The Varieties of Jane


The song, “Sweet Jane,” thanks to the lyricist, Lou Reed, has been around since

1970. The first ones who sang this song were known as “Velvet Underground.”

The recent version, sung by Cowboy Junkies, caught my ear in a romantic movie

called, “The Best of Me.” If you ever rent this, please take my word on this, you

will want to watch the alternative ending available. The movie was released with

a sad ending, one which had my Mom and I weeping. Then, when I saw there was

a “Tears of Joy” alternative ending, I quickly put the DVD back in and fast-

forwarded it towards the ending which is satisfying and believable. The cast

is great, especially Gerald McRaney, who I miss seeing regularly on television.

The romantic leading actors, Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden, are well

known but their twenty year’s younger versions are worth checking out. They

will be seen more frequently in the future, I predict.

“Sweet Jane” led me into one of my favorite activities, hope you will also add

a few Jane’s to my list.

This is not really considered a ‘word play’ but it is a fanciful journey into the

diverse Jane’s which came to mind, when I was imagining the author of the

song, his thoughts on who he may have written this for.

Don’t you think of Jane Curtain and that preposterous comment, “Jane, you

ignorant slut?” (Sorry, this is straight out of “Saturday Night Live” and you

know who is saying this, right?) Of course, I am referring to Dan Aykroyd!

Here are a few more Jane’s, off the top of my head:

“Calamity Jane”

Jane Goodall

Jayne Mansfield

Jane Wyman

You, Jane. Me, Tarzan

Jane Austen

“Plain Jane”

“Jane Eyre”

Jane Pauley

“Jane’s Addiction,” musical group

Jane Fonda

Jane Seymour

“Dick and Jane” 50’s and 60’s Reader characters

“Jane,” Elizabeth’s sister in “Pride and Prejudice.”

In 1970, I was a freshman in high school.

Were you born yet?

Do you know any Jane’s?

What famous Jane’s did I leave out?


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

51 responses »

    • Ha ha! Jill, I knew I was older, but now I know I could have been your babysitter. We have talked about autograph books, similar music and movies, but have never put us in two different ages, up until now!
      Thanks for adding Jane Russell. I knew a Jane Roudebush, who was in my middle school Girl Scout troop in North Olmsted, before we moved to Bay Village, when I was in 7th grade, Jill. I know now to put names out into the stratosphere, since Barb of “Silver in the Barn” fame has a friend whose husband was friends with one of my first crushes, when I worked at Cedar Point Amusement Park. We sure did have a fun month of spending time together and wrote during our Freshman year of college. Only one Jane, that I can remember… Smiles!

    • Guess what, Jill? I think that the little girl in “Mary Poppins” is named “Jane.” Just needed to let someone know so others will be adding it to their mental ‘list.’ Hope you are having a fine, sunny and splendid Sunday!

  1. I know a Jane who is whip-smart. I think there is a children’s clothing store chain, ‘Janie and Jack’. And apparently an apparel store, Interesting Robin!!

    • I am not always ‘deep’ and sometimes get on a roll, hoping to have fun on the ride! Thanks, Beth for adding the clothing store, “Janie and Jack,” along with the apparel store at I am so glad you knew a very smart Jane. There are some famous ones who were smart. I admired Jane Goodall for her research on chimpanzees and other animals, too. She was very smart!

    • This is a great suggestion, Jen! Don’t worry, it was not mentioned and it is one I am so glad you thought of, too. Jane Doe will be in the continuing list growing with suggestions. I was hoping to think of a sports athlete, but could not come up with one. It is hard to think but I did add Jane from Tarzan book.

    • Well, Janes come in all sorts of packages! Now we know a dog named Jane, you may be too young to have heard of the song, “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash!
      I wondered when I listen to the Jane’s Addiction group, which was on my radio yesterday, possibly “Is This Love,” was the title if there are mainly men? I should check this out better, huh?

  2. Your list had most of the Janes I thought of at first. After contemplating further I came up with Calamity Jane, GI Jane, Jane Lynch (from Glee and the shrink on Two and a Half Men), Jane Boleyn (sister-in-law of Henry VIII), Jane Kaczmarek (from Malcolm in the Middle), and my favorite, Jane Addams (1860-1935), a pioneer social worker who brought women’s issues into the modern era and paved the way for the women’s suffrage movement in the early 20th century. – Mike

    • This was quite a variety to add to the list, Mike. I am so glad you thought of current ones, along with historical ‘greats’ like Jane Boleyn and Jane Addams. Both had their important place in time, but Jane Addams certainly helped women’s rights movement, which is a great contribution for all of us.
      I like Jane K. from “Malcolm in the Middle,” which one of my kids used to like that show, along with Jane Lynch, who is in movies, Glee and played the shrink, as you mentioned. She is very good at using her tone of voice to get laughs, so funny.

