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Songs about famous people

Created by mk87 on 22 Feb 2018 | Last edited by mk87 on 18 Mar 2018

This collection is dedicated to songs about famous people. I will only include songs that in some way tell about the life and fame of a well-known person or elaborate on the performers' admiration for them based on their profession.

I won't include songs such as "Cry Me a River", which is said to have been written by Justin Timberlake about his and Britney Spears' breakup or "Hey Jude", which is about John Lennon's son, who wasn't famous at the time the song was written. Furthermore, I won't include songs such as "Marvin Gaye" that only mention some famous person at some point during the lyrics but are not actually about that person.

Elton John wrote this song in 1973 in remembrance of Marilyn Monroe, who had died in 1962 at age 36.

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled

Elton John re-wrote this song in 1997 for Princess Diana, who had also died at age 36.

Goodbye England's rose
May you ever grow in our hearts
You were the grace that placed itself
Where lives were torn apart

Rosenstolz's lead singer AnNa R. tells us in this song that she wants to be just as beautiful and desired as Greta Garbo. However, she realises that she will never be as divine, no matter how hard she tries.

Färbe mir die Haare blond
Steck sie hoch wie Greta – Greta
Denn alle Männer dieser Welt
Lieben nur die Greta – Greta

Преводи:  енглески

It's a beautifully written song about man's search for both spirituality and enlightenment based on the life of Galileo.

How long 'til my soul gets it right
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light
I call on the resting soul of Galileo king of night vision
King of insight

This song is about Marlene Dietrich. Actually it's another song in which the singer tells us that her attempts at being just like her favourite diva fail miserably.

Oh, quelle désillusion
Je voulais tant lui ressembler
Vous ensorceler, vous 'Marlèniser'
L'Ange Bleu, pour moi c'est raté

This R.E.M. song is a tribute to American comedian Andy Kaufman, who had died at age 35. There were many rumours that his death was just a major hoax (the same way there are still rumours that the moon landing was faked – hence the title).

Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

A song by Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot, who retell the story of famous gangster duo Bonnie and Clyde – en français !

De toute façon, ils ne pouvaient plus s'en sortir
La seule solution c'était mourir
Mais plus d'un les a suivis en enfer
Quand sont morts Barrow et Bonnie Parker

песма | немачки Falco

- suggested by 3oudicca -

Rumour has is that Falco never liked this song, which is more of a novelty piece of music than most of his other songs. It describes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose musical style was revolutionary in his day, as a "punk of his time".

Er war Superstar
Er war populär
Er war so exaltiert
Because er hatte Flair

- suggested by 3oudicca -

It might disputable whether these lyrics about Grigori Rasputin are historically accurate, but this is a catchy disco tune by German group Boney M.

He ruled the Russian land and never mind the Czar
But the kasatschok he danced really wunderbar
In all affairs of state he was the man to please
But he was real great when he had a girl to squeeze

- suggested by 3oudicca -

Another take on a historical figure (who was actually called Ma Barker) by Boney M.

She was the meanest cat
Oh she was really tough
She left her husband flat
He wasn't tough enough

- suggested by 3oudicca -

According to wikipedia, Michael Collins was "was an Irish revolutionary, soldier and politician who was a leading figure in the early 20th century Irish struggle for independence". I have yet to learn more about him, but this classic folk song is a nice one.

At Easter nineteen sixteen when Pearse called them out
The men from the Dublin battalion roved out
And in the pos toffice they nobley did show
How a handful of heros could outfight the foe

Преводи:  вијетнамски

- suggested by 3oudicca -

This song literally retells the story of Alexander the Great, not shy of including many historical details. Generally, these lyrics have a surprisingly narrative structure for a heavy metal song.

In a part of ancient Greece
In an ancient land called Macedonia
Was born a son
To Philip of Macedon

- suggested by Higgs Boson -

The title says it all.

Hear this Robert Zimmerman
I wrote a song for you
About a strange young man called Dylan
With a voice like sand and glue

- suggested by Alma Barroca -

We miss Whitney Houston, don't we?

But no goodbyes, you’ll always be Miss America
We watched you fly, but nothing’s free Miss America
And as you fall apart, we just call it art
Was it so hard to breathe?

- suggested by maluca -

One of many songs about Janis Joplin. You can find more examples in the comment section.

Into my life on waves of electrical sound
And flashing light she came,
Into my life with the twist of a dial
The wave of her hand — the warmth of her smile.

Преводи:  немачки

- suggested by stary night -

The lyrics refer to Van Gogh's most famous work "The Starry Night". Don McLean explains how he can tell the painter's suffering from this stirring painting.

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

The song is a paean to Elvis Presley. Co-writer Christopher Ward, who was Myles' then-boyfriend, was inspired on a bus full of Elvis fans riding to Memphis attending the 10th anniversary vigil at Graceland, in 1987. (wikipedia)

Up in Memphis the music's like a heat wave
White Lightnin' bound to drive you wild
Mama's baby's in the heart of ev'ry school girl
Love Me Tender leaves 'em cryin' in the aisle

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

It's about the late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. It's an imaginary description of his funeral.

