Earlier this month, one of my favorite artists, Ray LaMontagne, released his 5th studio album “Supernova”. As I got to track 5, a familiar name crooned out of Ray’s signature drawl, my very own, Julia. OH RAY, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE. I have been blessed with so many wonderful artists using my name in their songs. I haven’t quite figured out what it is about Julias around the world that inspire songs of love, tragedy, mystery, and anger. It’s like we leave a trail of affected musicians in our wake that are only left with the option to immortalize us via song. That, or our name just rhymes really easily.
In honor of all the non-fictional, or very real Julias, that have prompted musical creations, below is a list of the top 10 songs, in my personal ranking, from when you search “Julia” as title within iTunes. And Ray, thanks for the song, you majestic beast of a musician.
Rating: 2 Julia’s out of 10
You were always there for me, Julia
I was so afraid to fall in love
I thought you’d wait for me
Is it too late for me now? Have you given up?
Well gee Conway, I guess I will give up if you ever thought it was a good idea to leave a Julia in the first place. We’re amazing, don’t you know? I guess you learned your lesson since later you sputter “Just in case it matter, I love you”. IT’S TOO LATE FOR US NOW CONWAY. The only reason you get points is because this is cheesy country at its best. But if you can’t see the fabulous in front of you right away, then you don’t deserve a Julia in the first place.
Rating: 4 Julia’s out of 10
Julia, pages have been turned
On book of poems your lover learned
Did you praise the lines and blame the words
For if you have taken every phrase
And bled them all a rage
Amelia kicks off the trend of soft spoken female singers on piano or acoustic guitar singing woefully about Julias. We seem to have an effect on these ladies. I appreciate her working in such words as “nightingale”, but these lyrics are a tad too metaphoric for my taste. But she has a lovely voice.
Rating: 5 Julia’s out of 10
Do they use you and then they lose you
When you get scared again?
They could never forget you
But they could say they said your name
I’ve never been a fan of this song, even when it was an actual hit. Maybe it’s because Chantal hits a little too close to home concerning our issues with commitment, or the vile sunny pop tone of the overall song. Either way, it doesn’t rank high in my books. But I’ll give points for making the public aware of the importance of the name Julia on the radio. SPREAD THE WORD.
Our Lady Peace
Rating: 5.5 Julia’s out of 10
Mother, and she’s only yours tonight, mother
Oh she never cries, mother
But I know there’s hurt inside, mother, Julia
Followed right after his wife (Chantal, right above us), here comes Raine Maida, lead singer of Our Lady Peace, belting out some 90’s grunge edition of Julia. This song is terrible, but I have to rank it higher only because I find it hilarious that both Raine and Chantal seem to have an obsession with me, and also I have a soft spot for Our Lady Peace.
Rating: 6 Julia’s out of 10
How could you forget that I’m the one who
Forgot all your mistakes, and dirty drawers
You know I care for you
When hell over earth came
I stood for you, will you stand for me?
This has a great dreamy dance tone that I’m a sucker for, and fits the aloofness that some Julia’s possess. Sza brings to light the loyalty a Julia can have. If you are so lucky to rope in a Julia, we will stand by you and love you, faults and all, and expect nothing in return. Unless you take advantage of it, and if we notice, it’s bad news for you.
Rating: 7 Julia’s out of 10
Julia we all got our little misery
Julia no one said it would be easy
When all these years are over
Will we still complain about it
Julia no one said that it would be easy
This has a great working class Bruce Springsteen vibe to it, and if I had a dick boyfriend or husband while working shitty hours at a diner, I could relate more to this, but alas that is not the type of Julia I am. But I do appreciate the honesty of this song.
Taken by trees
Rating: 7.5 Julia’s out of 10
Julia, you’re not the talking kind
Julia, I’ve been your kind
I hope you know, hope you know, hope you know,
You can tell me all that’s on your mind
We rarely speak but I think of you a lot
This is an adorable bittersweet ballad. The melody is a beautiful accompaniment for any Julia, and they hit on some deeper meanings that I can relate to. Hard to put into words why this one strikes a chord with me, so since they warmed this old Julia heart, I got to score them high.
Rating: 8.5 Julia’s out of 10
Julia, she’s no ordinary color
Not quite blue in hue, nor grey, but something other
She says, says to me
I can see, we were meant to be together you and me
Spending all our lives together
Yes Ray, I would say that to you. And I AM no ordinary color! But for real, Ray paints a pretty picture for Julia’s everywhere, and we thank him. He marries it with a psychedelic bluesy summer feel on top of that, so I raise my summer of 2014 beer pint to him, and his ode to us.
Rating: 9 Julia’s out of 10
Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia
Probably the most famous Julia song of all, by arguably the world’s biggest band (although it was written, performed, and sung solely by John Lennon). What a treat and honor. To be honest, this song has never resonated much for me, but its importance amongst Julia songs cannot, and will not, be denied. It truly is a lovely song dedicated to the memory of John’s mother who died when he was 17, and for Yoko.
The Very Best
Rating: infinite Julia’s out of 10
I obviously have no idea what this song is about because it is sung in Chewa (at least I assume since the singer was born in Mzuzu, Malawi). But it does not matter, there is something so joyous and infectious about it, that every time the chorus hits with the chanting of my name, my whole body convulses in dance and happiness. This is my anthem. Nothing makes me happier. My name is Julia, I am a positive and optimistic person, and this song represents that more than any other song I know. Bonus points that it’s about me. I mean Julias. Or maybe Julia means something else in Chewa? Who knows. I’ll be over here, dancing.