1980s kindergarten classroom picture

Why I thought I was an orphan in kindergarten, and how it led to Annie Lynn Music

Were you ever told how you got your name? Names are weird right? It’s literally the first thing that’s given to us by our parents and we live with it the rest of our lives. Well, except if you legally ever change it, like when getting married of course. Then there’s the question of whether or not you hyphenate, or decide to drop your original last name you’ve had since birth and take on a new last name completely. For me it wasn’t that easy of a decision.

When I got married I hyphenated for awhile, then decided not to. But then I decided to sorta go and change my name again when I started this blog and get back into music. I didn’t legally change it again, just sort of in an online, virtual, re-branding kind of way.

Let me explain my name story and how it lead to Annie Lynn Music.

I thought I was an orphan in kindergarten
Ever since I can remember my family has called me “Annie.” It’s not my birth name,  “Andrea” is. But it’s what I’ve always been called and what I feel really very comfortable responding to. So I go by Annie a lot of the time.

I thought I was an orphan in kindergarten because my parents told me I was named after Little Orphan Annie, like in the musical. I remember one day going to class and thinking that it could be possible that I was an orphan too if my parents called me Annie like her. They reassured me I was not an orphan.

1980s kindergarten classroom picture
Me in kindergarten in the 1980s (standing)

I guess my Mom was pregnant when my Dad and her went to see the musical Annie and left the show really liking the name. They told me I was only named Andrea because they thought if I ever became really professional, or famous or something, Andrea sounded better. They settled on using Annie for my nickname.

The funny thing is, I too have curly hair like Little Orphan Annie does. It wasn’t super curly when I was little and mine’s not red, it’s blonde, but even so. I also went on to love and study musical theatre. It’s kinda funny really, especially now that I’m starting to write my own music and share it as Annie Lynn Music.

Who didn’t call me Annie?
I never wanted boys to call me Annie for some reason. I always thought it sounded too little girlish or something. But being married now, and completely sure I’m not or never was an orphan, I’m fine being called either Annie or Andrea really.

When I started using my middle name
I never really used my middle name for a long time because I didn’t know how to even spell it! I remember I was jumping rope as a young girl when I finally figured it out. A friend of mine and I were doing a thing where you’d spell your name with every rope turn. When you’d jump down on the sidewalk you’d say another letter.

I remember jumping to L-Y-N-N.

It was the first time I remember saying my middle name out loud. It stuck in my mind. It felt weird to me that I was probably eight or nine and had never spelled or said it out loud. I even think I went home and asked my mom if I’d spelled it right. I’ve never been a good speller, like I explained in this post: Three Bad Hair Day Stories: Say it…Feathered on the side? (Part 2) (If you haven’t read it, it’s a funny one!)

So why am I using Annie Lynn now?
It goes back to when my Dad always made a joke about my name. It went like this… I’d come up to him to ask for something like “May I have help with a math problem?” and he’d say: “You surely MAY! No, wait… You’re ANNIE LYNN!”

We’d both laugh at the cheesy joke as if “surely” was spelled “Shirley.” Sometimes Mom would tell me a little follow up story about how if I was a boy my name would have been “Benjamin.” My older sisters often heard the same thing of course. It usually followed with her telling me my name story and that they did actually consider the name “Shirley” too. I also had a daycare lady named Shirley so it was always funny to me on a few levels. I talk about my time with Shirley in: How I learned to tie shoelaces with a pair of clown shoes

How my name story led to Annie Lynn Music
When I was deciding what I wanted to use for my new music endeavors and “stage name,” if you wanna call it that, I knew it had to be: Annie Lynn Music and me performing as “Annie Lynn.” It’s a combination of my nickname and middle name. It’s who I am, who I feel most authentic being and fits me perfectly. Will it always stay that way? Not sure. Time will tell.

What happened to Andrea?
I’m still here. I’ve chosen to keep using Andrea Lynn and my current last name as my songwriting and legal name. But on social media, my website and in future performances I’ll refer to myself as Annie Lynn.


Do you have a name story?
I’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply