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Baby Names Based on Bob Dylan Songs

Photograph by Twenty20

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame calls Bob Dylan "the uncontested poet laureate of the rock 'n' roll era and the pre-eminent singer/songwriter of modern times." And his classic songs from "Blowin' in the Wind" and "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" are goldmines of baby name inspiration for the littlest Bob Dylan fans.

SARA

Popularity rank in the U.S.: #167

Meaning: Lady, princess, noblewoman

"Radiant jewel the love of my life ..." Dylan released the song "Sara" on his 1976 "Desire" album, and it's one of his romantic ballads. Sara was Dylan's wife and the mother of four of his children and was the inspiration for some of his most adoring and heartbroken songs. The name comes from the Hebrew for "noblewoman" or "princess" and was the name of Abraham's wife in the Old Testament. "So easy to look at, so hard to define ..." Dylan's lyrics celebrate the fascinating enigma of your own small, captivating Sara.

QUINN

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 363

Meaning: Descendant of the chief

"The Mighty Quinn" is a rollicking tune that predicts "everybody's gonna jump for joy" when Quinn arrives. Dylan included the song in his 1970 "Self Portrait" album. Quinn comes from an Irish surname that means "descendant of the chief" in Gaelic -- Quinn is the anglicized version of the Gaelic O Cuinn. "You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn," Dylan declared. It won't be hard for you to agree when that mega-watt smile is beaming up at you from the crib.

ISIS

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 706

Meaning: Throne

In Egyptian mythology, the goddess Isis controlled nature and the sky and gave birth to Horus, the god of time. In Dylan mythology, Isis represents an odyssey of the adventurous male hero being drawn back to the irresistible woman he loves. "What drives me to you is what drives me insane," Dylan sang. "I can still remember the way that you smiled ..." Isis is the title of a song on Dylan's 1976 "Desire" album, aptly named.

ROMEO

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 341

Meaning: Pilgrim to Rome

Early Dylan was a combustible mix of folk, rock, melody and myth. "Highway 61 Revisited" was a 1965 album that contained the unusually long song "Desolation Row." At more than 11 minutes, it wove together fiction, history, the Bible, Dylan's imagination and some superb riffs by guitarist Charlie McCoy. Romeo was one of many iconic characters Dylan sang about in lyrics that capture urban chaos. The name is the Italian form of the Latin Romaeus and belongs forever to that compelling star-crossed lover whose tender heart forever embraced his Juliet. Romeo is the name of one of soccer star David Beckham's sons as well.

RAMONA

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

Meaning: Protector, adviser

"Ramona" is a song on Dylan's 1964 album "Another Side of Bob Dylan." This side of him tries to convince a magnetic country lass that she is worth far more than she can ever know. "I'd forever talk to you," he croons. Ramona is a Southern girl in Dylan's pantheon whose name traveled from the Old German, through the Normans to England and became the English Raymond, the Spanish Ramon, and the feminine Ramona. It's a rare name today in the U.S., so your Ramona can own it in kindergarten and beyond.

CORINNA

Popularity rank in the U.S.: Not ranked

Meaning: Maiden

"Corrina, Corrina, gal, you're on my mind..." The Bob Dylan of 1963 immortalized his "Kah-reena" in "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" with lush blues harmonica riffs and a warbling lament for the girl he left behind. Baby Corinna will be just as hard to leave, an ever-present joy to lure you into playing hooky from the rest of life so you can spend time with her. Corinna, an uncommon name, comes from the Greek word for maiden, "kore," and might refer to the harvest goddess Persephone, queen of the underworld and center of an ancient agrarian cult.

ANGELINA

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 153

Meaning: Angel

"Farewell Angelina" was a single that Dylan wrote in 1965 to romanticize his on-the-road life. "Farewell Angelina, the sky is changing colors, and I must leave ..." conveyed his regrets to the invented Angelina and the other loves his heart turned to, even as his wanderlust drew him away. Angelina is the Latin diminutive of Angela, from the English word "angel." So hard to turn away from your tiny angel – her name captures her perfection and reminds you not to take it for granted.

HARRISON

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 127 Dylan and Beatle George Harrison rehearsed Dylan's "If Not for You" for their fundraiser "Concert for Bangladesh," and a bootleg recording went as viral as it could back in the day. Dylan finally released the song on his 1970 "New Morning" album, and Harrison recorded a popular cover. "If not for you, winter would have no spring; I couldn't hear the robins sing; I just wouldn't have a clue ..." – pure romance from two towering troubadours. Harrison, from a medieval English surname, means "son of Harry, Harold or Henry," a king's name from the German "home ruler." King of hearts, maybe?Meaning: Home ruler

JOHANNA

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 542

Meaning: Yahweh is gracious

"Visions of Johanna" from the 1966 "Blonde on Blonde" album is often referred to as Dylan's masterpiece. The lyrics are enigmatic, very subtle, very poetic. Joan Baez, a girlfriend before his marriage, has said she thought it was written about her. The magazine Rolling Stone lists it among its "500 Greatest Hits of All Time." The song is quiet, laced with guitar and harmonica riffs. "And these visions of Johanna they kept me up past the dawn ..." writes Dylan the poet about his "Mona Lisa" muse. He clearly pronounces the "H" in this Latin form of a Greek name derived from the ancient Hebrew for "Yahweh is gracious."

DYLAN

Popularity rank in the U.S.: # 29

Meaning: Great tide, mighty flow

Dylan is a perennial top pick for babies of every ethnicity. The name comes from the Welsh "dy" for "great" and "llanw" for "tide." Mythological Dylan was a Welsh sea god; musical Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman and took Dylan as his stage name after the immortal Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Give your baby bard a musical moniker with a nod to both poets, and sing him "Blowin' in the Wind" from Bob Dylan's 1963 "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" as his nightly lullaby.

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