List of people mentioned in songs

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This is a list of real people who are mentioned by name in Jonathan Coulton songs, with references to the songs in which they appear and a little biographical information.

Baby Got Back

Jane Fonda - actress, political activist, and star of a long-running series of exercise videos.
Florence Griffith-Joyner - American track and field star, nicknamed "Flo-Jo".

Brookline (demo)

Samuel Adams - leading figure in the Bostonian locus of the American Revolution.
Paul Revere - noted figure in the American Revolution, rode to warn colonists of an impending British raid on arms stores the night before the first battle of the war.

Christmas Is Interesting

Jimmy Stewart - iconic, Academy Award-winning American film actor. One of his most famous roles was that of George Bailey in the classic Christmas themed film It's a Wonderful Life.

Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance

Soterios Johnson - New York radio host.
Terry Gross - Philadelphia host of NPR's Fresh Air.

Famous Blue Raincoat

L. Cohen - Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist, author of the song.


Warren Beatty - Oscar-winning actor.

I Hate California

The Beach Boys - American rock and roll band popular for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a California youth culture of surfing, girls, and cars.

Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Kenesaw Mountain Landis - Federal judge, commissioner of Major League Baseball.
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson - Star baseball player implicated in the "Black Sox" scandal.
Joe Jackson - British New Wave star, asked the musical question "is she really going out with him?"
Elvis Costello - British New Wave pop star, contemporary of Joe Jackson, somewhat confusingly similar in style.

Lady Aberlin's Muumuu

Lady Aberlin, aka Betty Aberlin - regular character on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Mandelbrot Set

Benoît Mandelbrot - Mathematician, best known for his work in fractal geometry.
Giuseppe Peano - Mathematician, noted for his work with space-filling curves.
Niels Fabian Helge von Koch - Mathematician, known for characterizing the Koch curve and the associated Koch snowflake.
Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philipp Cantor - Mathematician, creator of set theory, noted for the Cantor ternary set.
Wacław Franciszek Sierpiński - Mathematician, associated with several early fractals, including the Sierpiński gasket.

My Monkey

Brian Dennehy - American two-time Tony Award-winning actor; not, in fact, a monkey butler.

Podsafe Christmas Song

Adam Curry - former VJ for MTV, pioneer in the field of podcasts.
C.C. Chapman - host of several independent music based podcasts.
Len Peralta - Creator of Visual Thing A Week, Jo-Color-It! and co-host of the Jawbone radio podcast.
Nora Peralta - co-host of the Jawbone radio podcast.

