the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Singing Blogger


I fall in love very easily. 

"What draws you to another person, Neilochka?" you might ask.  "Is it beauty?  Intelligence?  A sense of humor?"

No, as a writer of words, I am first attracted by the person's name.  

I have no idea if blogging-gal Fitena is a nice person or a grouch, but I was immediately smitten by the name.  Fi-te-na.

When I read one of her comments, I always speak to myself, saying something like, "Oh look, it's a comment from Fi-te-na!" 

Things get worse.  I sing when I blog, especially when I encounter a blogger whose first name is the same as a famous old song.  These bloggers hold a special place in my heart. 

I know… I know… chances are the bloggers' names are not even the real names (wimps), but I still like to imagine that Melissa from Texas is the exact same Melissa that the Allman Brothers were thinking about when they sang:

Crossroads, seem to come and go, yeah.
The gypsy flies from coast to coast

Knowing many, loving none,
Bearing sorrow havin’ fun,
But back home he’ll always run
To sweet melissa… mmm…

("Melissa," Allman Brothers)

I have two blogging-pals named Michelle, each mysterious in her own way.  I'm always singing this:

Michelle, ma belle.
These are words that go together well,
My Michelle.

Michelle, ma belle.
Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble,
Très bien ensemble.

("Michelle," The Beatles)

There's Amanda:

I’m gonna take you by surprise and make you realize,
I’m gonna tell you right away, I can’t wait another day,
I’m gonna say it like a man and make you understand

("Amanda," Boston)

And Beth:

Beth, I hear you callin’
But I can’t come home right now
Me and the boys are playin’
And we just can’t find the sound
Just a few more hours
And I’ll be right home to you
I think I hear them callin’
Oh, beth what can I do
Beth what can I do

("Beth," KISS)

And Alison:

Oh it's so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
that you were not impressed.
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
take off your party dress.
I'm not going to get too sentimental
like those other sticky valentines,
'cause I don't know if you are loving somebody.
I only know it isn't mine.

Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.

("Alison," Elvis Costello)

There's also songs for Helena, Jenny, Nancy, Mysterygirl, Brandy, Jill, Elizabeth, Lisa, Sarah, Amy.   Did I forget any?

Men bloggers, don't worry.  I didn't forget you.   I'm not embarrassed to fall in love with a man's name.  Everyday, I take a break at noon from whatever freelance project I'm working on,  make myself a sandwich, click onto Danny's site, and grab my bagpipes:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.

("Danny Boy," Irish Classic)

Now, despite our separation, the main love of my life remains, of course, Sophia.   And I was positive that there weren't any "Sophia" songs in existence.   But Google proved me wrong:

Sophia by Bif Naked
Sophia by The Rasmus
Sophia by Enter My Silence
Sophia by X-Ray Spex
Nude Sophia by Lux Occulta
Hagia Sophia by Secret Chiefs 3
Aetheosophia by Thor's Hammer
Song of Sophia by Dead Can Dance
Sophia On The Stereo by The Benjamins
Messages from Sophia by Lisa Germano
Disciples Of Sophia (The Templars) by Necromantia
All For You Sophia by Franz Ferdinand

I spent all tonight downloading these songs.   Most of these tunes were just awful.  None of them captured any of Sophia's real qualities.

My assignment for later this week:  write a song called "Sophia." 

(to be continued)


  1. Elvira Black

    I can’t think of any songs with “Neil” in them, but there’s a helluva lot of musicians and songwriters named Neil, like Neil Young and Neil Diamond. So now when I think of you, I’ll be singing

    “Sweet Neilotchka
    Good times never seemed so good…”

    That’s about the best I could do.

  2. The Retropolitan

    Once again, screwed by my own name.

  3. Fitèna

    I don’t care what BUM says! He might never let me use his PC again but I couldn’t resist coming over to see what you said about me!!! Speaking to yourself yet? 🙂 I love you Neil!!! (I pronounce it Nail sometimes and other times Kneel? whats the right pronounciation?)
    Am no grouch! Never been called that!!! Fi-te-na is how my mum and people in Sudan call me. Its a pet name for Fatma which is my name. Love me still!!!???
    Gotta go, fumes getting out of bum’s ears!!!

    Love you!!!


  4. Bre

    Thanks again, mom and dad, for giving me a name no one has ever heard before. :-p

  5. LisaBinDaCity

    Hey Lisa B. is sexy!!!

  6. Dustin

    I’ll always be grateful to Kansas for writing a song about me…

    Dustin the wind
    all we are is Dustin the wind
    Dustin the wind
    Dustin the wind

    Kind of has a flatulent ring to it.

  7. justrun

    That’s funny because sometimes I’ll be in a meeting or something and the word “Neilochka” will just pop into my head. Okay, more scary than funny but whatever.

  8. Cracklin' Rosie

    This is definitely my kind of post, Neil! But, ummm, I think you forgot to mention one more name that might remind you of a fabulous old song…

    Songs with girls’ names are my favorites – can’t wait to hear your Sophia tune!

    (Things that rhyme with Sophia: idea, pizzeria, psychomachia, galleria, mamma mia… good luck!)

  9. Alison

    How lovely to see my song on your list!

  10. stephanie

    yet, musical genius that i am, i can’t seem to remember any song that incorporates stephanie…

    i think a song needs to be written about me!

  11. treespotter

    i think i’m with retro here, screwed by my name again.

    definitely look forward to hear the song. one thing though, if you need help for the note, there’s a place here that will compose you a song for free. his latest is about A Sad Toaster Made of Glass.

    i like this one a lot, btw.

  12. Kevin

    Here’s an idea, we’ll start a community songwriting effort on behalf of Sophia. Neil, you start with the first line of the song, then we’ll all continue in the comments. You pick what you like and compose the song itself. That could be fun. Dangerous, yes; but fun.

    Any songs about Kevin? I found a couple for Katie already.

  13. Neil

    Kevin, sorry to tell you this, but I checked on Google and there is a rap song called RIP Kevin!

    It was a sad day (it was a sad day)
    When my homie went away ( when my homie went away)
    It was a sad day (it was a sad day)
    When Kevin went away (when Kevin went away)

    Stephanie — Eminem's Stephanie just won't do for you:

    The other day this bitch came up to me
    Said her name was Stephanie
    She was there with her friends, Vanessa, Kayla, and Katie
    They all had long blonde hair
    Right down to their butts
    With their tits hanging out
    I could tell they were sluts
    They asked me, "Eminem, can we suck your dick?"
    When I said, "Fuck no"
    They said, "Fuck you prick!"
    You're the lil whore
    You mother fucking bitch
    Wait hold on a second
    While my balls itch…….

  14. Sarah

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention Sarah…there are several! And I’m deeply hurt.
    I look forward to your song about Sophia (that’s the name of someone very close to my heart and genetics)!

  15. The Moviequill

    I’m changing my name to Angie just for you

  16. Neil

    Sarah — my apologies.

    Sarah by Ludacris —

    Sexy sarah you know she’s fine
    Sexy sarah she blows my mind
    Oh sexy sarah she is devine
    You know sarah she has her own line

    Why are you so sexy sarah
    How can you be so sexy sarah
    I don’t understand
    It is so hard to see
    How sexy sarah gets into me

    She makes me wanna bumb
    She is always doing the hump
    I mean what do you what me to do
    Sexy sarah has my shoe

  17. Neil

    And Moviequill — I already gave you the nickname of “Brown Sugar.”

  18. cruisin-mom

    story of my life…no song 🙁

  19. Leesa

    There aren’t many Leesa songs out there either. I think there’s ONE, and that’s Mona Lisa. I guess there weren’t any guys obsessed with Lisa…LOL.

  20. Pearl

    Pearl is a classic name; the Mamas & Papas recorded “Pearl” on an album called People Like Us. Janis Joplin had an album called Pearl (That was Janis’s nickname).
    And apparently, around 1970 the Jackson 5 had a hit with “Mama’s Pearl.”

  21. Trixie

    Guess I’m out…neither the blog name or the real name have songs. Bugger.

    Now I feel like shit.

  22. Neil

    Trixie — I thought you have a new hot boyfriend. Have him spend less time kissing your feet, so he can write you a song.

    Dagny — Tell me about it.  Are you asking me out on a date?

    Anne/Annie — Do you prefer John Denver's "Annie's Song" or something from the sountrack from "Annie?" 

  23. AWE

    Damn you Neil! I will be hearing that Amanda song for the next week.

  24. Dagny

    I’m starting to think that you need to get out of the house more often, Neil.

