Jenny is a friend. Jenny is a lover. Jenny may even be a pet.
And sometimes, Jenny is… no one in particular.
Jenny is such a common name and has found its way in numerous songs throughout the years. We rounded up 10 Jenny songs that we thought you might enjoy listening to.
10 Songs About Jenny
1. “Poor Jenny” by The Everly Brothers
Let’s start the list with an oldie but goodie song from the country rock duo, The Everly Brothers. Phil and Don Everly blast out an energetic tune about a first date gone wrong.
The girl got involved in a brawl during a party; she caught a hook and got knocked out cold. Her date couldn’t carry her, so he just went and fled for his safety.
She got hospitalized and later on locked up in a cell. Naturally, Poor Jenny —who turned out to be a leader of a gang— wasn’t amused seeing the date who had left her lying wounded on the ground. The same thing can be said about the girl’s brother and dad.
Jenny has a brother and he’s hot on my trail / Her daddy wants to ride me out of town on a rail / I hope I’ll be around when Jenny gets out of jail / Poor Jenny… He’s still hoping to see her after all the mess, though.
2. “Jenny Jenny” by Little Richard
Another classic Jenny song, little Richard takes wooing to a whole new level with this upbeat rock and roll song. In this song, Jenny is the object of affection with whom the boogie balladeer would like to spend his life (Jenny, Jenny, Jenny / Won’t you come along with me / You know that I love you / We could live so happily).
In this frenetic love proposal, the “King and Queen of Rock and Roll” showcases his vocal prowess that the likes of Paul McCartney tried to copy. Being one of Little Richard’s best vocal imitators, McCartney said, “You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it.”
3. “Jenny from the Block” by Jennifer Lopez
Fast forward to 2002, an autobiographical song came out describing a famous singer’s journey to fame and fortune, and how she’s still the same girl at the core. Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got / I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block / Used to have a little, now I have a lot / No matter where I go, I know where I came from (from the Bronx!).
Jennifer Lopez recounts all the hard work it takes to be successful in the industry, as well as the ups and downs of being a part of the business. And amidst the fame and fortune, Jenny from the Block chooses to remain true to her roots. This R&B hip-hop tune had its share of negative and positive criticisms, but it was an overall commercial success.
4. “Jenny Was a Friend of Mine by The Killers
This is not the usual merry Jenny song. Jenny Was a Friend of Mine is a dark and sinister song by the American rock band The Killers, released as part of a Murder Trilogy —the final installment to a narrative detailing the murder of Jenny.
In this song, the narrator relates the details leading to the murder of his ex-lover Jenny and his subsequent arrest. It seemed like a crime of passion (We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain / She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go); yet, he maintained that he didn’t hurt the girl (There ain’t no motive for this crime / Jenny was a friend of mine). Whether he deliberately or accidentally drowned Jenny in a fit of jealousy is open for interpretation. And so is the outcome of the interrogation.
Legend has it that this song is based on the real-life murder case of Jennifer Levin in Central Park in the 80s.
5. “Jenny Take a Ride” by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels
This song strikes a similarity with another song from the earlier entry, Little Richard’s Jenny Jenny. And it’s not a coincidence: it’s a mashup of the said song and the classic Chuck Willis’ blues C. C. Rider.
Jenny Take a Ride became the band’s first big hit and sold over one million copies in the mid-60s. It is a great classic rock song you won’t be able to listen to just sitting down; you just gotta get up and dance to the track!
6. “Jenny” by Chicago
Another dark and cynical entry in this list, Chicago’s Jenny laments on being away with the love of his life and leaving her in someone else’s care. He’s also bitterly aware that anything can happen while he’s gone, as There’s always someone waiting / Just to shit on you.
But, wait! This tenderly affecting song was actually about Terry Kath’s dog called Jenny. He asks his darling canine to look after his lover during his absence. Now the lines You can run and bark and play / Your whole life through / And you can chase the cats around / ‘Cause she loves that too suddenly make sense.
7. “Jenny” by The Click Five
This song is about a fickle lady delivered through that familiar, nostalgic flavor of pop tunes of the era gone by. Jenny is hot and cold, she pulls and pushes, says yes and then no, and it puts the poor lad in a constant state of despair.
And who is this Jenny caught in a constant state of indecision? Well, Jenny represents just about anyone and anything like that, according to band member Ben Romans. In other words, she’s no one in particular. But fans always, always come up with theories; one goes that Jenny actually refers to their friend, former South Korean girl group 2NE1 member, Park Bom (whose English name is Jenny).
Kyle Patrick playfully responded to this idea on Twitter: “We may never know the truth.”
8. “Jenny and the Summer Day” by The Avett Brothers
Who can forget the youthful innocence of summer lovin’? Jenny and the Summer Day captures the fun, old-school imagery of a summer romance. The banjo and the beat will take you back to those carefree, long summer days feeling in love with love.
This is a good song to listen to simply because of its light, uplifting, summery feel.
9. “867-5309/Jenny” by Tommy Tutone
This song by the American pop band Tommy Tutone launched a frenzy of people ringing Jenny at 867-5309. Talk about something going viral long before viral became synonymous with internet phenomenon.
867-5309, also known as Jenny, is a foot-tapping tune that revolves around a guy yearning for a girl called Jenny whom he doesn’t even know, and whose number he only found scrawled on a bathroom wall. This song may transport listeners to a time when establishing a connection with someone they have not even laid eyes on was not exactly deemed a creepy thing to do.
10. “Jenny” by Eric Church
Who would have thought that an encounter with a broken generator will lead to a dreamy, country tune? That’s exactly how Eric Church came up with the song Jenny, a romantic folky piece about going on a low-key road rendezvous in a Chevy.
This song paints a picture of the relaxed optimism of a budding romance. Heading out west, rolling down the windows and feeling the breeze, with the significant other on the passenger seat; this song reminds us that sometimes, romantic bliss is all about keeping it simple and real.
Jenny songs summon all kinds of feelings -affection, confusion, admiration, frustration, and everything else in between. And while emotions can be fleeting, they can also be persistent, multifaceted, and to some extent, life-changing.
Whether you are listening to Jenny songs to feel or to heal, we wish that you find the one that resonates with your spirit.
Joyce Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies at New Era University. She especially enjoyed her journalism class and was nominated for Photojournalist of the Year. Joyce Anne loves music; she is a self-taught piano player. When she's not writing (or baking or watching documentaries), she's probably playing songs on the piano, mostly by ear.