifestyle and was around girls like Whitney Houston, Christie Brinkley, and Elle Macpherson.
The song became a number one song for five weeks in the United Kingdom, and also, at the Billboard Hot 100, the song secured third place for 12 weeks in 1983.
“Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani
People believe that Gwen Stefani was inspired by Courtney Love when she called her a cheerleader. Gwen is the star cheerleader in the song, and the music always brings the memory of a high school football game or something similar.
Hollaback was released in 2005 and was greatly influenced by its dance. The song received different award nominations, including the 48th Grammy Awards. However, the song received criticism from critics describing it as stomping and thumbing minimal beats.
“Bad Girls” – Donna Summer
Donna referred to the ‘Bad Girls’ as prostitutes in this song. She wrote this song because of the harassment black girls received from the police in Sunset Boulevard, characterized by many illegal activities.
Whenever Donna would assign an errand to a black secretary, police thought of her as a prostitute, and harassment ensued on Sunset Boulevard.
Bad girls by Donna was released in 1979 by Casablanca Records. It was a top song in 7 countries, counting New Zealand and Spain.
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” – Fergie
This song relates to girls during a breakup. However mature, a split is a sad event that may leave you crying.
The song talks about a girl’s need for shelter and clarity, but you can move on and provide for yourself because big girls do not cry. The song remained one of the highest-selling Fergie’s single songs in August 2012.
“Jessie’s Girl” – Rick Springfield
Jessie’s Girl song inspired Springfield’s lust for his friend’s Girl. The song is in the album of the Working Class Dog, released in 1981.
The music never really hit upon its release, but after 19 weeks, it was Billboards top for two weeks. Jessie’s Girl remains the only song of Springfield to beat that record.
“Hot Girl Summer” – Megan Thee Stallion, Nicki Minaj, Ty Dolla Sign
The Hot Girl Summer song is about women who are unapologetic to themselves. Women should not care about other people’s opinions regarding their bodies and sex.
It is one of the recent releases and was the song in 2019. Women became more aware and confident and started to show off their bodies on social media, especially in TikTok reels.
“Girl Like Me” – Black Eyed Peas and Shakira
The song was written as a tribute to the Latinas. Girl Like Me is sung in both Spanish and English words. The song was included in the Translation album of 2020, although initially, the music had been planned to be in 2013 will.i. am’s the album.
The song hit immediately after its release and gathered over 23 million views with three days on YouTube. It also went viral on TikTok as a challenge where people tried to copy the song’s choreography.
“Waiting for a Girl Like You” – Foreigner
In this song, the singer expresses his desire to have a romantic relationship with a beautiful lady.
The song portrays a message as it involves emotions contrary to other songs by Foreigner that do not relay a message. The rock band released the song in 1981 and hit immediately and was on the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks on the second spot.
“Galway Girl” – Ed Sheeran
The Galway song was a collaboration between Ed Sheeran and the Beoga Irish folk band. The song had a significant influence on the Irish music tradition. Galway became popular such that people praised it all over the world. One of the most prominent national daily newspapers in Ireland, the Irish Independent, pointed out that the song was Sheeran’s proof of Irish heritage.
As you can see, elegant girl names inspired a wide-ranging flood of emotions in popular music. From conjuring romantic yearnings to celebrating tough independent women, don’t mess with girls!
Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.