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  • Janis Ian with Charles de Lint - photo by Amy Logan
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Folk Is The New Black
Strictly Solo

2014

Download

Hope, a collection of 12 pieces from the Janis Ian Archives, ranging from 1976 to 2011, is now available exclusively in the Janis Ian Store. On sale as a digital album only, most of these tracks have never been heard before. The album is available to download as "CD Quality" FLAC files or "High Quality" MP3 files. Hope will be available at other online stores and streaming services sometime after the new year.

The Basics: All tracks are unedited, ranging from cassettes to 1/4" reels later transferred to DAT for preservation. One was recorded live straight to a Mackie board (“Here Comes the Night”); others were casually laid down by Janis as she sat on a couch at home and sang into a DAT player, or in a local studio where she sat down with a guitar to get a new song down on tape. No editing, no auto-tuning, no attempts to make them sound more “professional”. There’s some hiss, there are a few mistakes. That’s what happens when you make art! Any noise artifacts you may hear are part of the original. As little as possible has been done to render these recordings usable.

Inside Story: December 14, 2020 It’s been a long, tough year. Like everyone else, I’ve had losses, and like everyone else, I’ve tried to struggle through. Those of us in the entertainment world are very aware that we are a service industry. We exist, in large part, to serve the public. To harbor your dreams, to remind you of those dreams when times get tough. To console you in pain, to celebrate your victories.

For those of us who performed and crewed through wars, bombings, and other horrors, there’s always been the stage to rely on – a way to gather people together and let them feel they’re still part of a community. Still united in some way. Still in it together for the long run.

Covid-19 changed all that. None of us have been able to do what we know how to do best, which is bring people together and give them hope. Instead, we’ve had to adapt, learn new skills, still trying to connect and let people know they’re not alone.

For myself, at the start of quarantines and lockdowns I began the Better Times Project, never dreaming it would grow to house its own website, featuring more than 200 artists, and giving many of those artists something creative to do when their own wells had run dry. The project lasted a full five months, and during that time myself, my colleague Jeff Evans, and webmaster Steve Wilkison were completely consumed. It didn’t only help the people who followed the project; it helped us.

Now, as the holiday season approaches, it seems a vaccine is near. Maybe by next December, things will be back to “normal”. Maybe we’ll even have learned a few things along the way. I hope so, because it’s been painful to see communities torn apart over the politicization of this disease and its consequences. For those of us whose lives center around community engagement, it’s been particularly rough.

All through this fall, I’ve been thinking “All I want is a little hope. Just enough to keep going.” The song “We Endure” came to mind, and “This Old Town.” I called Jeff, who knows more about my song catalogue than even I do, and asked if there were enough “hopeful” songs to fill out an album. Together, we assembled this group of work tapes and demos, from “Shine On” (which almost made it onto Miracle Row) to a bunch of songs no one’s heard before except myself and Jeff. I thought it would be appropriate to end with “I Am the One”, co-written with Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter, which speaks to the hope I hold in my heart for all of us.

Here’s to a better year, and a better world.

Janis Ian

Lyrics

Shine On

Janis Ian

And I’ll wait by day and the still of night
I am waiting for my guiding light
Will it come too late to shelter me?
Shine on, shine on, sweet harmony

There’s a river flows on the edge of time
and a garden grows underneath the sky
Will it come too late to satisfy?
Come on, come on, you shining sky

I hear the whistle of the wind upon the water
and the echo of tomorrow in your laughter
I feel the motion of the seasons on the harbor
and the ever-changing tide
aill carry echoes of the night
into forever

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

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

© Mine Music Ltd. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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The Love We Leave

Janis Ian/Jon Vezner

The love we leave may be forever
Only time can tell
Every memory’s a treasure
Waiting on the shelf

A bright bouquet for rainy days
When we’ve got time to dream
Never know just who we touch
With the love we leave

The hand you hold in time of trouble
Never will forget
And when that hand no longer trembles
It will pay the debt

‘til every hand of every man
Is held a hundred fold
Never know just who you touch
With the hand you hold

I wish the love I leave could be forever
in my children’s song
And in the sparkle of their children’s laughter
long after I’m gone

Through goodbye tears and we lived heres
that make up memories
We never know just who we touch
With the love we leave
With the love we leave

© Janis Ian/Jon Vezner, © Rude Girl Pub. Inc./Minnesota Man Music (BMI). All rights reserved.