The Presidents

George Washington - 1st US President (1789-1797), and only president to have been elected unanimously.
John Adams - 2nd US President (1797-1801); as president, broke with own Federalist party to prevent war with France.
Thomas Jefferson - 3rd US President (1801-1809); among other accomplishments, purchased the Louisiana Territory from France.
James Madison - 4th US President (1809-1817); led US against Britain in War of 1812, which ended with no territorial gains on either side but inspired a strong feeling of American nationalism.
James Monroe - 5th US President (1817-1825); most notable achievement of his presidency was the Monroe Doctrine, which opposed European involvement with North and South America.
John Quincy Adams - 6th US President (1825-1829); son of John Adams (q.v.).
Andrew Jackson - 7th US President (1829-1837); signed Indian Removal Act, which led to the removal of Native Americans from their tribal lands.
Martin Van Buren - 8th US President (1837-1841); term in office largely overshadowed by economic crisis.
William Henry Harrison 9th US President (1841); first president to die in office, having served only 31 days.
John Tyler - 10th US President (1841-1845), succeeding to the office upon the death of William Henry Harrison; during his term in office, he annexed the Republic of Texas, which had secured its independence from Mexico some years earlier.
James K. Polk - 11th US President (1845-1849), elected on a platform of expansionism; during his presidency, the US fought the Mexican War and annexed the Oregon Territory.
Zachary Taylor - 12th US President (1849-1850), previously the victorious general in the Mexican War; died early in his term.
Millard Fillmore - 13th US President (1850-1853); sent Perry on an expedition to Japan.
Commodore Matthew Perry - American naval officer; sailed to Japan (1852-1854) to obtain (by force) the first US-Japanese trade treaty.
Franklin Pierce - 14th US President (1853-1857); supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and allowed new states to determine the legality of slavery within those states.
James Buchanan - 15th US President (1857-1861); widely regarded as among the worst presidents, he did nothing to prevent or even slow the onset of the Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln - 16th US President (1861-1865); won the US Civil War before his assassination.
Andrew Johnson - 17th US President (1865-1869); as Vice President, succeeded Lincoln but was impeached by Congress and served out his term under a cloud.
Ulysses S. Grant - 18th US President (1869-1877); popular Civil War general, served two terms as president but was rumored to have had a drinking problem.
Rutherford B. Hayes - 19th US President(1877-1881); narrowly won a contested election by promising to end the bitterly resented post-Civil War military occupation of the south known as Reconstruction.
James Garfield - 20th US President (1881-1881); shot by a crazed and disappointed political office seeker, Garfield died after only six months as president.
Chester Arthur - 21st US President (1881-1885); this Captain Kangaroo look-alike championed both civil service reform and tougher immigration laws.
Grover Cleveland - 22nd US President (1885-1889); popular Democrat who favored balanced budgets, less government, and fewer political spoils.
Benjamin Harrison - 23rd US President (1889-1893); the last US President with a beard, Harrison fought trusts & monopoly interests. He served in the Union army at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
Grover Cleveland - 24th US President (1893-1897); returned to the White House after voters rejected the high-spending Republican "Billion Dollar Congress."
William McKinley - 25th US President (1897-1901); declared war on Spain, resulting in US involvement in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Assassinated by an anarchist.
Theodore Roosevelt - 26th US President (1901-1909); famous Spanish-American War hero, polymath, and big game hunter.
William Howard Taft - 27th US President (1909-1913); the largest man ever to serve as president, Taft became Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court almost a decade after his presidency.
Woodrow Wilson - 28th US President (1913-1921); scholarly Southern leader of the US during WWI, helped to found the League of Nations, but failed to persuade the US Congress to join it.
Warren Harding - 29th US President (1922-1923); this newspaper publisher and Freemason's scandal-ridden administration returned the US to a laissez-faire stance toward business interests.
Calvin Coolidge - 30th US President (1923-1929); former Massachusetts governor, Vice President and successor of Warren Harding, led the US for most of the 1920s.
Herbert Hoover - 31st US President (1929-1933); former Commerce Secretary under Harding and Coolidge, was unable to prevent or fix the Great Depression, which started six months into his term.
Franklin D. Roosevelt - 32nd US President (1933-1945); led the nation out of the Great Depression and nearly to the end of World War II before dying in office in his unprecedented fourth term.
Harry S. Truman - 33rd US President (1945-1953); successor of FDR, led the US through the last months of World War II, including the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and later through the Korean War.
Dwight D. Eisenhower - 34th US President (1953-1961); former commander of Allied forces in World War II, US President through most of the interval between the Korean and Vietnam Wars, a relatively cool part of the Cold War.
John F. Kennedy - 35th US President (1961-1963); former Senator from Massachusetts, born in Brookline, assassinated under suspicious circumstances that fueled conspiracy theories.
Lyndon B. Johnson - 36th US President (1963-1969); former Senate leader, successor of Kennedy, responsible for increased US involvement in the highly unpopular Vietnam War.
Richard Nixon - 37th US President (1969-1974); former Vice President under Eisenhower, forced to resign in the wake of the Watergate scandal as evidence grew of his involvement in criminal activity.
Gerald Ford - 38th US President (1974-1977); former House leader, Vice President after Agnew resigned, President after Nixon resigned, pardoned Nixon after assuming office, leading to suspicion of a quid pro quo.
Jimmy Carter - 39th US President (1977-1981); former Georgia governor and peanut farmer who admitted in a Playboy interview to having "looked on a lot of women with lust" and "committed adultery in (his) heart many times."
Ronald Reagan - 40th US President (1981-1989); former Governor of California and actor who is credited by many with helping bring about the fall of the Soviet Union, showed early signs of Alzheimer's Disease before leaving office.
George H. W. Bush - 41st US President (1989-1993); Vice President under Reagan, former CIA director and UN Ambassador, led the US during the Gulf War which expelled Iraq from occupied Kuwait.
Saddam Hussein - former President of Iraq (1979-2003); including during the first Gulf War (1990-91) in which the US stopped short of seeking to depose Hussein with a full-scale invasion of Iraq.
Bill Clinton - 42nd US President (1993-2001); Former Arkansas governor, subject of a sex scandal involving a female intern. Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar.
George W. Bush - 43rd US President (2001-present); Former Texas governor, nicknamed "Dubya", remains in office.

Screwed (demo)

Bernadette - This Roman Catholic saint from Lourdes had visions of the Virgin Mary.
Michael Lee Aday, FKA Marvin Lee Aday, AKA Meat Loaf - American rock singer
Alexander Graham Bell - Inventor of the telephone
Thomas A. Watson - Assistant to telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell and recipient of early phone calls.
Marie Antoinette - Queen of France, widely believed to have responded to concerns that the French peasantry lacked bread with "Let them eat cake," sent to the guillotine in the aftermath of the French Revolution.

Space Doggity

Dmitry Malashenkov - Soviet scientist involved in the Sputnik 2 mission that made Laika the first living Earth creature in orbit.

A Talk with George

George Plimpton - author and participatory journalist, wrote chiefly about his experiences as an amateur attempting things typically only done by professionals, with an emphasis on sports.
Ernest Hemingway - author and Nobel literature laureate, spent most of his adult life living outside his native United States, often in pursuit of adventure.
Archie Moore - professional boxer.
Sugar Ray Robinson - professional boxer.
Hunter S. Thompson - author, "gonzo" journalist, inspiration for the "Uncle Duke" character from the Doonesbury comic strip.
Jacqueline Onassis - widow of President Kennedy, later wife of Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
Robert Kennedy - brother and Attorney General of President Kennedy, assassinated while campaigning for the presidency in 1968.
Sirhan Sirhan - assassin of Robert Kennedy, Palestinian angered by Israeli victory in the Six Day War of 1967.

Tom Cruise Crazy

Tom Cruise - Actor and prominent Scientologist.
Katie Holmes - Actress, Tom Cruise's third wife and mother of his third child.

Washy Ad Jeffy

See The Presidents (q.v).

The Town Crotch

Steve Miller - Blues rock musician whose style changed to softer, pop oriented sound resulting in a string of hit singles in the early 1980s.

W's Duty

George W. Bush - 43rd US President (2001-present); the titular "W" and source of most of the sampled lyrics.