No, Everly Brothers, I won't wake up!

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

My name is Suzi and I grew up cringing every time someone broke out in Wake up little Susie upon learning my name. Thanks Everly Brothers. It can be pretty tedious when you've heard it a thousand times.

While I'm sure parents do their very best to choose names that will wear well for life, absolutely no-one can predict what will happen to a name down the track. 

I'm betting parents of ten-year-old kids named Alexa are shaking their heads in mass disbelief.

Take my friend Duncan, for example (I bet you instantly know where I'm going with this, Slim). He was born a decade before the number one hit song embedded itself in the Australian psyche in 1981 with Slim Dusty's earworm lyrics, "I love to have a beer with Duncan. I love to have a beer with Dunc."

Even so, his entire family thought it was a great idea to hand every guest at his 40th birthday party a piece of paper printed with the lyrics, before calling for quiet and blasting the song for everyone to sing to poor, unsuspecting Duncan.

Did he find it funny? After a lifetime of hearing it, it was most definitely not funny.

What was funny though, was how many people heard the idea and agreed to it, with no-one realising it was in fact, a terrible idea.

This example epitomises the unrelenting tedium of having a name everyone has a pop culture reference for.

Admittedly the song When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along) was around long before Brisbane dad Robin was born.


He is keen to stress that he is not here for anyone's rendition of the 1926 hit, which was dredged up more than eight times over the decades by artists such as Doris Day, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin.

Sydney mum Adeline also shared her daily Year 4 torture with Essential Baby.

"My Year 4 teacher made the class sing Sweet Adeline to me everyday (in rounds). So embarrassing."

Yep, that's mortifying.

Even Gen X and Millennnial Sarahs have something to complain about thanks to Starship's song Sara, which stayed at number one for three weeks in 1986, rendering all the young Saras of the world prone to be being sung at by old people at barbecues.

And every Samantha I know of a certain age has had the Samantha Fox thing mentioned a zillion times.

But here's one that trumps Duncan, Robin and Adeline, at least in an Australian context.

Brisbane mum Khesanh must hear a Cold Chisel reference every day of her life.

She says, "Whenever I say my name the first words out of their mouths are, 'So your parents must have been Cold Chisel fans.'"

"When I used to work in a bar with a name tag... guys would scream at the top of their lungs 'Khhheeeeessssaaaannnhhh,'" she adds.

With the advent of social media, Khesanh is getting more sleep these days. She explains, "My friends would ring me at 2am when Khesanh would be played at the pub and leave me voicemails... I get Snapchats these days" 

But could there be a silver lining?

Khesanh says she really likes having such a famous name.

"I actually love it. Even though most people don't know how to pronounce it or spell it I love my name."

She explains, " When I'm applying for jobs or anything that needs me to stand out, it's great. People will often say, 'Yeah, the girl with the funny name.'"

Blue Mountains dad Alan agrees that his name being associated with the song You Can Call Me Al has inspired a lot of positive interactions with others.

He says people often mimic the 'horn section riff' at him but he takes it all in his stride.

"I don't mind it all. I tend to riff with them. It can be an icebreaker with new people and it's a riff that puts a smile on your face."

Fair call Al.

Maybe the difference in attitude can be found in whether someone just hates the attention - introverts vs extroverts.

My dad played You Can Call Me Al enough times that I saw it as the ultimate cringe-worthy song, but I really dig the way Alan has made it his own and turned it into a positive for human connection.

It's a theme many others can relate to.

After the song Jesse's Girl by Rick Springfield ruined Jesse McClaren's life, he asked the question on Twitter recently.

He got some pretty funny replies.

The thread even garnered responses from Zelda Williams and Monica Lewinsky, proving no-one is immune.

Jesse posted his favourite responses on Instagram - they're well worth a look.


Some of the best responses out of 33,000.

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