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This Long Night (Dancing With The Dark)

Janis Ian

Take these burdens from my heart
Lay them down beside the sea
They are tearing me apart
Let them drift away from me
Take this sorrow from my soul
I have prayed to find some rest
It’s a weight I cannot hold
It lays heavy on my breast

This long night cannot last forever
This long night, sorrow shields the stars
Give me light
Illuminate the secrets of my heart
Dancing with the dark

Take these tears that blind my eyes
I have lived too long in shadows
Unbind these shuttered skies
My horizons are too narrow
Take my weariness and sorrow
Take the troubles I have borrowed
They will all be here tomorrow

This long night cannot last forever
This long night, sorrow shields the stars
Give me light
Illuminate the secrets of my heart
I’m dancing with the dark
Dancing with the dark
Dancing with the dark

Words & music Janis Ian; © Rude Girl Pub. Inc. All rights reserved.

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Don't Rush The River

Janis Ian/Kyle Fleming

I looked at the sky
and asked – Why is this valley
so deep and so wide,
when I know love's waiting
just over that mountain
Why can't I fly?
and the wind replied

Don't rush the river
Let it run deep and slow
Don't rush the river
It goes where it needs to go
In love's sweet time,
you'll wake up and find
you've finally made it home
Don't rush the river
Just let it flow

I walked in the silence
and wondered why love
takes so long to find
Then I saw the beauty
that sprang up around me
It bathed my eyes,
and my heart sighed

CHORUS

© Taosongs Two (50%)/Irving Music/Eaglewood Music.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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A Thousand Years

Janis Ian/Russ Taff

There is silence on the street tonight
and the cars have all gone home
Every shop has locked its doors up tight
getting ready for the show
And it’s time for me to go

There’s a roaring fire and a rocking chair
and a stocking full of dreams
Every corner’s filled with a joyful air
and the scent of evergreen

We will toast peace on earth
Raise a glass of Christmas cheer
And ask this night to last a thousand years

A thousand years
A thousand years
We will ask this night to last
a thousand years

If the sky belonged to me alone
and my dreams could all come true
I would give to every child a home
like the one I share with you

So let us toast peace on earth
and good fortune everywhere
And ask this night to last a thousand years

I will wrap my heart in a silver bow
And place it in your hands
For your love’s the gift I cherish most
Out of all the gifts I’ve had

CHORUS

Words & music by Janis Ian & Russ Taff; © Rude Girl Pub./Tori Taff Music. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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We Endure

Janis Ian

The fields were fallow, the wells were dry
A mother's sorrow begged an unforgiving sky
and every day another year dragged by
'til it seemed that even God had turned his back
and just like Mother Earth, we soon would crack

But we endured Though the road only got longer, we endured
and it seemed to make us stronger
Even when the wolves were howling at the door,
we endured

Summer sorrows gave way to winter chills
Fever stalked the land 'til it drank its fill
of children sweet as mother's milk
Every night another angel earned its wings
and it seemed we would not live to face the spring

CHORUS

Our hearts are fragile
Our bodies soon unwind
We've barely learned to live
when we begin to die
When your children ask me
why we're even born
I say – we are but the tail wind of a storm
The thunder echoes loudest when it's gone

And we endure
Though the road only gets longer, we endure
and I swear it makes us stronger
Even when the wolves are howling at the door
we endure
Even when the wolves are howling at the door
we endure

© 1999 Rude Girl Pub. Inc; all rights reserved.

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This Old Town

Janis Ian/Jon Vezner

This old town should have burned down in 1929
That's when we stood in line,
waiting for our soup. Swallowing our pride
This old town should have burned down in 1931
when the rain refused to come
Air filled up our bellies. Dust filled up our lungs
and we thought our time had come

But this old town was built by hand
in the dustbowl of the motherland
There must be rock beneath this sand
I'll be damned – this town still stands

This old town should have burned down in 1944
when the last man went to war
They came back different, if they came back at all
This old town should have burned down in 1956
That's when the twister hit
All our hopes lay buried beneath the boards and bricks,
and we almost called it quits

