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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
  • Join me for the "Better Times Project"

    My hope at first was to help my friends, but it's turned into a way of reminding people that you don't have to be a "professional" to make music. You just have to have a willing heart.

  • New Free Downloads

    A live-in-concert version of "At 17" is available for FREE DOWNLOAD at the Janis Ian Store. It's also available on YouTube. Feel free to share this information, and take advantage of all the other free downloads on my personal website!

  • In light of the present circumstance...

    In light of the present circumstance, I've decided to begin offering free downloads of things that would ordinarily cost. Check the free downloads page to see what's new.

more hot news

Hot News

more free downloads

Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
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All tour dates updated on May 16, 2020

  • Sunday June 27 to Saturday July 3
    Swannanoa Gathering Fiddle Mando Banjo Week
    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering Fiddle Mando Banjo Week

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    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. The final week will also feature a second, more interactive class tentatively titled "War Stories". Time of 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. 

  • Sunday July 04 to Saturday July 10
    Swannanoa Gathering Traditional Song Week
    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering Traditional Song Week

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    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. 

  • Sunday July 11 to Saturday July 17
    Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week
    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering Celtic Week

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    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. 

  • Sunday July 18 to Saturday July 24
    Swannanoa Gathering Old Time Week
    Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Swannanoa Gathering Old Time Week

    Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Phone:

    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. 

  • Sunday July 25 to Saturday July 31
    Swannanoa Gathering Cont. Folk & Guitar Week
    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering Cont. Folk & Guitar Week

    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

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Janis Ian News
& The Better Times Project

Well. It's been an interesting few months, to say the least.

When I was much younger, someone told me there was a Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." I remember thinking "How silly. I'd always want to live in interesting times!"

I'd give a lot to live in less interesting times right now.

I don't know how you're doing, but I've been going through more moods per day than I used to per month – and that includes my teenage years! Feeling lucky because my early tour ended March 11; miserable that all the other tour dates had to be re-booked. (See below.) Thrilled that without our interference, nature is rebounding; angry that it had to take this, and probably won't last. Confident we'll get through it; nervous because every time I step outside I can practically see the germs crawling toward me. Mostly, scared.

Yeah, if I'm truthful I'm mostly scared. I never thought something like this would happen in my lifetime, and it's frightening.

But mostly, I try not to be scared. Mostly, I try to be calm, and I think we should all pat ourselves on the back, because most of us are showing patience, and strength, we never knew we possessed. Despite the dozens of people who've emailed me to say this is a "Deep State Conspiracy to Take Away Our Guns", or "It's a giant hoax put up by the Rigelians to gain our help fight the Pleiadans", I really do believe human beings are essentially good. And, sane.

Head on over to the Newsroom for the full May Newsletter.

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.

OR...

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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