“Janie Jones” is one of my favorite songs by The Clash. It is also one of my favorite album “Track 1’s”. The song is a melding of Punk and Pop sensibilities that makes it not only the perfect opening song to the album, but also gives it that addictive catchiness that brings you back for more. I can’t count how many times I’ve hit replay after playing the song. And, I can’t count how many mixtapes and playlists I’ve slid the track into – especially if said tape, CD or streaming mix was themed for driving and/or road trips.
A piece of writing I’ve worked on, off-and-on, that started as a short story, but grew, began from a Joe Strummer song. Joe and The Clash became part of the soundtrack of the story, set in a nowhere desert town where the lives of three teenagers intersect over isolation, attraction, and loss. One of those three characters I named Janie, inspired by “Janie Jones”.
“Janie Jones” by The Clash
from the album, The Clash (Self-Titled, 1977)
Song of the Day
“He’s in love with rock’n’roll, woah.
He’s in love with gettin’ stoned, woah.
He’s in love with Janie Jones, woah.
He don’t like his boring job, no.”
This song screams adolescence, doesn’t it? That said, the rebelliousness, freedoms, and new experiences of being young – falling in love, getting high, obsessing over music, hating your job – still ring true when you turn the volume up and scream-sing-a-long to “Janie Jones”. I don’t think you ever completely outgrow your adolescent self, do you?
Janie and The Clash
Last night we lay in bed listening to The Clash. When “Janie Jones” played we talked about how we felt about the song, how irresistible it is even if it wasn’t a favorite at first listen. There is nothing better than the nights we spend in each other’s arms listening to music, talking and not talking, and connecting in a way that is such a huge part of who we are, and the love we share. I hope we always have these moments together, as often as possible. How we are makes me feel like the “lucky lady”.
“And he knows what he like to do,
he knows he’s gonna have fun with you –
you lucky lady.”
We lost our first conversations. Those initial words traded back-and-forth that led to who we are now. Though we both remember parts of them, we both wish that one of us had saved them. We’ve said a few times that its like we lost our first album like we lost The Clash’s debut. That means no more “Janie Jones”, but we keep bringing it back, because really, you can’t be without it.
“Janie Jones” (live, 1977) by The Clash