If you’re looking to put together a playlist of songs with the name Mary in the title, then look no further. Happily, the name Mary has given musicians plenty of inspiration over the years, so there are plenty of songs about Mary to choose from.
I’ve compiled my favorite picks, which will hopefully contain a few of your favorites too. So, let’s get straight to it and take a look at the first song…
- Top 8 Songs With the Name Mary in the Title
- Want to Find More Songs About People?
- Songs With the Name Mary in the Title – Final Thoughts
Top 8 Songs With the Name Mary in the Title
Proud Mary by Creedence Clearance Revival
In a large catalog of work, I’d go as far as to say that this is one of their best songs. It was released in 1969 from the album Bayou Country. The single made it to #2 on the US Billboard charts and sold a million records. It got to #8 in the UK and sold two hundred thousand copies.
It was written by John Fogarty following his discharge from the National Guard. This is important because having left the confines of military service means his desire to write a song about shaking off the shackles of drudgery makes a lot more sense.
The song is essentially about leaving a bustling city where the singer is working low-paid jobs for “the man.” In search of a better, simpler life, the singer jumps on board a riverboat to find work. The riverboat is called “Proud Mary,” and this is where the song title comes from.
Contrary to what many think, “Proud Mary” has nothing to do with drugs…
It is a song of hope where people can pursue their dreams away from greed and the corporate world. A place where happiness is valued more than wealth. The sentiments are still valued as much today as ever, although they very rarely seem to be followed.
“Proud Mary” is probably Creedence Clearwater Revival’s most recognizable piece of music after their protest song, “Fortunate Son.” Frankly, I think the latter is the better of the two, although I’m a fan of both.
The Wind Cries Mary by Jimi Hendrix
I love this song with the name Mary in it, and I feel it’s vastly underestimated. It’s often overlooked for more popular songs like “Purple Haze,” “Little Wing,” and “Voodoo Child.” However, this beautiful ballad has plenty to offer.
“The Wind Cries Mary” is a touching love song dedicated to Kathy Etchingham. At the time of writing the song, in 1967 and whilst he was in the UK, she was Jimi Hendrix’s girlfriend.
Her middle name was Mary…
The song is considered to be a tribute to Etchingham because one of the lines in the song refers to the singer sweeping broken crockery.
This was a reference to Jim Hendrix clearing up after an argument where pretty much everything was thrown at the floor and the walls. Quite frankly, I find it hard to conjure the image of Jimi Hendrix sweeping the floor.
The song was only released on an A-side in the UK, where it subsequently went to #8. In the US, it was released as a B-side to the phenomenally popular “Purple Haze.”
The song is mostly a stripped backtrack compared to his other music and features restrained drumming, bass, and guitar. I like it a lot, not least because it’s pretty much one of the only Jimi Hendrix songs I can play and do justice to.
Cross-Eyed Mary by Jethro Tull
Jethro Tull is a British Prog Rock band that has been playing music since 1967 and surprisingly, is still going strong to this day. They’re led by their charismatic lead singer, Ian Anderson. As well as being the lead vocalist, he’s also a self-taught flutist.
“Cross-Eyed Mary” was released in 1971 as a track from the amazing album, Aqualung. It was never released as a single. And, when we delve into the lyrics a little more deeply, the reason for this becomes apparent.
Thankfully, it was included on the album, which happened to be the band’s commercially most successful.
Aqualung reached the Top 10 in the US and the UK, and it sold over seven million copies worldwide. It was very much a concept album, fundamentally dealing with the concepts of religion and faith on a wider scale. When “Cross-Eyed Mary” is viewed within this context, it makes a lot more sense.
So, what’s it all about?
The main character is a childhood prostitute who spends her working time with older men. She then professes to prefer these older me over the younger boys at school and laughs about it all. It’s frankly a shocking topic, and it’s very much supposed to be. The whole point is to challenge the status quo and try to get people to question the morality of things going on all around them.
It’s a great song about someone named Mary that’s made all the better by Ian Anderson’s incredible flute playing and vocal performance. What’s more, he does all of this when playing live whilst dancing around on one leg. What a legend!
Mary, Don’t You Weep by Aretha Franklin
There’s no doubt that Aretha Franklin was one the greatest female vocalist of all time. There are very few who can come even close to matching her incredible voice. When it came to singing Soul, R&B, Jazz, or Gospel, she was unmatched.
“Mary, Don’t You Weep” was a live performance that was recorded in 1972. It was recorded and subsequently included on the album, Amazing Grace. You can hear that she poured every ounce of herself into it.
Given the song’s theme and the struggles in her own life, it’s clear why it feels so powerful, authentic, and heartfelt. And why it’s one of the best songs with the name Mary in the title.
The history of the song goes back to the Fisk Jubilee Singers in 1915.
Since then, the song has become a Gospel and Soul classic. It has been covered by numerous artists, including the brilliant Jazz guitarist Eric Gale in 1977 and Rock superstar Bruce Springsteen in 2006.
The song is about the appalling hardships of black slaves in the American Civil War. It was written during this time, so when it was eventually recorded, it was already over one hundred and fifty years old.
