As a young man just entering my 20s I fell for a time into the orbit of a Jane. It was then that I first noted the preponderance of songs featuring that particular name, and they have stuck out like a sore thumb on the radio for me ever since. I suppose there are so many Jane songs in part because it was such a common name for so long — and it’s short and supremely easy to rhyme, too. (This may also explain the dearth of songs about women named Eustacia.)
Last week I happened to hear the 1987 one-hit wonder “Jane’s Getting Serious” by British record producer Jon Astley (no relation) in the context of an old Heinz ketchup commercial on YouTube, and it got me thinking there ought to be an Ultimate Jane Playlist.
So here is a 30-song playlist of Jane songs, compiled from artists far and wide, covering a panoply of styles and a half-century of time. Omitted are songs with alternate spellings/forms of Jane (such as LA Guns’ “Ballad of Jayne” and Aerosmith’s “Janie’s Got a Gun,”), those in which Jane is a second name (Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” Genesis’ “Me and Sarah Jane,” America’s “Daisy Jane,” etc.) and songs in which the name appears in the lyrics, but not the title (Bruce Springsteen’s “Incident on 57th Street,” Bob Seger System’s “Paint Them a Picture,” and so on). And you can forget about that Maroon 5 album!
No matter your relation to any given Jane or Janes, real or imagined, there’s something for you here.
What are your favorite Jane songs? Honk Plus members log in and comment below!