Claire is not a weird name, but I would call it just weird enough. I was only ever in one class with another Claire. I never knew other Claires or had other Claire friends. I could never find customized “Claire” knick knacks, like the tacky keychains and bracelets you can get at twirly displays at the beach. I know what you’re thinking: “But I live in a world full of Claires!” or “I am surrounded by Claires!” or “My actual name is Claire, you can’t deny my Claire-ish existence!” I get it. You may live in a more Claire filled world than I do, and if you do, please send me a keychain. I still want one.
Until I get that keychain, I thought it would be fun to make a customized list of Claire songs for all the Claires out there. Also it’s Songs Featuring Girls Names week over here at Charm City Jukebox, and I figured I’m a girl, with a name, so lets find some songs. (I told Joshua that he should write about Joshua Tree this week. He declined, on the grounds that U2 is the worst.)
“Clair,” by Gilbert O’Sullivan
There’s this quality to some 70s music that is uncomfortable because it makes me so…happy. The whistling, the horns, the high pitched voice—it’s like junk food for my soul. Gilbert O’Sullivan makes David Cassidy sound like Al Green. This song is painfully cheesy, but the first few bars give me this sunny, smiley feeling, until that line where he says something about their age difference and the marriage thing, and then the song takes a slightly weird turn. I thought for a while that this was a Gilbert O’Sullivan take on “Isn’t She Lovely” but Clair wasn’t his daughter, or even a relative–she was the daughter of his manager. I would, in general, advise musicians not to make love songs about other people’s young children. But according to this very strange YouTube link, which may be 100% false, Clair Mills of “Clair” fame is alive and well and has nothing but warm regards for her fuzzy haired pop crooner family friend.
“Secret Life of Claire,” by Jill Sobule
You could make a girl’s name songs list entirely based on Jill Sobule songs (Top 5 Jill Sobule Girls Name Songs: Secret Life of Claire, Karen at Night, Lucy at the Gym, Mary Kay, Margaret) The chorus has this fun bouncy “Listen to this while you get ready! Feel like you’re in a romantic comedy, Claires of the world!” sound to it, but really it’s a nice song about an old woman with memory problems, kind of like Jill Sobule’s Claire-themed take on Elvis Costello’s “Veronica.”
“Claire,” by Rheostatic
I think this is my favorite one so far, just for the video. The tuxes, the big paper mache masks and night sky backdrop, the girls in little body suits and candy colored tights, muted by that funny dim 90s sitcom lighting. Listening to this song is like watching a “Friends” marathon, or listening to Soul Asylum—it’s so pure and dated that it looks like it was plucked out of a not-very-old time capsule. And you can’t get a much better “Claire” song—not only are about half the words “Claire,” but they close the song by spelling it repeatedly for a minute and a half.
“Planet Claire,” by The B52s
Every couple years someone sends me this song with the same message: “THIS IS YOUR THEME SONG!”
They think they’re being clever, but technically they’re right. My parents worked for a radio station, and a DJ at the station played this song the day I was born in honor of my birth. So if a theme song is what you enter with, this is mine.
“Oh Claire,” by Cheap Trick
Hey—what do you think this song is about? Secret love? Ghosts? Suicide pact? I just spent a weird half hour on Cheap Trick message boards, and here’s what I learned:
- Cheap Trick has two songs called “Oh Claire”—one is this little ditty, and the other is a minute long song where the only lyrics are “Konichiwa.”
- People think Cheap Trick inspired the Beatles. There’s a serious timeline problem here! How can you think that! This isn’t even a dig against Cheap Trick, who are mostly fine in my book, but still! Look, I’ll be straight with you, I got off that message board because I was about to make the rookie internet mistake of commenting on a message board, and I could see into the future (like I guess the Beatles could, when it came to Cheap Trick), and I saw me having a week long heated argument on a Cheap Trick board. So I didn’t do it, mostly because I’m trying to keep Claires off the Cheap Trick radar lest they write another Claire song before I figure out this one out (“Message Board Claire/ I spoke to John Lennon last night/Oh Message Board Claire/It was all true/Sorry you wasted a week on this/Think of the hours you spend watching Bravo/Paul Mccartney says “Did you see Bethenny this week?”/Message Board Claire”)