What does Jenny Was a Friend of Mine mean?

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The Killers: Jenny Was a Friend of Mine Meaning

Tagged: Murder [suggest]

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Jenny Was a Friend of Mine Lyrics

We took a walk that night, but it wasn't the same
We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain
She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go
She couldn't scream while I held her close
I swore I'd never let her go
Tell me what you...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Aug 21st, 2010 8:14pm report


    Well, if The Killers already gave the interpretation, there's really no use debating it. I'll let you guys know what I thought it was before I read the real explanation here.

    I believe that it's about a boyfriend and girlfriend in a dysfunctional relationship because the girl thinks (wrongly) that the boyfriend is cheating on her with Jenny. Also some of the lyrics would suggest the girl has emotional problems.

    "We took a walk that night, but it wasn't the same
    We had a fight on the promenade out in the rain"
    I think that the boyfriend senses something is wrong with his girlfriend and when he asks her she accuses him of cheating on her with Jenny.

    "She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go
    She couldn't scream while I held I close
    I swore I'd never let her go"

    I think here she is confirming she loves him but that the fight gets so bad she has to leave. Feeling bad about letting it escalate to that level he holds her tight and tells he would never cheat/leaver her for anyone ever. It is due to emotional reasons that she is unable to scream, not physical.

    "Tell me what you wanna know
    Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on
    There ain't no motive for this crime
    Jenny was a friend of mine
    So come on, oh come on, oh come on"

    Here after she's calmed down enough he asks her what she wants to know (possibly why she saw them together, of confirmation she isn't cheating on her, etc, whatever it is, the girlfriend has no speaking lines in the song so its said "off camera") After she asks says "oh come on, there's no motive for this crime (meaning, there's no reasons why I would want to cheat on you)Jenny was just a friend of mine" the improper English saying "was" a friend could just be the way he talks (I've heard lots of songs with improper English) or just that Jenny was a friend in the past that is visiting from out of town, or whatever. It is unclear if the girlfriend even knows Jenny's name before the boyfriend mentions it.

    "I know my rights, I've been here all day and it's time
    For me to go, so let me know if it's alright
    I just can't take this, I swear I told you the truth
    She couldn't scream while I held her close
    I swore I'd never let her go"

    Here the previous incident has passed but now the girlfriend is accusing/interrogating him of sneaking off with Jenny. That's why he says "I know my right" because of the way she is accusing him, almost like the police. It could also have the double meaning of how she's not treating him with the common courtesy a girlfriend should treat her boyfriend with (going too far)
    The "I've been here all day" part could be that she accused him at work, possibly has been interrogating him all day about it, or even that he's telling her that he was at their apartment all day and hasn't snuck out to see Jenny.
    In this part it's the boyfriend who wants to get away from the fighting while trying to convince her he not lying about cheating on her. Again, he holds her tight and reassures her.

    "Tell me what you wanna know
    Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on
    And then you whisper in my ear
    I know what you're doing here
    So come on, oh come on, oh come on
    There ain't no motive for this crime
    Jenny was a friend of mine
    Oh come on, oh come on, oh come on"

    While holding her and calming her down he again asks her to ask him what she wants to know so that maybe he can reassure her of his innocence. And again he tries to reassure her like he did before but this time she whispers in his ear that she really thinks he's lieing to her about Jenny. The song ends with him still trying to convince her otherwise.

    Again, Since The Killers already said it's part of a murder trilogy, I'm obviously wrong about my interpretation, but that's just what I thought the song was talking about.

    Also, I have to say the guy that said that he thought Jenny committed suicide, that he held her close because he sensed something wrong, and the police are interrogating him about it after the fact is a pretty legit interpretation as well. :)



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 14th, 2010 6:29am report


    Could it be possible that this hole thriology has something to to with sebastian faulks novel "Engleby"? There are just so many parallels! Does anyone know something about that theory?



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 10th, 2010 4:39am report


    I personally feel that she was committing suicide and that's what she means by, "somewhere to go" so the police think that he killed her, but he didn't. That's why he felt something was off. He was holding her so tight because then she fall on the ground and cry or have a nervous breakdown. That's just how I feel, though who knows.



  4.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 23rd, 2010 2:40am report


    Although Flowers has never mentioned bones being part of the trilogy i believe it is about the dumping of the body. (therefore in between "Midnight Show" and "Jenny was a friend of mine". He mentions driving in his car (where midnight show is mainly set) down a back road, to avoid police as he has a body in the car, then to the ocean , where he dumps the body. We are then told the narrator cries is the cold wet dirt. Then voices in his head telling him he will be fine tomorrow. There is plenty more references to each of the others songs in there as well. Im sorry i didnt really interpret "Jenny Was a friend of mine" but i was looking at the trilogy as a whole. These songs may also be the inspiration behind the naming of the band.



