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Unreleased 3: Society's Child

Bayonne Blues

Janis Ian

I must have been around 14 when I started this, just after my family moved to New York City...everything in it actually happened to me one weekend shortly after, and I remained in a state of culture shock for a good six months! By the time I finished the song I was in my late teens, a seasoned New Yorker, & I truly felt I'd been "raised in New York City", even though I'd grown up in New Jersey. We never lived in Bayonne, but my dad worked there for a while, and "Farmingdale" and "East Orange" just didn't scan.

I was raised in New York City, where the money grows on trees
and the flowers all look gritty and the people look diseased
Come up from New Jersey where I sung the Bayonne Blues
I watched the roller derby on the seven-thirty news

I thought I'd be a folksinger
I went down to Macdougal Street
and Bleeker where the stars got stoned
But the union hall was closed
and the stars out on the road
making money singing anti-money songs

I went back up to Broadway. I took the IRT
An old man in a raincoat parked his body next to me
"Do you want to make some money fast?"
and then he grabbed me by the ass
I got derailed on Forty-Second street

I asked somebody for the time
She asked me to her room
She said "I've got a water bed"
I said "I've got the flu
"You look just like a friend of mine
"I never liked too well
"She sold picture postcards
"of the crack in the Liberty Bell"

I went into the Taco Bell to get myself some lunch
They rushed me to the hospital to have my stomach pumped
Run over on the corner by a wheelchair with no horn
I fell into a manhole and was baptized and re-born

I moved out to Long Island
Bought a color TV
I watch the doctor shows
I'm a soap opera queen
I think I got pneumonia
I'm sure I've got TB
It may not be a hell of a life
but it's life enough for me

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

Tour Dates

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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. 

  • 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]

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