    • Your blog comment got ‘tagged’ which it doesn’t appear to be off, but when I press your I don’t get any blog? Just letting this go and hoping you will tell me how to read your own blog. I enjoyed this comment, no my Jane was in my middle school years! You are close to my daughters and son’s age. I have a 33 year old son who is married and raising a combined family of four kids, I have a daughter who is 35 and she has two sons, 10 and 6. Then, I have a 29 year old daughter who is still following her dreams and enjoying her career. One day, I hope she will be a mom but she is a fun ‘Aunt Felicia!’ Smiles, Robin

    • Christy, I am so glad you know a very thoughtful Jane with ‘a beautiful soul.’ I have never known more than one, unless I have forgotten this person. Always possible. The Jane I knew in Girl Scouts was confident, fun and had a nice family. She probably turned out fantastic, but we moved when I reached 7th grade and only knew her in 5th and 6th grade, where I met her in middle school. She loved to read.
      Did you ever see “Pride and Prejudice” with Keira Knightly? The woman who plays the quiet, shy and beautiful blonde Jane, later becomes the diabolical woman in “Gone Girl!” Rosamund Pike.

      • OH I didn’t realize that was the same woman in those 2 movies! You are full of wonderful tidbits of delight, my friend! I am smiling and wishing you a wonderful weekend!

      • You are most welcome for my tidbits, Christy! Hope you have a great beginning of the week and especially hoping you get some surprises and fun along the way. Smiles, Robin

  3. Gerald McRaney’s character was the best part of that movie, I think, Robin. I didn’t much like the plot, but the actors were good, I’ll give you that. I saw it in the theater, so no happier alternate ending for me.

    One of my cherished Bruce Springsteen songs is “Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart.”

    In 1970, I would become a teenager in December. Good year.

    • Oh my, Mark! I had forgotten you saw this movie in the theater! I liked that they filmed an alternative ending, but wondered why present the sadder ending to so many fine people who paid money for the movie? Do people rather see a ‘tearjerker?’ I don’t find that to be true amongst my friends. Although, “Casablanca,” “Gone with the Wind,” and other ‘classics’ like “Doctor Zhivago” end in such a way. So glad you saw ‘the bright spot’ in this movie, in seeing Gerald McRaney’s character. We need more movies with him in them!
      I am excited to add, “Janey, Don’t You Lose Heart,” Mark. I am grateful you added this since I do like this song and enjoy its positive message. I forgot about it, wish it played more on the radio! Love Bruce S. of course!
      Becoming a teenager in 1970, does make it a might fine year, Mark!!

  4. Does Mary Jane count? Nice to hear all those Jane’s. I had only heard of Plain Jane, Jane Eyre, Jane Austen and Jane Fonda. I don’t know what 1970 was like, but I do hear from my mother how things were back then. I was born 14 years after 1970.

    • You are close to my youngest daughter’s age: she was born in 1985. I am happy you ask or talk to your Mom about those ‘old days,’ since she lived during a very exciting time in another part of the world from me! Hugs, Robin

      • Much as changed since then and I can only imagine. I find it fascinating how different everything was in those days. And to be in that time, one must have seen great changes come about. I hope you have a good weekend! Hugs, Kabir

    • Cindy, did not know this! I am so glad to know this, although I try not to dwell on age, it does connect our developmental years and those impacts which ‘made us who we are today.’
      I am happy to know you loved this tune. I did realize Lou Reed had died, may have not ‘tagged’ a comment I made about him.
      Wish I could figure out how to get ‘classic’ mode of wordpress on the library computers… another subject entirely! Thanks for letting me know these things, age and music are our connections, Cindy. xo

    • Elizabeth, thanks for another English addition in Lady Jane Grey. Mike had added Jane Boleyn and I was wondering about any Australian Jane’s? It is always interesting to learn more about things, even in its silly theme of Jane’s.

  5. my friend’s sister is named jane, the only one i know in real life. love all of your janes here, robin. and yes, i graduated in the 70s too, robin )

    • Are you out of the bathtub yet, Beth? You may get all wrinkled and ‘prune-y’ ha ha! Your post about how the place which is safest during storms was so serene and peaceful amidst the natural chaos outdoors.
      I am so glad you knew a Jane, which tends to be rather rare, from comments here. I like how we went through many of the same world events and wild times, seemingly ‘unscathed,’ Beth.

