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  • Janis Ian with Judy Collins & Leonard Cohen - photo by Peter Cunningham
Uncle Wonderful

Mechanical Telephone

Janis Ian

Dark night but there's plenty to believe in...
Why'd you have to let her touch your feelings?
I always gave you everything that you needed
All you had to do was ask -- but you just got greedy

Now the only time we talk is when we talk alone
to the voices that you leave
on your mechanical telephone
Sometimes I call just to hear your voice
set free of the talons and claws,
but the memory I keep
doesn't really let me leave any word at all

You always liked any woman who was easy
Hope you've met your match...but can she beat me?
You always said I'd be the first to walk
You say I'm always the first to talk, but can she free me?

Now we rarely talk alone. We usually speak in groups
to the people you invite
for the theater and a bite who are used to you
They like to listen to their own mouths move
They like to watch your jaw drop, too
but the witticisms fade when the covers
are unmade and I'm so far away

I bet you thought I'd be an easy lay
I bet you thought I lived alone
Hungry for the vision and the afterplay
I've had better times alone

Now we rarely talk of love. We only speak of need
and the sacrifice of life
to the altar and the knife on our mound of greed
I rarely call just to hear your voice,
set free of the pillars and stone
but for the company I keep when I speak
to your mechanical telephone
It's the company I keep when I speak
Your mechanical telephone
The company I keep...

© Taosongs Two. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on December 17, 2018

  • Thursday, January 31st

    Island Library, Holmes Beach, FL

    Island Library

    Holmes Beach, FL

    Phone: 941-778-6341

    Visit the venue's website

    Island Library
    5701 Marina Drive
    Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Janis will be speaking about her career as a performing songwriter and author of the Grammy-winning audiobook "Society's Child: My Autobiography", along with "The Tiny Mouse", a children's book. The talk will be illustrated with a few songs and a Q&A. Merchandise will be offered for sale (cash/check preferred) to benefit The Pearl Foundation and the Island Library equally, and Janis is happy to sign items after the talk is over. For information please call 941-778-6341. * Please note, this is a co-venture with the Waterline Marriott next door to the library. The actual talk will take place at the Waterline, piped into the library and then offered on line. Expect laughter and tears on gorgeous Anna Maria Island! 

  • Wednesday, March 6th

    Tiedtke Concert Hall, Winter Park, FL

    Tiedtke Concert Hall

    Winter Park, FL

    Phone: 407-646-2233

    Visit the venue's website

    Master Class - Free Event.

  • Thursday, March 7th

    Tiedtke Concert Hall, Winter Park, FL

    Tiedtke Concert Hall

    Winter Park, FL

    Phone: 407-646-2233

    Visit the venue's website

    Free show.

  • Thursday, August 8th

    Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

    Egyptian Theatre

    Park City, UT

    Phone: 435-649-9371

    Visit the venue's website

    Master Class with Livingston Taylor.

    10AM to 2PM

  • Friday, August 9th

    Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

    Egyptian Theatre

    Park City, UT

    Phone: 435.649.9371

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.

    Tickets on sale May 1, 2019.

  • Saturday, August 10th

    Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

    Egyptian Theatre

    Park City, UT

    Phone: 435-649-9371

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.

    Tickets on sale May 1, 2019.

  • Sunday, August 11th

    Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

    Egyptian Theatre

    Park City, UT

    Phone: 435-649-9371

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.

    Tickets on sale May 1, 2019.

  • Wednesday, August 14th

    Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT

    Ridgefield Playhouse

    Ridgefield, CT

    Phone: 203-438-5795

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.

[full tour dates list]

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