It was written as a comfort for the slaves to help them cope with the inhumane conditions they were forced to endure.
The song signified hope…
And it is thought to be based on the story in the bible where Mary begs Jesus for Lazarus, her dead brother, to be brought back to life. The song, like the biblical story, gives hope that God is all around, will protect them, and will not forsake them.
It’s an emotional song featuring the name Mary in the title that Aretha Franklin does full justice to.
Mary, Mary by Run D.M.C.
This goes back to 1966 when it was first penned and then recorded in the same year by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Hardly surprisingly, given the name of the band, it was a Blues/Rock song. “Mary, Mary” was included on their album, East-West, but was never released as a single.
Two years later, The Monkees picked it up. And although it appeared on the album, More of the Monkees, it was never released as a single in the US. That’s not quite factually correct, so let me add a bit of further explanation.
Although it wasn’t released as a single in the traditional sense, the record company still produced a physical recording of the song. However, the end product ended up as a free giveaway in a breakfast cereal promotion. Ouch!
Happily, in 1978…
Those crazy happy Run D.M.C. guys made a brilliant cover but wisely chose to steer clear of all breakfast-based products. They put their spin on the track, and frankly, they did a great job.
So much so that it reached #18 on the US Dance charts. The album it was taken off, Tougher Than Leather, ended up selling millions of records just in the US.
I love their Dance/Rap cover of “Mary, Mary”…
It’s got loads of energy, and if the video is anything to go by, it looked like a lot of fun to make too. There’s even a bit of scratching on there that takes me back to the 80s.
So, if you are into Hip Hop and Rap, this has to be one of the best songs with the name Mary in the title.
Blind Mary by Gnarls Barkley
When it was released, it seemed to be played constantly on the radio. A great song, although I prefer the much more soulful “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul.”
So, what about “Blind Mary”?
“Blind Mary” is about a woman who loves unconditionally. She has no interest in material things and has a pureness of soul. She is blind, and because of this, she is not judgemental and is only concerned about real feelings and emotions.
I’ve already stated that I’m a fan of the band, and I also love productions by Danger Mouse… usually. However, I think they’ve dropped the ball as far as the mixing goes with this one. The vocals are frankly a little lost under a wall of sound from the instruments.
Mary’s Song (Oh My My My) by Taylor Swift
These days, if I make any kind of playlist, Taylor Swift always seems to have a song that fits the bill. For this one, I’ve had to go back to 2006 and the release of her debut album, the self-titled Taylor Swift.
The album includes the smash hits “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Tim McGraw,” “Picture to Burn,” “Our Song,” and “Should’ve Said No.” However, “Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” never became a hit since it wasn’t released as a single.
It’s a shame, but as the album sold over seven million copies globally, the record company knew what they were doing.
It’s a great song…
Lyrically as well as musically, it’s pure Country. I have to say that, vocally, Taylor Swift sounds noticeably different from how she sounds today. She sounds surprisingly similar to Carrie Underwood, which I haven’t noticed on any of her other songs.
“Mary’s Song (Oh My My My)” is an uplifting song about the beautiful relationship of an old couple. It was written by Taylor Swift when she was still living at home, and it’s based on the old couple who lived next door.
They were still in love, they showed it, and were also happy to talk about their relationship and how they met. It’s so refreshing to see a song with such positivity about relationships.
Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
The band was formed in 1976 and has such a large catalog of songs that this is one that nearly slipped past. Thankfully, it didn’t because it’s such a great song and includes everything I like about the band.
It as was released in 1993 from the Greatest Hits album. The single went to #14 on the US Billboard charts. Incredibly, this was their first hit on the Top 100 Billboard charts during the 90s. The sales of the album went crazy. It sold 13 million copies and won a Grammy for good measure.
“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” has a lot of possible meanings…
Tom Petty never disclosed what it all meant, but it’s fair to say that there are two main themes running through the song.
The first topic revolves around Tom Petty and his wife. He acknowledges that despite all their arguments and issues, he appreciates that she was able to keep the family together whilst he was touring.
The second topic is about drugs…
That’s because “Mary Jane” is a common slang word for marijuana. Tom Petty was a user. He explains in the song that this was both for creative purposes as well as for pain management.
It’s a great Rock song with an instantly recognizable riff. I guarantee you that if you listen, you’ll immediately remember it. A great track to close the list of songs that use the name Mary.
Want to Find More Songs About People?
If so, take a look at our detailed articles on the Top Songs With the Name John or Johnny in the Title, the Top Songs With The Name Jennifer In The Title, the Top Songs With the Name Olivia in the Title, and the Top Songs with the Name Ruby in the Title for more great song selections.
Of course, you need to hear them. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Best Headphones For Rock & Metal Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, and the Best Headphones Under $200 you can buy in 2023.
Songs With the Name Mary in the Title – Final Thoughts
So, there you have it. That was a real blast, and I’ve had a stack of fun looking back and compiling a list of some of the best songs with Mary in the title. I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too, and I hope it’s given you a bit of a start in compiling your list of favorites.
Until next time, happy listening.