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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
  • Janis is now a Huffington Post contributor! 

    Please check "HuffPO" for two recent articles by Janis!
    Thank you for not uttering the word "Jew", Mr. President
    and
    Don't Tell Me To Get Over It

    A free download of "Tattoo" is available here.

  • Free Download of "Guess You Had To Be There"

    Free download, you're welcome to share it. Visit the "Free Downloads Page."

    Buddy Mondlock and I wrote this some years back, but it sure is applicable now. My first "big show" was in Chicago, with Barbara Dane and the SNCC Freedom Singers, among others. My parents ran a summer camp; Pete Seeger was one of our music counselors, along with Bernice Johnson Reagon. A group called The Minutemen planted bombs in the 6-year-old's section one year because they didn't like blacks and whites mixing. I grew up in a family of conscience, and I'm grateful for them every day.

  • Pearl Foundation 2016 Endowments

    As always this time of year, I am thrilled to post these Pearl Foundation checks and letters, totaling $74,000 in 2016 endowments and bringing our "lifetime total" to $983,000 in scholarships for returning students.

    Thank you, everyone who purchased merchandise from my website, held a living room concert, and donated some amount in return for all the free items we offer!! Couldn't have done it without you...

more hot news

Hot News

more free downloads

Tour Dates

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

All tour dates updated on January 13, 2017

more tour dates

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!)

ALSO...

The Pearl Foundation / eBay Giving WorksIf you do business on eBay you can now add The Pearl Foundation to your list of supported charities through eBay Giving Works and donate a portion of your transaction. It's an easy way to contribute!

Or if you don't have a computer, you can send a check to:

The Pearl Foundation
PO Box 150099
Nashville TN 37215

Featured Image

Pearl Foundation Update

I am thrilled to announce that next week our little Pearl Foundation will be donating $74,000 to endow four scholarships at Goddard, Berea, and Warren Wilson Colleges!

As of 2016 year-end, we will have donated a total of $983,000 in scholarship endowments for returning students - and it's all thanks to people like you!!!

You can read about us and see our tax returns at the Pearl Foundation Website.

THANK YOU ALL, and best for the holiday season!!!

 

Thank You!

The Pearl Foundation sale is over, and I'm enormously pleased to report that we raised a little over $14,000 in just a week!

I think (I hope) that means we'll hit the $950,000 mark at the end of the year, and be able to distribute a decent amount to each scholarship we're currently funding.

The new Shopify site appears to be an across-the-board success, both for you and for my team. A few minor glitches went mostly unnoticed. (For instance, we didn't know how to mark something "out of stock" instead of "unavailable", so several people received packages with Breaking Silence a few days later than they thought.)

When we first went up, the morning of the sale, Shopify was automatically sending out notes saying "Thank you, your item has been shipped!" and we were getting confused queries like "Wow. How did you get my order to ship on a Sunday?" Given the amount of things that could have gone wrong with migrating more than 200 items from one site to another, we count ourselves lucky.

Huge kudos go to webmaster Steve Wilkison for the months he spent preparing and transitioning. Kudos also to assistant Shaun Varsos, who spent a week of 12 hour days putting up items, cross checking, and then doing the post office runs. And as always, thanks to my wife Pat, who took care of downloading, checking, and printing each and every order that came in.

We're going to do a small pre-holiday sale (no autographing, sorry, just low prices!), and then, hopefully, go back to the old annual "Christmas in August" as of next year.

Meanwhile, thank you all for the tremendous support!!!

Best,

Janis

Janis Ian and her mother Pearl

Keep shopping at our new store, where 100% of the profit goes directly to the Pearl Foundation! Check out these new and one of a kind items.

Janis Ian Gift Card

Gift Cards! (New)

Stellar Adler DVD

Stella Adler DVD set (Available nowhere else!)

Shur KSM9 CG Microphone

Janis' Shure KSM9 CG Microphone

"The Autobiography Collection" CD/BookSociety's Child: My Autobiography: AudiobookSociety's Child: The Verve RecordingsSociety's Child Book Foreign Author's Preferred EditionStars eBook
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