Mil años tardó en morirse
Pero por fin la palmó
Los muertos del cementerio
Están de Fiesta Mayor

Преводи:  енглески
песма | шпански Mecano

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

It's an eulogy for Salvador Dalí.

Dalí se desdibuja
Tirita su burbuja
Al descontar latidos
Dalí se decolora

- suggested by Trompetista -

It's obvious who this song is about.

Бе непобедим
(И се казваше...)
И ни е любим
(И се казваше...)

- suggested by Maria Kritikou -

A very nice little Russian song about Uma Thurman.

Я смотрю на тебя, в телевизоре ты,
А я на диване, в городе N зима.
Скоро выходы все и входы завалит
Травма черепно-мозговая, моя любовь.

- suggested by SilentRebel83 -

A not-so-charming song about Jessica Simpson.

Jessica Simpson, where has your love gone?
It's not in your music, no
You need a vacation, to wake up the cavemen
And take them to Mexico

Преводи:  румунски

- suggested by SilentRebel83 -

A song about sex idol David Duchovny. Actually, this was already released years before his Californication phase when he was still known for the X Files.

David Duchovny, why won't you love me?
Why won't you love me? Why won't you love me?
David Duchovny, why won't you love me?
Why won't you love me? Why won't you love me?

- suggested by Maria Kritikou -

Someone's got a little celebrity crush on Hermione...

So take a good look at me
I'll show you everything
Cuz you showed me magic
Can I be the ordinary guy for you

Преводи:  српски грчки

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

About Makarios III and his exile after the Turkish invasion in 1974.

En su despacho presidencial
Su eminencia lo intuye, algo va mal
oigo voces fuera, qué es lo que pasa
los turcos han rodeado la casa

Преводи:  енглески
песма | шпански Asfalto

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

About Charles Lindbergh Jr, waiting in heaven for his dad.

Sentado en una nube
cree que ya le ve venir
pilotando su aparato
el viejo "Espíritu de San Luis"

Преводи:  немачки енглески

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

About Muhammad XII of Granada (also known as Boabdil). The legend says that when the Catholic Monarchs conquered Granada in 1492 and ejected the moors, Boabdil gave a last look back to the city and gave a loud sigh.

Dicen que es verdad
que su alma está
encantada por perder un día a Granada
y que lloraba

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

About Karen Ann Quinlan.

Karen ya no tiene flores en el pelo
Los ángeles no pueden llevarla hasta el cielo
Karen ha tirado la casa por la ventana
Karen es ahora una diosa aletargada

Преводи:  енглески

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

About the suicide of Spanish bullfighter Juan Belmonte.

Para, manda y templa.
Belmonte nunca tiembla.
Seduce a tus amigos
y diles la verdad.

Преводи:  енглески

- suggested by Maluca -

About Christina Onassis.

Cris…, Cris…, Cristina
suspira y fantasea con que la piropea un albañil
Cris…, Cris…, Cristina
que un botones vea si le puede conseguir pastillas para dormir.

- suggested by Maluca -

About Chavela Vargas.

Las amarguras no son amargas
cuando las canta Chavela Vargas
y las escribe un tal José Alfredo.

Преводи:  енглески немачки

- suggested by Diazepan Medina -

It's about Dionisio Rodríguez Martín (known as El Dioni). He was a former safety guard in an enterprise, and then he was downsized to driver. In 1989, while he was in charge of the custody of a van with 300 millions of pesetas, he ran off with the truck to his car, passed the money bags to the car, drove to the airport and fled to Brazil with the money where he wasted it. He was arrested 2 months after and spent 6 years in prision. Joaquin wrote this song for him for having a good pair of balls to scape with the money.

Con su buen par de zapatos de cocodrilo
no se le resiste ni la Venus de Milo
sobre todo si te pagan por un francés
dos veces lo que ganaba en Madrid currando un mes.

Преводи:  енглески

- suggested by maluca -

This is Muhammad Ali's theme song.

Muhammad, was known to have said
You watch me shuffle and I'll jab off your head
He moves like the black superman
And calls to the other guy: "I'm Ali, catch me if you can"

- suggested by makis 17 -

Don McLean's song "American Pie" is generally regarded as a tribute to Buddy Holly and a commentary on how rock and roll changed in the years since his death. There are thought to be several Dylan references in the song.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his widowed bride
Something touched me deep inside
The day the music died

- suggested by Janet001 -

About Evita Perón.

So I chose freedom
Running around, trying everything new
But nothing impressed me at all
I never expected it too

- suggested by Janet001 -

Caruso, the story of the great tenor, as sung by the composer Lucio Dalla and Luciano Pavarotti.

Vide le luci in mezzo al mare
Pensò alle notti la in America
Ma erano solo le lampare
E la bianca scia di un'elica

- suggested by St. Sol -

The song is dedicated to the life and work of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516).