CHORUS

Somewhere in the distance, city lights do shine
Sidewalks gleam with neon dreams
that call from time to time
When my children's children ask me why I didn't go
I'll say - the heart of any town is the people that you know
and they always call you home

This old town was built by hand
In the dustbowl of the motherland
There is be rock beneath the sand
I'll be damned – this town still stands

© Rude Girl Pub. Inc./Minnesota Man Music (BMI)
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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The Holly Tree

Janis Ian/Jess Leary

I heard my father’s voice call from the drive
on a cold December night
and we all ran outside
There stood the homeliest tree
that you’d ever want to see,
looking barely alive
He said “I’ll get the shovel, and you hold the light
“‘cause I’ve brought an orphan home with me tonight”

My father’s tree was five feet tall
and every leaf would struggle through the fall
but in the spring was born anew
The holly tree my father grew

I used to ask why mother didn’t stay
He’d take another drink and say,
“This drove her away”
Never could admit he drank too much
It was an old, familiar crutch
that he gave up too late
He’d point to that tree,
saying “Take it from me
“Learn to stand on your own or you will break”

My father’s tree was ten feet tall
and every leaf would struggle through the fall
but in the spring was born anew
The holly tree my father grew

And the green leaves, and the berries
shined like rubies in the snow
And the memories last in these old photographs
See how much we’ve grown

My father’s tree can touch the sky
and every leaf does honor to his life
Forever proud, forever true
The holly tree my father grew

Words & music by Janis Ian & Jess Leary; © Taosongs (BMI)/Leary’s Irish Stew Music (ASCAP) All rights reserved

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Forever Yours

Janis Ian/Russ Taff

I am afraid in your heart you are leaving
I may be too late to redeem
Don't go...
Let me hold love again in my arms
and you will see

These weary eyes will weep no more
These broken dreams will be restored
These broken wings will learn to soar
And I will be forever yours

They say every soul has its season
They say every heart has its spring
How long can I live without love in my arms
and still believe

These weary eyes will weep no more
These broken dreams will be restored
These broken wings will learn to soar
And I will be
Forever yours

Forever your voice in the silence
Forever your name on my lips
The darker the hour,
the brighter the wildflower blooms
with the spring's first kiss

These weary eyes will weep no more
These broken dreams will be restored
These broken wings will learn to soar
And I will be forever yours

Words & music by Janis Ian & Russ Taff; © Taosongs Two (BMI)/Tori Taff Music. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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We Should Be Dancing

Janis Ian/Thom Schuyler

We both smiled and said “I do”
You loved me and I loved you
Now we make love with the TV on
and we wonder where the feeling’s gone
I know it’s not too late
So don’t you think we ought to celebrate?

We should be dancing
We should be cutting the rug
We should be dancing
if we’re so much in love
Why keep it all inside?
Let’s set it free tonight
And hear a little music
Baby, we could use it
We should be dancing

Here we in this Sunday school
Memorizing a list of rules
“Don’t do this” and “Don’t do that”
Ain’t no wonder we feel so bad
If love is heaven-sent,
don’t you wonder where the feeling went?

We should be dancing
We should be cutting the rug
We should be dancing
if we’re so much in love
Why keep it all inside?
Let’s set it free tonight
And play a little Django
Step a little tango
Make a little music
Baby, we could use it
We should be dancing

REPEAT FIRST CHORUS

Words & music by Janis Ian & Thom Schuyler; © Taosongs (50%)/EMI/Bethlehem Music (50%) (BMI).

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Here Comes The Night (Theme from The Bell Jar)

Janis Ian

Touch in the tenderest night
before the feelings take flight
Touch and you make everything new
Everything bright, shiny and true
Before the dawn and the light,
here comes the night

Here in the heart, I still breathe,
longing, a part of me I can’t see
And if the heart cannot redeem
one soul apart, one separate dream

Before the dawn and light,
here comes the night

Here we are waiting and longing
Crying out “I am more than just a man”
Building castles in the sand
All of us needing and leaving
long before the break of day
So little time to say
I am - I know the way

And I want to be somebody
who can see forever
Want to be somebody
who can see forever

Here in the heart, I still dream
Here in the heart of life I seem
somebody light, somebody new
Somebody bright, shiny and true
Somebody light, somebody new
Somebody bright, shiny and true
I want to be somebody
who can see forever