    • They were and I could kiss YouTube, since there are several episodes of the ‘news reports’ which make me laugh, with this great opening line. So glad I got you laughing, April! You share a lot of humor and give me chuckles often. Glad to ‘return the favor!’

  6. I had a cousin Jane. She wasn’t famous – except in our family. πŸ˜‰ Missing from your list? Some have already mentioned: Jane Russell and Mary Jane (shoes).

    Robin … I’m glad you found the alternate, happier ending to that movie. There is a movie I love, “Car Wash” – filled with colorful characters and great funky music. But there are two versions and one ending I just don’t like. I prefer the one that played at the movies. It was more upbeat. πŸ˜‰

    • I need to go find the sadder ending just to be able to know about this. I don’t get why they would purposely do both endings and am glad they showed the more upbeat one of “Car Wash” to the paying audience. As I mentioned to Mark, there are historical classics where I accept the downbeat endings, while I prefer happiness over sorrow, these movies must portray honest period pieces. I also laugh at “Gone with the Wind’s” ending, since it isn’t as sad as it could be. Thanks, Judy, for contributing Mary Jane (shoes) which do ‘count’ in a way. I am surprised at how few Jane’s people actually knew. I am glad you had a cousin with this nice name!

    • I miss the show, “The Mentalist,” too, Carla! Thanks for visiting and sorry, it took me a bit to find you in my “Pending Approval” section of my wordpress. Thanks for dropping by and so glad the final episode was so satisfying. I love the way there is a future where Patrick Jane won’t have to focus on his past loss of wife and child, although they will always be part of him, too. Hope you are having a wonderful time out West, Carla!! Hugs, Robin

  7. Lady Jane Seymour, one of Henry VIII’s loves. I presume the ‘other’ Jane Seymour you refer to is the actor, but perhaps I am wrong πŸ˜‰ Anyhow, I hear Mick Jagger in the background of that one …

    • I like the idea of Lady Jane Seymour, which may be the first I had heard of this being one of Henry VII”s loves, Bela. I learn so much from my fellow blogging friends. I am sure that I was thinking of the Medicine Woman television series woman and often beautiful jewelry designer. She was exquisite in the movie with Christopher Reeves, “Somewhere in Time.” I think of Mick Jagger and wonder if you are right about his singing in the background? Smiles, Robin

  8. I know a Jane – me! My full name is Jennifer Jane. Can you believe it. I think my Mum got it from a story book or a poem. I’ve also got a dear friend called Jane – we were at school together. For some reason, she goes by the name of Heather these days – very confusing!

    • I like the name, “Jennifer Jane,” really I do! I am sure that it was fun to have a friend named Jane while growing up. I wonder, have you ever tried to find the poem or story book, Jenny?
      Hey, as far as Heather is concerned. I went through a phase in college, during my summer jobs, having the name “Beth,” put on my name tags. My middle name was Elizabeth. I preferred this over Robin but could not change my other, long term friends into using ‘Beth,’ and so it goes. Maybe she felt Heather was a prettier name? I have a cousin Heather and my aunt named all three girls after flowers or berry in one case of the season. Heather, Holly and Laurel Hope. Thanks for sharing your middle name, Jenny!

      • Ok, this is silly of me, but I must write the first stanzas, Jenny.
        “Jenny” a poem by Jennifer Jane Edwards of the UK,
        “of all the friends I’ve ever had
        . . . all the good and all the bad,
        By far my friend, you shine the best
        Standing head and shoulders above the rest.”
        (more stanzas and then, this one is funny!)
        “For getting me piddled when I needed it most.”
        Jenny, in England does this word, “piddled” mean drunk? Smiles, Robin

    • This may seem silly but there is a Jennifer Jane Edwards from the UK who wrote a more current poem which is a tribute to a friend named, Jenny. Isn’t this great how the internet works? It is not the inspiration for your own name, since it seems newer. Not dated… Smiles for sending you this, but you may wish to read this nice poem about Jenny.

  9. I like Jane Fonda… she speaks fluent French and she comes to France several times/year… πŸ™‚ oh, another famous French actress Jeanne Moreau whose mama was British and always called her Jane – does it matter?!… πŸ˜‰ I like Ioana which is the Romanian translation of Jane… πŸ™‚

  10. I wasn’t born yet. Yay, I feel young. πŸ˜‰ When I was in 4th grade, I drew a picture book called “Jane and Sue Together,” so that’s my Jane. I wrote it on that paper that had holes on the sides/perforated and zigzagged, so all the sheets were connected. What’s that called? Anyway, I remember the Cowboy Junkies singing it. Very mellow.

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