Lady Jane (song)

"Lady Jane" is a song by the English rock group the Rolling Stones, penned by the group's songwriting duo of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It was initially included on their album, Aftermath. which was released on 12 April 1966 in the UK and 20 June 1966 in the US.[5]

"Lady Jane"
Lady Jane.jpg
Single by the Rolling Stones
from the album Aftermath (UK edition)
  • 15 April 1966 (1966-04-15) (UK album)
  • July 1966 (US single)
Format7-inch single
RecordedMarch 1966
StudioRCA, Hollywood, California
Producer(s)Andrew Loog Oldham
The Rolling Stones US singles chronology
"Paint It Black"
"Lady Jane" / "Mother's Little Helper"
"Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow?"
Aftermath track listing
14 tracks
Side one
  1. "Mother's Little Helper"
  2. "Stupid Girl"
  3. "Lady Jane"
  4. "Under My Thumb"
  5. "Doncha Bother Me"
  6. "Goin' Home"
Side two
  1. "Flight 505"
  2. "High and Dry"
  3. "Out of Time"
  4. "It's Not Easy"
  5. "I Am Waiting"
  6. "Take It or Leave It"
  7. "Think"
  8. "What to Do"

The song showcases Brian Jones' instrumental incorporation of baroque rock as it was beginning to be introduced, and became influential in originating the musical style later known as world music.[6] In the US, the song was released as the B-side of the "Mother's Little Helper" single on 2 July 1966, and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.[7]



The song was written at a milestone in the Rolling Stones' recording career that saw Jagger and Richards emerge as the group's chief songwriters. On the band's previous album, Out of Our Heads, the duo shared writing credits on just three tracks. On Aftermath, however, the two were credited together on every track, making it the first album to be composed solely of original band material.[8] It was also during this period Brian Jones, despite losing control of the band's output, was integrating different instruments into the group's repertoire. Joe S. Harrington has noted that the Beatles' harpsichord arrangement featured on the song "In My Life", in 1965, opened considerations for Jones to include baroque rock instrumentals.[6]

"Lady Jane" was written and composed by Jagger in early 1966 after reading the then controversial book Lady Chatterley's Lover, which uses the term "Lady Jane" to mean female genitalia.[9] According to Jagger, "the names [in the song] are historical, but it was really unconscious that they should fit together from the same period."[10] At the time, it was widely thought that an inspiration for the song was Jane Ormsby-Gore, daughter of David Ormsby-Gore, former British ambassador in Washington, who later married Michael Rainey, founder of the Hung on You boutique in Chelsea that was frequented by the Stones.[11] Its most influential development was by Jones, no longer the principal musical force for the band, searching for methods to improve upon The Rolling Stones' musical textures.[12] He expressed an intrigue in incorporating culturally diverse instruments into the band's music, investigating the sitar, koto, marimba, and testing electronics. In the press Jones talked about applying the Appalachian dulcimer into compositions, although he seemed uncertain of the instrument, saying "It's an old English instrument used at the beginning of the century". The dulcimer was first brought to his attention in March 1966 when Jones began listening to recordings of Richard Fariña. The influence of these recordings would manifest itself in Aftermath, where Jones performed with the dulcimer on two tracks, "I Am Waiting" and, more distinctively, "Lady Jane". This later contributed to Jones's status as an early pioneer in world music, and effectively shifted the band from blues rock to a versatile pop group.[13][14]


The master recording of "Lady Jane" was recorded from 6 to 9 March 1966, at RCA Studios in Los Angeles, with sound engineer Dave Hassinger guiding the band through the process (despite Andrew Loog Oldham being credited as producer).[15] Mark Brend has indicated that the influence of Fariña's dulcimer playing can be clearly heard – most noticeably in Jones's recurring counter-melody to a call and response with Jagger's vocals. Jones plays the instrument in the traditional style, with it placed on his knees fretted with a biter and plucked with a quill.[13] In addition to the striking dulcimer motif, "Lady Jane" is also highlighted by Jack Nitzche's harpsichord accompaniment halfway through the song.[16] "Lady Jane" also exhibits influences of author Geoffry Chaucer, particularly in Jagger's vocal delivery and diction. To Richards, "Lady Jane is very Elizabethan. There are a few places in England where people still speak that way, Chaucer English".[16][17] The vocal melody is set in the subtonic range, rather than the conventional major seventh scale degree, which presents a Renaissance-style modal. Although stylistically the two songs have little in common, the modality connects the Eastern melody and harmonies of "Lady Jane" to "Paint It Black".[18]


In the US, "Lady Jane" was released as the B-side of "Mother's Little Helper." "Lady Jane" reached number 24 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, while "Mother's Little Helper" reached number eight, making the release one of the few singles with both songs becoming hits in the US.[19]



Chart (1966) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[20] 12
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[21] 91
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 24



  1. ^ Brend, Mark (2005). Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop. Hal Leonard. p. 135.
  2. ^ "Steve Smith: Wyman and Taylor join the Rolling Stones onstage; Coldplay takes a break". Archived from the original on 3 December 2012. Retrieved 2016-05-07.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Pasadena Star-News. 29 November 2012.
  3. ^ Harrington, Joe S. (2002). Sonic Cool: The Life & Death of Rock 'n' Roll. Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-0-634-02861-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs". Rolling Stone. October 15, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  5. ^ The Rolling Stones. "The Rolling Stones: Best of ABKCO Years: Authentic Guitar TAB Sheet Music ...". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Harrington, Joe S. Sonic Cool: The Life & Death of Rock 'n' Roll. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 191. Retrieved May 30, 2015. the rolling stones lady jane baroque pop.
  7. ^ Nelson, Murry R. The Rolling Stones: A Musical Biography. ABC-CLIO. p. 45. Retrieved May 29, 2015. the rolling stones lady jane.
  8. ^ "Aftermath (UK)". Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Sanford, Christopher. "The Rolling Stones: Fifty Years". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  10. ^ Hebst, Peter. "Rolling Stone Interview". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  11. ^ Obituary of Michael Rainey, The Times, 7 February 2017
  12. ^ Brian Wawzenek. "Top 10 Brian Jones Multi-Instrumentalist Songs". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Brend, Mark. "Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  14. ^ DeRogatis, Jim; Kot, Greg. "The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions On the Great Rock 'N' Rivalry". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  15. ^ "Lady Jane". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  16. ^ a b "100 Greatest Rolling Stones Songs". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Perkins, Jeff; Heatley, Michael. "Rolling Stones - Uncensored On the Record". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  18. ^ Perone, James E. "The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  19. ^ "Rolling Stones - Billboard Charts". Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  20. ^ " – The Rolling Stones – Lady Jane" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5792." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  22. ^ "The Rolling Stones Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  23. ^ "Rotary Connection: Rotary Connection".