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  • I learned the truth at seventeen,
    That love was meant for beauty queens
  • There's never much to say between
    The moments of our games and repartee
  • Put your ear to the ground,
    there's a buzz
    about a new type of song
  • And I'm leaving the light on the stairs
    No I'm not scared - I wait for you
    Hey Jesse, I'm lonely, come home
  • Nothing's sadder than the man who thinks he's free
    when he is chained to the prison of his hatred,
    and a dream gone up in flames
  • I would tell her how I've yearned
    to be worthy of the grail.
    All these years and all I've learned
    is just how brilliantly I fail
  • There are voices on the wind.
    Stolen whispers, sacred moans.
    You can hear them through your skin,
    and the singing of the bones
  • Here we all are, waiting for God,
    or someone who looks just like Him
  • We live beyond our means
    on other peoples' dreams,
    and that's succeeding
  • We were speaking of values and violence.
    Breaking silence
  • And if I never reach Orion,
    and if I never fly that far -
    still there's no harm in trying
    to go walking on a star
  • And if Jesus was a black man,
    or as white as Sambo's grin,
    it's his words that we'd remember,
    not the color of his skin
  • Old lace and picture frames
    rattle their ancient chains.
    Midnight will surprise moonlight at the door
  • I want to make you love me,
    and I want to make you smile,
    and I want to be your family,
    for just a little while
  • I believe in tomorrow,
    but I remember yesterday
  • How could I have loved you for so long?
    I know I enjoyed you,
    but how could I have liked you?
  • Old cliches, they grow like vines,
    to clutch the heart of the one you leave behind
  • It's the road that makes the rhythm.
    It's the chalk marks on her soul.
  • She was younger than forever.
    She was older than goodbye.
  • It's not who you love,
    but whether you can.
  • Vocatus atque non vocatus, deus aderit.
    Sursum, Domini, sursum Domini.
    Ora pro nobis, in ora pro nobis pacem, Kyrie.
    In ora Kyrie eleison. Kyrie.
  • She can taste it on your breath,
    cutting through the cigarette.
    She can smell it on your sweat
  • The city casts no shadow now.
    At midnight,
    all the whores come out and dance with darkness,
    and the night rains pour.
  • How does it feel to pull out the nails,
    and find you still can walk?
  • Yesterday's preacher,
    today's bikini beacher
  • Now all over this big wide world,
    I play like a girl -
    from the California lights to the Serengetti nights,
    I play like a girl
  • Close the light. Still the flames.
    Candles light the empty frames.
    A photograph can never be
    the song you are to me.
  • Some overdose, and some wrap like a rose
    'round the slick perfumed nose of high noon.
    Burning their lips as they stoop low
    to kiss some rich man's excuse for the moon.
  • First time I saw Paris in your eyes,
    you told me how you loved me,
    under blue Picasso skies.
  • No one sends roses to crazy old ladies
    who lie in dark dusty rooms,
    the size of a small foreign car.
    Sometimes I wonder
    where all the good people are.
  • Some sell their bodies for dimes,
    while others marry for the houses,
    and the jewelry.
    It's a real thin line,
    what you charge for your time.
  • Hide me in the wisdom of your thighs.
    Ride me like a wave.
  • And is she beautiful?
    She must be pretty, or worse,
    to ride the high seas.
  • The gates of the city are closed until dawn,
    when the ghosts of midnight have come and gone,
    and the hearts of the weary carry on
  • Why can't my wings soar like yours?
    Why can't my span spread as wide?
    Maybe I've got too much left to hide
  • I am waiting for my life to be
    one long unbroken symphony.
    Will it come too late to shelter me?
    I long to be eternity.
    Come on, come on, eternity!
  • I lay the baby out each dawn,
    inbetween the tender corn,
    with sunrise for her bonnet,
    and flies her only blanket.
  • Somewhere out there are millions just like me -
    homesick for Eden,
    heartsick at the memory.
  • You mistake the moment for the song.
    The drama for the play.
    The actor for the role.
    The neon light for day.
  • The old ones like to claw and clutch.
    Be careful not to offer much.
    They understand the fist and crutch.
  • Here I am dancing at last.
    Holding my own,
    even when the band plays fast -
    tonight's the night!
  • How we used to like the old-time movies.
    The silent picture show,
    where you make up your life
    at the end of the night,
    as your reel to reels unfold
  • Her new name was tattooed to her wrist.
    It was longer than the old one... tattoo.
  • God said I wish you'd known me,
    when I still believed you'd be true.
    Now for the rest of your days,
    when you call our my name,
    I'll be "Mr. God" to you.
  • Every man's an island in the desert of his soul.
    Take to the sky,
    there's nowhere else to go.
  • I went to drink some water,
    but the faucet heads were gone.
    They weren't sterling silver,
    but I loved to turn them on.
  • Enough about me - let's talk about you.
    What do you think of me?
  • Janis Ian - Photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian - Photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian playing percussion for 'Stars' - Photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian on stage
  • Janis Ian - Photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian with Kathy Mattea & Deanna Carter cutting 'Emmanual'
  • Janis Ian with Eric Bibb & Leon Bibb
  • Janis Ian with Eric Bibb
  • Janis Ian with Utah Philips & Eric Bibb
  • Young Janis Ian with Leonard Bernstein
  • Janis, Judy Collins, Leonard Cohen - Bottom Line 12-01-74
Hot News
  • Pearl Foundation eBay site opens at 8pm EST!

