Jane, be Jane
You're better that way
Not when your trying
Imitating something
You think you saw
So Jane, be Jane
And if sometimes that might
Drive them away
Let them stay there
You don't
Need them anyway

You're worried there might not be
Anything at all inside
But that you're worried
Should tell you that's not right
Don't try to see yourself
The way that others do
It's no use

You're worried there might not be
Anything at all inside
But that you're worried
Should tell you that's not right
You've had it harder than
Anyone could know
So hard to let it go

But it's your life
You can decorate it
As you like
Beneath the pain and armor
In your eyes
The truth still shines
Jane, be Jane

Jane, be Jane

Lyrics submitted by kevin

Jane Lyrics as written by Ben Folds

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Jane song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commenti put this song on a mixtape i gave to a friend who has a problem with lying to make herself look cool. she really has been through some shit, and despite how much her fakeness pisses me off, i would always kinda try and save her from it. so this song makes sense to me
    vermiciousknidon August 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's kind of sad.

    you're worried there might not be
    anything at all inside
    but that you're worried
    should tell you that's not right
    you've had it harder than anyone could know
    so hard to let it go

    she let go of her life? now she's trying to stay away from it because she's afraid she's painted over it so many times she's afraid there's nothing left.
    wavejarson June 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song reminds me of a girlfriend I had. Before we went out we were very close friends and afterwards.....she changed,completley changed. I just want to play this song for her to tell her what's happened. But you can't save them all.
    DrPhilon June 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful. It reminds me of the Alanis Morissette song "Mary Jane" because they both share that desire to help someone who can't see all the beauty they possess.
    LittleBriddieon June 29, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent. My tied-for-favorite-BFF-song.

    Hm. I've always loved this song, but here as I approach the comment box all kinds of crazy pop-culture parallels attack me, and I either 1) don't like them, 2) don't know why my brain is making these suggestions, because I've never connected them before
    -Avril Lavigne(?) "Complicated" <-- x_x
    -A giant animated lion head in the sky rumbling "REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE."
    -Built to Spill "Twin Falls" <-- that one is good
    -The Shins "Know your Onion!" <-- good too
    -Mean Girls <-- more x_x
    -Eels... something like Electro-shock Blues (see explanation below) <-- good

    There were some others, but I lost them as I was typing it out. Weird.

    Anyway, I have a fascination with poetry about the ostrasized. Not that I am ostrasized-- but... I really like the poetry. I have bits and peices of things that I've doodled around on, with same sort of theme (they usually end up creepy)-- how a character can't connect with others because they don't understand how people work. Maybe it's because their life was screwed up when they were growing up. Maybe they have a mental incapability.

    This song in particular... it's neat. There's nothing specific in it as to why "Jane" is unable to connect. Looking very closely at some of the lines, it gives me the impression that it may be a mental disorder-- that's why I mentioned Electro-Shock Blues:

    "jane be jane/and if sometimes that might/drive them away/let them stay there"

    The name "Jane" is used because it's a very general, bland name. Example documents use the name "Jane Doe." The use of the name "Jane" conveys an unremarkable character: someone seemingly insignificant. Jane is seeking approval from others, while the narrator is trying to tell Jane that it doesn't matter what others think of her. The only thing that matters is your own happiness, and you shouldn't take other's judgement to heart. They don't know her, what her life has been ("you've had it harder than anyone could know"). Who are they to reject Jane?

    There's more there than I mean to post. Ah well.
    Greyshoeson December 15, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs much as I don't want it to, this song really reminds me of myself. I hate it but I am the type of person who just wants others to like me and for as long as I have remembered I've had a fascination with how others view me. My close friends know that I am funny, goofy, and fun-loving..but if you aren't one of my very close friends you would never have guessed it. Around others, I just get really shy and don't talk at all in fear that others won't like me. I guess it is just the insecurity that comes with being a teenage girl but I feel like I've been in this exact situation that is described in the song.

    I think this is about a guy who is frusturated over the situation with the woman he is in love with. He knows her true personality..how she is when they are alone..but around others he notices she tries to be someone else because she thinks that if she acts like the person she is that others will judge her..think she's weird..whatever.
    liza212on January 05, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentEverybody who has a young daughter should let them hear this song. Too many girls try to imitate others when they should just be themselves. "It's better that way" in the words of Ben Folds.
    doug e freshon May 29, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI often wonder if this song was meant to be a nod to Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are". The music and the message are both very similar.
    jhillston July 22, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song may be about the same person that appears in Ben's song "Carrying Cathy"
    arctic_charon August 18, 2014   Link
  • -1
    General CommentI think that this song is about reminding someone that they should only be themselves, if they feel that they have to be someone other than that to impress someone, clearly they're not worth it.
    MeghanDHon August 06, 2002   Link

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