A Baba O'Reilly Thread or What's the name of that song?

It was embarrassingly recently that I found out the name of that Doobie Brother’s song is Long Train Running and not Illinois Central. It’s not Stand By Me by The Clash but Train in Vain. And even though it’s sang countless times in the song, I think I can be forgiven for thinking Night Ranger’s Sister Christian was called Motorin’.

I heard that The Pina Colada song was originally called just Escape but the studio insisted on the parenthetical real name.

Because my generation was always hopped up on goofballs, we seem to have a monopoly on this phenomenon. Or maybe because I’m too old and out of touch that I’ve heard recent songs that I think I know the name but I really don’t.

Getting into music in the 90s as I did, the one that springs to mind is “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” which uses exactly zero of those words in the actual song.

That’s the first one that came to mind.

The Grateful Dead had several songs whose titles did not appear in the lyrics of the song…

Two standout songs that fit the criteria are "Wharf Rat and “The Other One” which were both played live many, many times.

I think the poster child for this phenomenon has to be Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35,” which is not subtitled “Everybody Must Get Stoned.”

ETA: …and the correct spelling of “Teenage Wasteland” is “Baba O’Riley”; the song being dedicated to Meher Baba and Terry Riley.

I have heard Bowie’s Space Oddity referred to as Major Tom, which is actually the title of a [del]rip-off[/del] homage by Peter Schilling.

ETA: I can’t be the only one who ever called Also sprach Zarathustra “The Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey,” although I *think * I knew it had another name even then.

Not even the??? :stuck_out_tongue: :wink:

Simon and Garfunkle’s Feelin’ Groovy is, of course, actually the 59th Street Bridge Song.

There’s also A Simple Desultory Philipic (or How I was Robert McNamara’d into Submission), although I have no idea if that one has any other common name.

Primitive Radio Gods’ major (only?) hit - “Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand”. Probably most people would remember it by the BB King samples, and might call it something like “I Been Downhearted, Babe”. It doesn’t help when the singer sings that theme himself later in the song.

I still remember the expression on my aunt’s face when she was telling me and my family that she was for sure was up to date with music (this was in 2001) and that she knew the chorus to the song “Sunshine in a bag” and my cousin had to tell her the name of the song is “Clint Eastwood”.

Oh yeah, how could I have forgotten my secret guilty pleasure. I love Gorillaz. They also had 19-2000. Now there’s a name you won’t remember.

Iris by the GooGoo Dolls. I’ve always assumed the song is dedicated to a woman named Iris, but her name is never actually mentioned in the song.

Pretty much all of Joy Division/New Order/Monaco/The Other Two/Revenge’s catalog.

Who could forget Excuse Me While I Kiss This Guy?

It’s the theme to City Of Angels, and Meg Ryan’s character was named Iris. And now that I’ve said that, let me go look it up to make sure I’m not talking out my ass.

Never mind – her name is Maggie. It would seem I’m talking out my ass.

The 1967 song by the Mamas and the Papas which is titled “Creeque Alley” not “No One’s Getting Fat Except Mama Cass”

“Stop Children What’s that Sound” by Buffalo Springfield is really named “For What It’s Worth.”

This far in, and no one’s mentioned “Bohemian Rhapsody”? Yay me! :smiley:

“Possum Kingdom” by the Toadies has no reference to the title in the song. It’s the song about vampirism, or a serial killer, or something else depending on the interpreter. It’s the song that begins:

Make up your mind
Decide to walk with me
Around the lake tonight
By my side…

ETA: It looks like Possum Kingdom is a lake in Texas. So there IS a reference in the song, it’s just oblique.

Also, “The Weight” by The Band doesn’t overtly refer to the title.

Suite: Judy Blue Eyes by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Does not contain any of those words…if you didn’t know the name, I suspect you’d think the name was “I Am Yours, You Are Mine”.

“Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors, which everyone I know, including myself until recently, thought was called “Just Go Ahead Now”