  25. Margaret

    Now I’m playing the name game:

    Sophia Sophia bo bia
    Banana fana fo fia
    me my mo mia

    Neil Neil bo beil
    banana fana fo feil
    me my mo meil

  26. Jessica

    Hey, I was named after the Allman Brothers instrumental, “Jessica” – but I often go by ‘Jess’ (which, according to Brando, is “way hotter”) but NEVER ‘Jessie’.

  27. Kevin

    I feel so… blessed?

  28. treespotter

    not to steal the show from Sophia but if anyone can do me a song, i’ll be really proud…

    and truly amazed.

  29. Neil

    Kevin –Ok, so far I have —

    Sophia, brown eyes

    And the next line is…?

  30. Jack

    La La La La La

    Just warming up the pipes.

  31. communicatrix

    Oh, ho! I smell a new mp3 download…

  32. Neil

    Communicatrix/Colleen — Never heard of it, but:

    Colleen (I saw him first)

    by Amanda Marshall

    Let me tell you about colleen
    my best friend since I was three
    she always had a taste for dangerous things
    her scandalous tongue was extreme I was always the one left holding the bag
    smiling and covering her tracks Best friends, they always do that
    she was the first one to smoke a cigarette She once let me watch her make love
    it was the kind of balance made by kings She took it all, but left me some
    I guess I always thought that she’d have my back
    But it didn’t work out like that
    the moment I laid eyes on jack

  33. Scarlet

    Did you know (and how could you not?) that there is a German Christian rock band named “Scarlet Rose” which is, in fact, my name. I think they owe me royalties or something.

  34. amanda

    yay! thanks for serenade! how perfect would it have been if “berlin” sung that song or any song called “amanda”. thanks for letting me leave such a narcissistic comment. won’t happen again. you inflate my ego. 🙂

  35. jackt

    I see a new American Idol theme episode coming. Famous songs featuring random names.

  36. Pearl

    Neil, how about this to start:

    Sophia, brown eyes,
    you see right through me
    to my soul.

    Sophia, you keep me grounded
    even if I’m not around you
    you keep me whole.

  37. Heather B.

    I can’t think of a damn thing that uses Heather. But then again, I have a whole movie about (psycho) Heathers, so not too shabby.

  38. Dan

    As a bit of unsolicited assistance: Sophia rhymes with both “gonorrhea” and, if you try real hard, “clamidia.” I’m obviously thinking of these in positive terms, such as “Sophia won’t give you gonorrhea / Oh no, not even a tad of clamidia.”

  39. Jane

    Imagine your formative years are the 80’s and all you get is a shitty one-hit-wonder with your name in it. Welcome to my (real) life.

  40. Rabbit

    I like to sing old songs containing the names of people I know too! I knew a girl named Cecilia once.

    She didn’t like me much (for the above reason, I surmise).

    Know anyone named Eileen who’s looking to be annoyed?

  41. Nance

    Neil, just co-opt the song “Maria” from the musical “West Side Story” and sub in “Sophia”. After all, it worked for Elton John with “Candle in the Wind” and his tribute to Princess Di.

  42. M.A.

    I’ll write one about Sophia! I won’t even charge you much!

  43. Dagny

    Neil, no, I was not asking you out. You could take Sophia out for a night on the town though. After you come up with her song.

    I don’t think there are any songs about Dagny but I know there are plenty about my real name. It’s just that most of the ones I know are not very nice.

  44. Tatyana

    Pearl, your name is also a title for awhole new musical, not just one song; I heard it from composer herself.

  45. claire

    Well, there’s “Planet Claire” by the B-52s, but it’s not real clear how it might apply to me.

  46. Sandra

    (whining) But Neil, I want a sooooooong!!! “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee”? I feel crushed that you’ve forgotten…


  47. miriam

    There’s a song called “I love Louisa,” my daughter’s name, but it is a clinker.

  48. Michele

    This might be a bad time, but my name is Michèle with One L and and accent grave (`) over the first e. Not Michelle.

    So maybe you aren’t singing to me after all?


    Still belle, though. I knew you loved me best.

  49. better safe than sorry

    i’m jane and there are a couple of jane songs, but i was janie on my other blog, cuz i love aerosmith, but i don’t really have a gun.

  50. Kevin


    “My Cousin Kevin,” by the Undertones.

  51. Elisabeth

    There is a Counting Crows song (on “Recovering the Satellites”) titled “Goodnight Elisabeth,” and Elisabeth is spelled with an “s” – just like my first name!