    Bid on a doctor's coat from "Getting On" and a great thermal jacket...

  • Resist now available as a free download!

    Visit here to watch a video of “Resist” and download a free mp3 and lyric! Janis is encouraging fans and friends to sing along with this song when she presents it at live shows, so get ready!! There are many, many other free items available for download here as well.

  • New Message From Janis in the Website Newsroom

    It was another good year for the Pearl Foundation, so thanks to everyone who bought merchandise, attended shows, held a Living Room Concert, visited our re-opened eBay Store, or just plain donated a buck or two in thanks for the free downloads! I’ll be publishing a final report on my Facebook page and the forum, but as of this moment we are adding $75,000 to our scholarship endowments, bringing the grand total up to $1,191,250.00

more hot news

Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
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All tour dates updated on February 7, 2020

  • Wednesday February 26th
    Memorial Hall
    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Memorial Hall

    Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

    Phone: (513) 977-8838

    Visit the venue's website

    An evening with Janis, some new songs, some old songs, some funny stories and some heart-wrenching moments! Expect a shout out to the science fiction community of Cincinnati, and of course, Janis plans to stay after the show to greet people and sign whatever they may buy or bring!!

  • Friday February 28
    E. J. Thomas Hall
    Akron, Ohio

    E. J. Thomas Hall

    Akron, Ohio

    Phone: 330-972-7570

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sunday, March 1
    Buskirk-Chumley Theater
    Bloomington, IN

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater

    Bloomington, IN

    Phone: 812.323.3020

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.
    Tickets available via OvationTix

  • Monday, March 2nd
    Monroe County Public Library
    Bloomington, IN

    Monroe County Public Library

    Bloomington, IN

    Phone: 812-323-3020

    Visit the venue's website

    Note!!! This class is free but because of limited space you must get tickets. 7:00PM start.
    Janis Ian has given master classes in conventional and unconventional settings; she's studied with such luminaries as Stella Adler, Chao Shao Lin of the Peking Opera Company, Dora Krannig of the Royal Ballet, and Bart the Garage Mechanic from down the street. Illustrated with live song performances, you'll hear her take on the history of music ("from the cavemen to syphilis and its effect on the arts"), personal anecdotes based on her five decades of experience as a writer, performer, and business person. There'll also be a free-wheeling Q&A, no holds barred. This class is for anyone interested in the arts, musical or otherwise. In fact, it's for anyone interested in humans. As Janis says, "What have I got to lose at this point in life?"
    Our gratitude to the sponsors of this event, The Stone Age Institute, through a grant from the Kaman Foundation!!!

  • Monday June 29 to Friday July 3
    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College
    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone: N/A

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

more tour dates

Hot News

more free downloads

Featured Image

New Message From Janis
in the Newsroom

It was another good year for the Pearl Foundation, so thanks to everyone who bought merchandise, attended shows, held a Living Room Concert, visited our re-opened eBay Store, or just plain donated a buck or two in thanks for the free downloads! I’ll be publishing a final report on my Facebook page and the forum, but as of this moment we are adding $75,000 to our scholarship endowments, bringing the grand total up to $1,191,250.00 – a whole lot more than Michael Camp (who wrote the code for our first Internet auction), my wife (who made out 300+ shipping labels), and myself (who had the brilliant idea to take up months of our time raising funds back in 1998) every dreamed we could raise.

Amazing what a few dedicated people can do, isn’t it?!

Go here for the entire news update from Janis!

Free is good, but think of the karmic benefits of taking the money that the above downloads would have cost at some other on-line music site, and then donating that money to a good cause. My gosh, a few of these and you're on the path to nirvana! The link below can be used to make a contribution to the The Pearl Foundation. Donations are accepted via Paypal. Every penny raised by this link benefits the Pearl Foundation.


Send us an email offering a donation in return for something special. (See the Pearl Foundation pages for more info!)

Or if you don't have a computer, you can send a check to:

The Pearl Foundation
Rashford Kruse & Asso.
Post Office Box 121228
Nashville TN 37212

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