Sweet Jane

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Standin' on a corner,
    Suitcase in my hand.
    Jack's in his car, says to Jane, who's in her vest,
    Me, babe, I'm in a rock n' roll band.
    Ridin' in a Stutz Bearcat, Jim,
    Those were different times.
    And the poets studied rows of verse,
    And all the ladies rolled their eyes

    Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane

    Now, Jack, he is a banker,
    And Jane, she is a clerk.
    And the both of them are saving up their money...
    Then they come home from work.
    Sittin' by the fire...
    Radio just played a little classical music for you kids,
    The march of the wooden soldiers
    And you can hear Jack say

    Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane, Sweet Jane

    Some people like to go out dancing
    And other people, (like us) they gotta work
    And there's always some evil mothers
    They'll tell you life is full of dirt.
    And the women never really faint,
    And the villans always blink their eyes.
    And the children are the only ones who blush.
    'Cause life is just to die.
    But, anyone who has a heart
    Wouldn't want to turn around and break it
    And anyone who ever played the part
    He wouldn't want to turn around and fake it

    Sweet JaneWriter/s: LOU REED
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 22

  • Jack from SpanI'm a fan of Lou Reed but I've read a lot about him, enough to both admire his talent and avoid any excessive mistification. Lou was a nice songwriter and overall a superior personality but he also relied a lot on the musicians around him, who usually were far more proficient than himself. Lou usually referred to himself as "a writer", and although he had his moments on guitar, he was not exactly what we mean by "a great musician". John Cale was one, and (really!) Doug Yule was another. One of the sides of his poliedric personality was that of the entrepreneur, he had the talent to attract around him the best performers (and to suck every drop of their blood if they let him). There is a very interesting interview with Doug Yule on the internet where he concludes "Lou was not strong at music". Doug tells how much Lou relied on the musicians around to write his music "he made a living out of this". Now, coming back to Sweet Jane, a lot of people quote the R'n'R Animal version as one of the most prominent, probably it is the best known. I love it too. But don't credit that "R'n'r animal sound" to Lou. It was his guitarists at the time, Steve Hunter and particularly Dick Wagner, the responsible for those arrangements. As you can see in the surviving videos of that tour, the musicians play while Lou just performs his particular "speed dance" and tries to sing. But yeah he is great anyway, I see him as one of the talents of that age, not really a natural born musician but rather a genius in a much broader and mysterious sense, like Lennon.
  • David from Atlanta, GaSimply one of the best riffs of all times.
  • Joe from Boston, MaA cover of this song was featured in the Oliver Stone movie "Natural Born Killers". I think that Reed was to punk what Dylan was to folk music.
  • Derek from Pittsburgh, PaGreat live versions of the song are on Live at Max's... and on 1969: Live...
  • Ross from Brooklyn, NyI was in a band that did the song complete with the "Intro" from "Rock and Roll Animal" along with the excised bridge! The "bridge" version can be found on "Fully Loaded"as well as "Live at Max's Kansas City" and is the version the Cowboy Junkies do. There is another version on the "Live '69" set that starts with the "Anyone who ever had a heart" coda.
  • Barbara from Virginia Beach, VaI couldn't agree more with Molly in Oregon. The 2 Nice Girls cover of this song is an absolute classic.
  • Peter from Boulder, CoThe Michael Stanley band recorded a weird medley of Sweet Jane and Witchee-tai-tai-to (sp?).
  • N from Staten Island, NyThis CD contains the long version of 'Sweet Jane':
  • Constantijn from Amsterdam, NetherlandsSaw Lou Reed live yesterday in Amsterdam. Him starting off Sweet Jane is like Jesse James shooting you in the head personally.
  • Molly from Roseburg, OrAn obscure women's folk act called 2 Nice Girls did a very cool arrangement of "Sweet Jane," combining it with Joan Armatrading's "Love and Affection" to make a medley. Worth digging into 99-cent record bins to find.
  • Charles Young from Charleston, WvThe Best Version of this is the long version from the reissure of loaded its the full version that lou original wrote with the underground. there is also a cool cover by Gang of Four off the reissue of Entertainment check it out folks!
  • Funkylenny from Ft. Wayne, InActually, the year of release of "Rock & Roll Animal" was 1974, not 1964 as listed above. The live version, featured on Rock & Roll Animal and clocking in at 7:45, is BY FAR the most well known version.
  • Ferdinand from Hilversum, NetherlandsThe Cowboy Junkies' version is much slower and sounds quite fragile. On the record sleeve there's a sticker that says something like Lou Reed liked the Cowboy Junkies' version better than any of his. Oliver Stone used the song for the soundtrack of Natural Born Killers.
  • Scott from Syracuse, NyThis song showed up on the disc "Live on Letterman". I always thought this version epitomised Rock-n-Roll
  • Marcus from Sydney, AustraliaMaybe they should change it from "lou Reed" to "The velvet underground". *Shrugs*
  • Nelle from Lima, PeruI think that the fact that they were commercially doomed actually portraits them as this amazingly complex band that only few got. They are captivating and compulsive. One of the best things i've ever heard
  • Kendall from Thomasville, GaActually Lou Reed was making this song before he got Velvet Underground started... so technically this song IS a Lou Reed song.
  • Ronnie from Ft. Meyers, FlI don't know why this is listed as Reed and not the Velvet Underground who did the original on the album Loaded. The old saying was, only about 3000 people bought Velvet Underground albums but all of them started a band. Along with Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, the Velvet Underground was one of the most influential bands ever. All the punk music and so called alternative stuff of the 1970's and 1980's can thank the Velvet Underground. They were 20 years ahead of their time, so far ahead no one had heard anything like it and no one but a few select bought their albums.
  • Paul from Baltimore, Mdthere is a great live version by reed with soul asylum from the concert for the opening of the rock and roll hall of fame in cleveland, which is on a double cd set (which might be out of print by now)....
  • Mike from Hamilton, CanadaThe Canadian Alt/Rock Band The Cowboy Junkies also covered this classic...
  • Kristy from La Porte City, IaI could be wrong, but wasn't "Sweet Jane" on the 1970 album, Loaded? Maybe it was first released on Rock n' Roll Animal, but the most well known version is on Loaded.
  • George from Williston, NcThis was covered by Mott the Hoople on their "All the Young Dudes" album.
see more comments

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Dwight TwilleySongwriter Interviews

Since his debut single "I'm On Fire" in 1975, Dwight has been providing Spinal-Tap moments and misadventure.

Experience Nirvana with Sub Pop Founder Bruce PavittSong Writing

The man who ran Nirvana's first label gets beyond the sensationalism (drugs, Courtney) to discuss their musical and cultural triumphs in the years before Nevermind.

Bass Player Scott EdwardsSong Writing

Scott was Stevie Wonder's bass player before becoming a top session player. Hits he played on include "I Will Survive," "Being With You" and "Sara Smile."

Movie Stars In Music VideosSong Writing

Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Mila Kunis and John Malkovich are just a few of the film stars who have moonlighted in music videos.

The FratellisSongwriter Interviews

Jon Fratelli talks about the band's third album, and the five-year break leading up to it.