Mr. Cheese (Nick Ortman) is a Graduate of Columbia University's MFA program. He's a drummer and frequently writes about the music industry.
If you have a friend or family member named Susan, Sue, Suzy, or Suzanne and are making a playlist for them, or dedicating a song to them, this list is sure to have the right song for you. The songs on this list span several decades and demonstrate a wide range of genres. Take a listen and see which song is best for you!
Suzanne, Sue, or Suzy Songs
- "Susie Q"—The Rolling Stones
- "Susan"—Aimee Mann
- "Suzanne"—Leonard Cohen
- "Shaky Sue"—Gary Glitter
- "Peggy Sue"—Buddy Holly
- "Runaround Sue"—Dion DiMucci
- "Susie (Dramas)"—Elton John
1. "Susie Q"—The Rolling Stones
The original version of "Susie Q" was performed by musician Dale Hawkins. It was recorded late in the rockabilly era in 1957. He wrote the song with his bandmate Robert Chaisson. However, when the song was released, Stan Lewis, the owner of Jewel/Paula Records (whose daughter Susan was the inspiration for the song), and Eleanor Broadwater (the wife of Nashville DJ Gene Nobles) were credited as co-writers. This gave them shares of the royalties.
In 1965, when The Rolling Stones released their version of "Susie Q," the original had a brief comeback. However, the younger generation was never quite aware that the song wasn't a Stones original. This short cover can be found on their U.S. album 12 x 5, which was released in 1964. It also appears on the U.K. album The Rolling Stones No. 2, which was released in January 1965.
2. "Susan"—Aimee Mann
"Susan" was written by Aimee Mann and produced by the label SuperEgo Records. As a young girl, Aimee Mann was inspired to play the bass guitar after reading a book (that she later could not remember the title of). After falling in love with the bass, she found that music was a great tool for writing odes to important people in her life. "Susan" is an ode to one such important person. That said, it's intentionally vague as to who Susan is. This is so the audience can interpret the character's importance for themselves. This pop song appears on the album Bachelor No. 2 or, the Last Remains of the Dodo, which was released in the year 2000.
3. Suzanne—Leonard Cohen
This is a fan favorite. Over the course of his career, Cohen played "Suzanne" live at hundreds of concerts. First published as a poem in 1966, it was recorded as a song by Judy Collins in the same year, and Cohen performed it as his debut single, from his 1967 album Songs of Leonard Cohen. Many other artists have recorded versions, and it has become one of the most-covered songs in Cohen's catalogue. In fact, in 2006, Pitchfork Media listed the song No. 41 on their list of "The Top Songs of the 1960s".
4. "Shaky Sue"—Gary Glitter
"Shaky Sue" was written by Edward Seago, Gary Glitter, and Mike Leander. It was released in 1972. Often referred to as the King of Glam Rock, Gary Glitter sold over 30 million records and had 26 hit singles, including three number one hits between 1972 and 1997. His influence could be heard on "hair" band music throughout the 1980s.
5. "Peggy Sue"—Buddy Holly
Buddy Holly is well regarded as one of the most influential musicians on the 1950s. One of his more famous songs, "Peggy Sue," is a rock and roll classic. The song was written by Jerry Allison and Norman Petty. It was recorded and released as a single by Buddy Holly in early July of 1957. While The Crickets are not mentioned on the label of the single, band members Joe B. Mauldin (string bass) and Jerry Allison (drums) played on the recording. This recording was also released on Holly's eponymous 1958 album. Buddy's influence can still be heard on indie rock albums today!
6. "Runaround Sue"—Dion DiMucci
"Runaround Sue" is a rock and roll song, in a modified doo-wop style. It was originally a U.S. number one hit for the singer Dion. It was released in 1961, after he split with the Belmonts. The song ranked No. 351 on the Rolling Stone list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". It was written by Dion with Ernie Maresca, and tells the story of a disloyal lover. U.K. singer Doug Sheldon's version reached number 36 in the U.K. charts in 1961.
7. "Susie (Dramas)"—Elton John
It's strange to think of a time when Elton John was writing songs about women and heartbreak. However, being closeted for much of his early career, John wrote his fair share of songs on the topic. This pop-rock song is about a rocky relationship with a women who will never understand him... makes sense in retrospect. Chances are, He'd never understand her needs either. During this era of his career, he wrote many songs about relationships with women, before claiming to be bi, then eventually coming out as fully gay. Regardless of context, this is still a great listen!