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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
  • What an Anniversary!

    50 years since her first album, 40 years since her first Grammy.

  • $80,500 from Pearl this year!

    $80,500. That's how much we just sent to our four current scholarship funds. $909,000. That's how much money the Pearl Foundation has now given to fund our five ongoing scholarships for returning students.

  • Patience & Sarah wins prestigious Earphones Award!

    Patience & Sarah has won a prestigious Earphones Award from AudioFile. Here's some of what they had to say: "Janis Ian and Jean Smart bring exquisite joy, vulnerability, and honesty to their narration of Isabel Miller's 1969 historical fiction novel about the love between a poor farmer's daughter, Sarah, and a folk painter, Patience, in nineteenth-century New England."

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Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on April 19, 2015

    Sorry, there are no current tour dates. Check back or join the Mailing List to be notified when new dates are added.

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Hot News

more free downloads

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.


Send us an email offering a donation in return for something special. (See the Pearl Foundation pages for more info!)


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

Patience & Sarah Audiobook Nominated
for a GRAMMY Award!

Wins prestigous AudioFile
Earphones Award!

We are thrilled to announce that Janis and Jean Smart have been nominated for a GRAMMY Award in "Best Spoken Word" for the audiobook Patience & Sarah! A meticulously researched historical novel, originally self-published by the author, Isabel Miller, in 1969, this classic of GLBT literature garnered so much attention that the American Library Association created its first Stonewall Award specifically for it in 1971. Narrated by Janis and Emmy Award-winning actress Jean Smart, each performs as one of the characters in this dual point-of-view love story about two young women whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England farming community in which they live. Their narration brings new life into this beautiful and inspiring novel that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.

"I came across Patience and Sarah while in 1972, and it opened a world to me," said Ian. "It was the first time I’d read a love story starring two women that had a happy ending. And it was beautifully written! The story isn’t just about a gay couple – it’s about any couple who fall in love and have to defend their choice. It’s about women’s rights, religion, the works. It’s Romeo and Juliet without the death scene. The timing is right, politically and socially, for this gorgeous book to make its way back into the limelight."

Directed by Stefan Rudnicki, who also directed Janis’ Grammy-winning autobiography Society’s Child, the creation of this audio book was truly a labor of love on everyone’s part. The entire project was initially funded by Janis and her wife; everyone worked for lower than their normal fees because of it.

Said Ms. Smart, "The book is well written; charming, erotic and sweet. I wish more Hollywood writers and directors would read this, and see that it’s possible to be erotic without ‘showing all’!!"

In addition to being an inspiring love story, the audiobook for Patience and Sarah is an ideal listen for young adult audiences. It is a story that shows how irrelevant race, religion, and gender are to love, and that loving, and being loved, are what keep us human and sane.

Read an article about Patience and Sarah in the Boston Globe.

Patience & Sara is ON SALE right now in the Shopping Mall.

Getting On HBO Series

Janis Ian - Getting OnJanis was featured, both as a singer/songwriter and an actress, in the final episode of HBO's Getting On, which began its last season on HBO November 8th. The series, which stars Laurie Metcalf, Alex Borstein, and Niecy Nash, featured Janis in episode eight, which aired on December 13th. Other actors appearing in that episode are Rita Moreno and Harry Dean Stanton.

If you haven't watched the show before, you can watch episode eight (featuring Janis) and catch up with all episodes on HBO GO, and see loads of trailers on line for all three seasons.

Says Janis: "I spent almost two weeks filming and on set with the actors and crew, and had more fun than I've had in years. This is the only time I've been on a set as an actress, and it was completely different. Everyone was incredibly helpful and kind, and I hope I did my years with Stella Adler proud!

"To have the opportunity to work with a true legend, Rita Moreno, let alone hear her singing portions of 'At Seventeen', was more than I would have dreamed possible. To actually be in an episode of a series I admired so much already, to be on set for weeks instead of appearing for two hours to sing a song and then leave... I can't begin to describe what a joy this whole process was.

"I didn't really understand what it meant for the series to end until the night after our first rehearsal day, when Laurie and Alex and I were sitting around a picnic table talking about it. In my world, you know when a tour will end, when an album will be done, when you'll be saying goodbye to everyone. And it's usually well under a year for a project - so I had no understanding of what it meant, after three years together, for the cast and crew to say 'goodbye'.

"It moved me so much that I began scribbling notes for a song on the back of my script. I scribbled during breaks for the next three days, then sang it for Laurie and Alex. With their blessing, I presented the song to the writers, Will Scheffer and Mark Olsen, and the producer, Chrisann Verges. Although it was too late to use in the series, I went ahead and recorded it as a thank you, and a tribute, to the wonderful people I met and worked with there."

Janis' new original song, "Getting On," is available right now to download in the Shopping Mall.

You can listen to "Getting On" in its entirety for free via a stream at SoundCloud.

Download the free sheet music.

Visit the HBO GO website.

Visit the Getting On home page.

"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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