В комнате луч света
Тишиной храним
В тишине шатаясь
Пляшет Иероним

песма | Quechua Luzmila Carpio

- suggested by maluca -

This song is about Bartolina Sisa, who together with her husband commanded an uprising of the indigenous people in Bolivia against the Spaniards.

Bartolina Sisa warmi
Uraqisaw ch'amanitaw
Jumatapuniw amtastwa
Quli Bartolina

Преводи:  шпански

- suggested by maluca -

Juana Azurduy was another leader of armed forces fighting the Spaniards in Bolivia.

Juana Azurduy
Flor del Alto Perú
No hay otro capitán
Más valiente que tú

Преводи:  енглески немачки
Коментари
3oudicca    Четвртак, 22/02/2018 - 21:07

Falco - Rock me, Amadeus
Boney M - Rasputin
Boney M - Ma Baker
The Wolfe Tones - Michael Collins
Iron Maiden - Alexander the Great

mk87    Четвртак, 22/02/2018 - 21:29

Thank you for your suggestions, I'm going to add them one after another. Regular smile

maluca    Петак, 23/02/2018 - 02:37

Probably worth a collection of its own...

mk87    Понедељак, 26/02/2018 - 09:43

Thanks for all you latest suggestions. I've updated the collection. If there was more than one suggestion for one famous person, I've always picked my favourite.

Diazepan Medina    Четвртак, 08/03/2018 - 15:06

About Makarios III and his exile after the Turkish invasion in 1974
https://lyricstranslate.com/es/un-pinguino-en-mi-ascensor-arzobispo-maka...

About Charles Lindbergh Jr, waiting in heaven for his dad
https://lyricstranslate.com/es/asfalto-el-hijo-de-lindbergh-lyrics.html

About Muhammad XII of Granada (also known as Boabdil). The legend says that when the Catholic Monarchs conquered Granada in 1492 and ejected the moors, Boabdil gave a last look back to the city and gave a loud sigh.
https://lyricstranslate.com/es/los-puntos-llorando-por-granada-lyrics.html

About Karen Ann Quinlan
https://lyricstranslate.com/es/glutamato-ye-ye-la-balada-de-karen-quinla...

About the suicide of Juan Belmonte (spanish bullfighter)
https://lyricstranslate.com/es/gabinete-caligari-sangre-espa%C3%B1ola-ly...

Diazepan Medina    Четвртак, 08/03/2018 - 21:01

Another one by Joaquin Sabina
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/joaquin-sabina-con-un-par-lyrics.html

It's about Dionisio Rodríguez Martín (known as El Dioni). He was a former safety guard in an enterprise, and then he was downsized to driver. In 1989, while he was in charge of the custody of a van with 300 millions of pesetas, he ran off with the truck to his car, passed the money bags to the car, drove to the airport and fled to Brazil with the money where he wasted it. He was arrested 2 months after and spent 6 years in prision. Joaquin wrote this song for him for having a good pair of balls to scape with the money.

mk87    Петак, 09/03/2018 - 04:48

Thank you very much for all your new suggestions. I’m going to add them all today.

mk87    Петак, 09/03/2018 - 17:48

That's a good one, I just can't find the lyrics.

mk87    Петак, 09/03/2018 - 18:02

Perfect! Thank you!

Janet001    Петак, 09/03/2018 - 18:22

Wow, maluca, you float like a butterfly too! That was super fast with the lyrics.

maluca    Недеља, 11/03/2018 - 14:22

It's just google and then copy+paste...

Janet001    Уторак, 13/03/2018 - 01:28

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/me-enamor%C3%A9-i-feel-love.html

Me enamoré by Shakira, about her partner Gerard Piqué who plays for FC Barcelona and Spain.
Not long after they met while shooting the Waka Waka video in Madrid, she told him on the phone that she was going to sing at the World Cup final, to which he replied:
Voy a ganar para poderte ver en la final.
I am going to win so that I can see you at the final.
And that's how Spain won World Cup 2010 and Gerard the girl!

Janet001    Уторак, 13/03/2018 - 01:28

Just one more:
https://lyricstranslate.com/en/Carly-Simon-Youre-So-Vain-lyrics.html
Carly Simon - You're So Vain
For over 40 years, questions flew - Who is it? Is it him or him or him? Carly kept mum, until 2014 when she disclosed that verse 2 is about Warren Beatty:
You had me several years ago
When I was still quite naive.
Well, you said that we made such a pretty pair
And that you would never leave
But you gave away the things you loved
And one of them was me.

maluca    Недеља, 18/03/2018 - 01:56

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/luzmila-carpio-bartolina-sisa-lyrics.html
This song is about Bartolina Sisa, who together with her husband commanded an uprising of the indigenous people in Bolivia against the Spaniards.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartolina_Sisa

https://lyricstranslate.com/en/mercedes-sosa-juana-azurduy-lyrics.html
Juana Azurduy was another leader of armed forces fighting the Spaniards in Bolivia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juana_Azurduy_de_Padilla