Before the dawn and the light
here comes the night
Before the dawn and the light
here comes the night

© © Mine Music Ltd. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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I Am The One

Miriam Therese Winter/Janis Ian

I am the rays of the rising sun
Snow on the mountains of the moon
The far-flung canopy of stars
The shadows of late afternoon

I am the wisdom of the sage
I am the refuge of all who weep
I am the mother of all who live
I am the promises I keep

I am the one who sits with sorrow
I am the one who feels your pain
I am the hope of your tomorrow
When all is lost, I still remain
I am the one who will remain

I am the seed that longs to bloom
The river yearning for the sea
The heartfelt hope of every womb
I am the faith you place in me

I am the silence and the sound
The gentle rain that breaks the stone
I am the dream of love unbound
I am the way that calls you home

I am the one who sits with sorrow
I am the one who feels your pain
I am the hope of your tomorrow
When all is lost, I will remain
I am the one who will remain

I am the one who sits with sorrow
I am the one who feels your pain
I am the hope of your tomorrow
When all is lost, I will remain
I am the one. I still remain.

Words & music by Janis Ian & Miriam Therese Winter
© Rude Girl Pub./Medical Mission Sisters

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Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on January 14, 2021

  • 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. 

  • Thursday, August 5

    The Kate, Old Saybrook, CT

    The Kate

    Old Saybrook, CT

    Phone: (860) 510-0473

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to The Kate a scant year later, at their insistence. She's sure it's too soon, they're sure it's not. She's writing furiously so she can present some new material, and looking forward to visiting one of her all-time favorite venues again! Expect some good, relaxed fun, some tears, an after-show appearance for signing things you've brought and things you may purchase at the "merch table"!!

  • August 6th

    Pearl Foundation private concert, , Massachusetts,

    Pearl Foundation private concert

    , Massachusetts,

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    A private concert benefitting the Pearl Foundation.

  • Saturday, August 7

    Shalin Liu, Rockport, MA

    Shalin Liu

    Rockport, MA

    Phone: (978) 546-7391

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis has been hearing about Shalin Liu from friends for more than a decade, and it's taken this long to coordinate schedules so she could do two nights in this prestigious venue. Expect old songs, new songs, stories, and time afterward for hellos and signing whatever you bring or buy! Since she'll be there for two nights, things should get a bit more relaxed than usual - maybe an extra step out guitar solo, or an audience Q&A. Who knows?! We can promise that this ten-time-Grammy-nominee will put on a great show, with plenty of heart and soul. 8 pm show

  • Sunday, August 8

    Shalin Liu, Rockport, MA

    Shalin Liu

    Rockport, MA

    Phone: (978) 546-7391

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis has been hearing about Shalin Liu from friends for more than a decade, and it's taken this long to coordinate schedules so she could do two nights in this prestigious venue. Expect old songs, new songs, stories, and time afterward for hellos and signing whatever you bring or buy! Since she'll be there for two nights, things should get a bit more relaxed than usual - maybe an extra step out guitar solo, or an audience Q&A. Who knows?! We can promise that this ten-time-Grammy-nominee will put on a great show, with plenty of heart and soul. 8 pm start!

  • Tuesday, August 10

    Shea Theater, Turners Falls, MA

    Shea Theater

    Turners Falls, MA

    Phone: (413) 648-7432

    Visit the venue's website

    And the new venues just keep on coming! We're really excited that Janis will be playing this town-owned theater, a centerpiece of the Turner's Falls resurgence. Expect old songs, new songs, stories, and time afterward for hellos and signing whatever you bring or buy! * 8pm showtime

[full tour dates list]

In The Store
Janis Ian Hope

Hope Digital Download

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Society's Child Paperback Book

Audiobook - Society's Child: My Autobiography now available!

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Best Of Janis Ian - The Autobiography Collection CD

Best Of Janis Ian:
The Autobiography Collection
CD

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Society's Child Paperback Book

Society's Child: My Autobiography Paperback now available

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Live From Grand Center DVD

Live From Grand Center DVD
A PBS Special

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Society's Child Signed 1st Ed. Hardback Book

Society's Child: My Autobiography
Signed 1st ed. hardcover

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Janis Ian Revenge CD

Revenge CD

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