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 4th, 2010 2:31am report


    I'm pretty sure this song is about the Preppie Murder (Robert Chambers and Jennifer Levin).



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 11th, 2010 1:05pm report


    It's about a guy recounting the night that Jenny died to the police, under suspicion of murder. It's definitely for murder/manslaughter because of the use of past tense; 'Jenny WAS a friend of mine', and also if she was still alive they would probably be able to charge him without the interrogation.
    He acknowledges that the night felt wrong, and that they had a fight, and that he might have lost it. Beyond that, though, he's insistent that he's innocent, and doesn't give any information beyond the fact that 'She couldn't scream while I held her close/I swore I'd never let her go' implying that he might have gotten a little obsessive when she tried to leave ('She said she loved me/But she had somewhere to go') - perhaps he suspected she was cheating, or they were exes and she had already moved on but had agreed to meet him one last time.

    There's also a dark side to the police in this song, because the listener is positioned to hear his side of the story, and his perceived injustice that 'I know my rights/I've been here all day and it's time/For me to go' 'I swear I told you the truth'. This verse implies that he's cracking under the pressure, but because he doesn't reveal anything incriminating, it leaves it open that he might not have actually done it.

    The interrogator attempts to intimidate him ('And then you whispered in my ear/I know what you're doing here') but the suspect is adamant that they have no evidence to charge him ('There ain't no motive for this crime/Jenny was a friend of mine') and he maintains that he's innocent.



  7.  

    alackofcolour
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    Dec 20th, 2009 12:26pm report


    This song is part of the Murder Trilogy.
    the three songs involved (in order)are:

    1st: Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf.
    (This is where Jenny is mingling with other men, and the singer is not happy about it. A plan is formed.)

    2nd: Midnight Show.
    (He puts his plan into action, and kills Jenny, who puts up a fight.)

    3rd: Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine.
    (He is interrogated by the police, and he claims his innocence.)

    Check the lyrics for all three and the story should make sense.

    This is just my interpretation, but this is how it made sense to me personally.
    Also, i'm not writing this with full knowledge of the lyrics, it's based on what i've been told and what i remember from the song lyrics.



  8.  

    alackofcolour
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    Dec 20th, 2009 12:26pm report


    This song is part of the Murder Trilogy.
    the three songs involved (in order)are:

    1st: Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf.
    (This is where Jenny is mingling with other men, and the singer is not happy about it. A plan is formed.)

    2nd: Midnight Show.
    (He puts his plan into action, and kills Jenny, who puts up a fight.)

    3rd: Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine.
    (He is interrogated by the police, and he claims his innocence.)

    Check the lyrics for all three and the story should make sense.
    In "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine" he says

    This is just my interpretation, but this is how it made sense to me personally.
    Also, i'm not writing this with full knowledge of the lyrics, it's based on what i've been told and what i remember from the song lyrics.



  9.  

    Samalander
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    Nov 22nd, 2009 11:59am report


    Perhaps he's also saying that she was a friend of his, but that's it. He loved her, but she only loved him as a friend.
    "She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go"
    He might be saying that she means "I love you, you're like my brother, but I've got to go fuck my boyfriend now"
    Plus pretty much all of his songs are about whores and prostitutes, soooo
    another possibility is that she's a whore that he got down with, and he fell in love with her. She wants to love him too, but she's been in the game too long, and can't leave. Her pimp/boyfriend probably killed her.



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 19th, 2009 11:31pm report


    Idiots. It's about Robert Chambers and Jenny Levin. The preppie murder.



  11.  

    BiTTorrent949
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    Sep 29th, 2009 9:09am report


    This is my interpretation of the song:

    They took a walk in the park but they knew something was wrong. He tried to explain but she took it the wrong way.
    She said she loved him but couldn't put up with it anymore. Later on that day, he found her dead, so she couldn't scream, and held her close. He loved her and couldn't let her go. He says he'll tell what he knows to the police. He didn't know that the fight would end this way. He loved Jenny with his heart.

    He knows that he may go to jail, and he's always been there. He is willing to go to jail but he wants to know if it will be alright. He told the police everything he knew, but he just can't take it. She was dead and he could never let her go.