    Elvis Costello’s Allison is a huge improvement over those horrible songs by Boston and Kiss.

  52. Wendy

    51 comments. Really, that’s what it says. I’m in awe.

    I get Born to Run….

    Wendy let me in I wanna be your friend
    I want to guard your dreams and visions
    Just wrap your legs round these velvet rims
    And strap your hands across my engines

    Together wendy we’ll live with the sadness
    I’ll love you with all the madness in my soul
    Someday girl I don’t know when we’re gonna get to that place
    Where we really want to go and we’ll walk in the sun
    But till then tramps like us baby we were born to run

    Being an east coast girl (not from Jersey but married to a Jersey boy), having a Springsteen song isn’t half bad.

  53. Neil

    If there’s one conclusion I can make from this post is that MEN are the real romantic ones. Look at all the songs that MEN write about the women in their lives. And what do women write songs about? Themselves!

    “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

    “I’m a Material Girl.”

    “Dontcha Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me?”

    Where are all the songs written by women for their men like “I Love You, Joe,” “Heaven was made for Harry,” or “Crazy for You, Charlie?”

  54. Edgy Mama

    No songs with my name in them–but then no one else has my name. Makes me extremely Googable. Is that a good thing?

  55. stephanie

    ummm… not so much neil.

    and how would you feel about a neil sedaka reference made about you?

  56. mariemm3

    Neil are you going to sing us a sample of the Sophia song once you’ve written it?

    And I am glad you forgot the Guns and Roses “My Michelle” and went with Paul McCartney instead. 🙂

  57. Melissa

    Big smile… Melissa is in fact my real name, and I adore that song. If you weren’t already married I’d fall madly in love with you just for that.

  58. Dagny

    Neil, Jill Scott writes a number of songs about her husband. She just doesn’t use his name in her songs.

  59. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    WOW! I’m a song writer, maybe I can write a song about Sophia! How did you ever come to visit my blog, dear Neilotchka! There are 57 people who commentec before me…My Lordy….do you visit all of these people? You must be glued to your computer chair…

    “Sophia….I once knew a girl named Sophia….”….Oh no. that was already written….Hmmmm

    Well, let me think this one over for a little bit longer…Okay?

  60. Lynn

    No Lynn song?

  61. Deb_LA

    Sophia, oh Sophia

    Don’t make me pee on ya…

    Little too Ricky Martin?

  62. mysterygirl!

    Is there really a Mysterygirl song? (Of course the part that caught my eye was about myself)

  63. Neil

    Mystery Girl by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

    It was the struggle of the century
    and all the grown men came to see
    the girl who tamed the tiger yeah yeah
    the heart of southern Lovebirds
    they found her under the sea
    she said she came from cell block three
    the girl hit hot like a barracuda baby
    she floated on air like a crest of wave
    she was a primal instituation she was a danger to herself yeah

    Mad loving by the cold hearted
    Take a big breath cos we just started

    Mystery Girl
    Mystery Girl
    keep on faking your mystery world
    Cos the mystery boys will be your toys yeah
    Cos the Mystery boys will be your toys

  64. TWM

    For Heaven’s sake please get that picture of that curly-haired guy off the top of your blog. He looks like Arnold Horshack with a bad tan. Gives me the creeps.

  65. mysterygirl!

    Oh, I know that song! There’s even a barracuda in it! Nice.

  66. michelle

    Neil, you smell like lemon peel
    left inside a buick oldsmobile
    eyes of teal
    that make me squeal

    You make me feel so real Neil!

    yeah yeah


    (There. Now you have your own song.)


  67. Gillian

    for Stephanie who had no song:

    Tennis Pro does a song called Stephanie. Downloadable from iTunes. And it has “lolli lolli lolli” bits in it, which I personally find to be a good thing.

    My own song is “Just Like A Gillian Welch Song” by Split Lip Rayfield. Which is obviously not about ME per se, but it’s rare to find someone who pronounces it the same way Ms. Welch and I do.

  68. paintergirl

    I have a 1950’s instrumental with my name.

    It makes me smile because I pretend I’m in La Dolce Vita.

  69. Chris

    Nerina Pallot – ‘Sophia’

  70. jennifer

    I’ve always wondered if I’d have more boyfriends if I changed my number to 867-5309.

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