I've heard this song is about the Jane who inspired the movie Gorillas in the Mist. I don't know much about this Jane, but what she did - going into the wild to protect primates - took a lot of courage, and brought her a lot of pain when those primates were "put into cages." She's like Stevie in that way, they both feel "imprisoned" when they see someone suffering.
Despite the disappointments and struggles, Jane continued to persevere, "to look a challenge straight between the eyes" and not shrink from it. Her courage and efforts have done a lot to make the world a better place, and Stevie's been helped personally as well. She admires and has been encouraged by her compassion, bravery, persistence, and unselfish love - Jane's an "angel" from above.
There's one section of this song that makes me think Jane could be dying, because Stevie asks her to "stay with us." Or is she already dead? Is Stevie talking to her spirit, telling her to "Come away" into Heaven? It's hard to know, but I'm leaning towards her still being alive at this point, and Stevie wants her to "come away" to finally rest. Jane always wants to do more, but Stevie tells her she's already done enough... "in the eyes of the world you have done so much."
I was looking at the interpretation of Jane, im not 100% sure but I think it might actually be about Jane Goodall, rather than Dian Fossey (Gorillas in the Mist). The reason I came across this was because my college is going to see Jane on Monday. As I can not attend I am sending my copy of Street Angel with my lecturer to show Jane, although she has hopefully heard it already; if not, it will be a nice surprise.
What a tribute to your life's work........
Anyway, I thought if she hadn't heard it I would get Jane to autograph it and address a thank you to Stevie (if she likes it) and next year when the Mac are touring I shall find a way to get it to Stevie.
Now for a little about Jane:-
Also I think this may be the official website
I hope I am right, though; Otherwise, I shall look rather silly. Jane also did a lot of protesting against cruelty to animals etc. which I think Stevie would be referring to with:
"The children of the world, the forgotten chimpanzee,
In the eyes of the world you have done so much for me."
Although, if this is correct, please can you also leave a mention for Dian Fossey - These are two truly great women and if I have only a tenth of their perseverence, courage and determination I shall do very well in life.
A beautiful song.
The song was written about Jane Goodall, the anthropologist. Hence, the bizarre 'chimpanzee' lines. she sang it at a benefit circa 1991.
I love this song so dearly because it describes any woman's young life. And that's what I thought at first, but one night lying in bed listening to it I thought about Jane Goodall (forgive my spelling). The whole chimp thing never crossed my mind until that night. "They caged her very own baby." The chimps are like her (Jane's) children. "They might as well put us both into prison, all our sorrows will become our only visions, nothing more".....Stevie and Jane are very much alike, oddly enough. Once again, Stevie has successfully described another role-model.