    He'll tell the police what he knows. The police whispered in his ear, "I know what your doing here" meaning he's only trying to cover up for her death. He knows that this wasn't right. He loved Jenny with his heart.

    This is actually a pretty sad story for The Killers. I know this may not be the correct interpretation of the song but it's what I think it is.

    Sources
    http://www.elyrics.net/read/k/killers-lyrics/jenny-was-a-friend-of-mine-lyrics.html
    www.LyricInterpretations.com
    The Killers - Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 17th, 2009 9:01pm report


    You first of all need to listen to "Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf", as this is the story of how Jenny cheated on him. He was so angry and consumed with jealousy that in "Midnight Show" he murdered Jenny. It was a case of "if I can't have you, nobody can" sort of thing. Now this "Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine" is about how the police caught up with him and he is trying to say he didn't do it.
    Listen to the songs in this order for the story
    -Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf
    -Midnight Show
    -Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine



  13.  

    goodgal
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    May 22nd, 2009 5:02pm report


    This song is about a young girl that died cause her boyfriend killed her.It's kind of a true story. The story itself is three songs long with...Jenny Was A Friend of Mine,Midnight Show, and Leave the Burbon on the Shelf. The band got sued by the parents of this young girl. They came to find out that the girl had been to one of their conserts. I wish they would sing a song about me, don't care what it would be about.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 19th, 2009 4:20am report


    The Killers themselves say that this is part of the murder trilogy. It includes Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, Midnight Show, and Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf. This is the part of the story where he is being questioned for the murder. He denies it, hence the "there ain't not motive for this crime, Jenny was a friend of mine". In Midnight Show he is disposing of the body. In Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf he is either thinking and planning the murder or it might take place after Jenny is already dead. I think it goes in this order, Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf, Midnight Show and the Jenny Was a Friend of Mine.



  15.  

    ToastySteve
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    Feb 20th, 2009 2:10am report


    'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine' is the third part of The Killers' so-called 'Murder Trilogy', with 'Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf' (from the 'Sawdust' album) being the first part, and 'Midnight Show' being the second.

    In the first part of the trilogy, Flowers sings about a girl named Jennifer (Jenny) who the male character in the trilogy is in love with. The pair are obviously dysfunctional, with the male having an alcohol problem and Jenny apparently cheating on him*, which he finds out about ("Jennifer, tell me where I stand, and who's that boy holding your hand?"). The male character, however, seems willing to forgive Jenny for what she's done because of his love for her.

    *It is unclear weather Jenny has actually cheated on him or whether it is some kind of paranoia which has resulted from his alcohol abuse.

    In the second part, the male character takes Jenny out in his car, probably with the intentions of making things better between them by 'fooling around'. However, there is a voice in the back of his mind reminding him of her unfaithfulness ("promise me you'll stay and fix these things I've heard, make it go away!"). However, instead of making love to her, as he had originally planned, his jealousy gets the better of him and he strangles her ("I took my baby's breath..."). He then dumps her body in the ocean , and "watched her disappear into the midnight show". But he knows that dumping her body in the ocean won't get rid of her body permanently ("crashing tides can't hide a guilty girl").

    The third part, 'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine', is following the murder, starting with the sounds of the police helicopter and the police finding Jenny's body. The male has been taken in for questioning. This song is his version of events. He admits that he and Jenny had had an argument that night following "a walk on the promenade out in the rain", but denies that he had any reason to have murdered her as they were friends. We find out a little more about what happened that night when the male tells us that things weren't the same between them again and that Jenny told him that she loved him but that she didn't want to be with him, stating that "she had somewhere to go" - perhaps to her other lover. The murderer continues to deny any involvement. The detective interrogating him whispers in his ear, "I know what you're doing here," indicating that he knows that he had something to do with the murder but he just cannot prove anything without a confession. The killer continues to deny any wrongdoing.


    Further information about the song:

    During the performance of 'Jenny Was a Friend of Mine' at one of the live concerts I saw them play, Flowers replaced the second occurance of the line "She couldn't scream as I held her close" with "She kicked and screamed as I held her throat", whilst miming strangling somebody, thus turning the denial of the crime into the confession the detective was pushing for. This also supports the theory that Jenny was strangled to death.

    I was also wondering if 'Bones' is a later addition to this story, as this seems like it could be telling a version of events in the lead up to the "fight" by the ocean which leads ultimately the the murder. It's also possible that other songs from the albums are part of this story too ('Mr Brightside', for example, could be seen as the male character witnessing Jenny's infidetily, although there is nothing in the song to indicate that this is about the same couple). Just a thought...






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