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  • Janis Ian & producer Shadow Morton recording - photo by Gilbert for Life Magazine
  • Janis Ian & Joni Mitchell backstage - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian & Odetta - photo by Peter Cunningham
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  • Janis Ian & Steve Goodman 02 - photo by Peter Cunningham
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  • Janis Ian with Bruce Springsteen, radio personality Ed Sciaky, & Billy Joel backstage at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian, Mary Black, & Joan Baez backstage at Joan's show - photo by Joe Bangay
  • Janis Ian with the Abfab girls, backstage at the Royal Albert
Strictly SoloHunger

Seaching for America

Janis Ian

They herded us like so much meat
up from the sewers to the street
where concrete canyons stretched their walls
so high it made us want to crawl
Past proverbs writ on subway cars
and inbetween the window bars
We walked until the pavement bled
and not a curse was left unsaid

Into a place that knows no spring
Where only steel and silver sing
They made us dance until we dropped
and the music of the jackhammers finally stopped

I caught a cinder in my eye
searching for a patch of sky
but the shadows drizzed down like in Pompeii
That's how I spent my yesterday

Searching for America
in the rivets and the rust
Searching for America
Finding only dust

What did you see that made you cry
and left these trackmarks on your eye
What did you find while you were there
that sucks the light out of the morning air

They gave us each a cropper's shack
and land so hard it broke the back
Then fed us 'til our bellies burst
on promises that died at birth
So I lay the baby out each dawn
inbetween the tender corn
with sunrise for her bonnet
and flies her only blanket

We harvested until we bled
'Til every single root ran red
and when the work was finally done
they gave our names to Immigration

I did not know how bad it hurt
until I lay there eating dirt
and the cold seeped in between my bones
That's where I was when I left home

Searching for America
All her dreams and hopes
Searching for America
Finding only ghosts

Who are these people you have seen
to dream this dark and distant dream
To tell the stories you have told
To leave these bruises on your soul

They are the flesh, they are the bone
They are the very cornerstone
They leave their mansions and their shacks
to hide here inbetween the cracks
Their hope is tattooed on my lips
Bleeding from my fingertips
They are crawling toward the promised land
hand over hand

To walk until they run no more
and wash up on some distant shore
where truth is not the enemy
and whatever does not kill us, sets us free

Somewhere out there
are millions just like me
Homesick for Eden
Heartsick at the memory

Searching for America
in every stick and stone
Searching for America
Going home
Searching for America
Going home

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on December 3, 2019

  • 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 will go on sale to the public at 11am on Thursday, Sept 19th. 
    Tickets available via OvationTix

  • 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. 

  • Monday July 6 to Friday July 10

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    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. 

  • Monday July 13 to Friday July 17

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    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. 

  • Monday July 20 to Friday July 24

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    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. 

  • Monday July 27 to Friday July 31

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    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. 

  • Wednesday 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"!!

  • Thursday August 6

    Living Room Concert, Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Living Room Concert

    Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Phone: Private

    Visit the venue's website

    Private Living Room Concert benefitting the Pearl Foundation. We are currently considering other LRC's in the general area; if you are interested please contact us through the "Make Pearl An Offer" charity section of this website. * Please do not ask if you can attend. Invitations are solely up to the donor(s) and we will not put you in touch, regardless of your reason.

[full tour dates list]

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