There are very few people who call me or even know my name is Lucille and every now and then I still manage to surprise a friend with this fact.
People often ask me why my parents decided to give me such a French sounding name (Lucille Marie) when my siblings names have a slightly more obvious connection to our family history and/or African heritage.
Although they’ve made vague connections to B.B Kings guitar, I’m not entirely sure and I’ve asked them enough times to realise that they aren’t either. One thing I do know though is that there are a hell of a lot of cultural references tied to the name Lucille and because of this I’ve had a lot of people break into song around me, including an airport security guard in the US who sang ‘Lucille, please come back where you belong’.
Last night a friend asked me if I’d heard Anthony Hamilton’s cover of the famous Kenny Rogers song Lucille and after listening to it I have started to realise that, when it comes to cultural references, all Lucille’s seem to be pretty irresponsible women.
Take the above song –
So you choose to lose someone who loves you,
And a real good friend
For a bottle of gin, for a bottle of sin.
And then that Little Richard one –
I woke up this morning, Lucille was not in sight.
I asked my friends about her but all their lips were tight.
Lucille, please, come back where you belong.
I been good to you, baby, please, don’t leave me.
And THEN the Kenny Rogers one where Lucille leaves four children and a husband at home, bitterly explaining that she’s ‘no quitter but I finally quit living on dreams’ and then proceeds to take a stranger back to a hotel room after her husband confronts her shaking with a broken heart.
And then there is the story of how B.B. Kings guitar actually became known as Lucille.
As I have gotten older my name has grown on me and just like my crazy ‘fro hair and African heritage, I’ve come to really appreciate it for what it is. I don’t think I come anywhere close to being the kind of Lucille’s these songs describe, but having a name that so many feisty women have owned does make me feel just that little bit more sassy.
And then of course there is this Lucille…