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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 enters into a partnership with Sony UK!

    Janis Ian and her independent label, Rude Girl Records, are pleased to announce a partnership with the Legacy Division of Sony Music UK. The planned releases of fifteen albums, spanning more than 40 years of music, will include expanded reissues on CD and audiophile vinyl, new collections with previously unheard early versions of some of the most popular songs (including original demos and worktapes), and an immediate digital rollout of the original albums.

  • New Audiobook: Course Correction

    Course Correction, the new book by Olympic silver medalist Ginny Gilder, is available today at libro.fm as an audiobook narrated by Janis Ian. Described as Wild meets The Boys in the Boat, Course Correction is a memoir about the quest for Olympic gold and the triumph of love over fear.

  • Our Forums are back!

    Yes, the website forums were down for a short time while we upgraded the software, but we're back up with better security and the same great group of users.

more hot news

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on April 19, 2015

more tour dates

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

Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia

Janis' first audio book project after her Grammy nominated Patience and Sarah is, yet again, one-of-a-kind.

"When I first read Mike Resnick's short story 'For I Have Touched the Sky', which became part of this collection, it blew me away. It touched me as a woman, as an artist, as a member of a society that often refused to understand my own thirst for knowledge. It's how Mike and I originally connected, when I sent him a fan letter about the book.

"Years later, Mike and I were sitting around at a science fiction convention, and I started telling him again how strongly I felt about Kirinyaga, how much I wished I'd been the one to narrate it. And Mike looked at me and said, 'Why don't you?'

"My immediate response was 'Because it's told in the first person by a male Kenyan shaman, and I am a white female from New Jersey.' But the more we talked about it, the more excited we both got at the thought of giving the audio book a second life. And now, with the success of Hamilton and other art works crossing race and gender, Mike's original enthusiasm and go-ahead seem almost prescient to me. Koriba's love of his lineage, his country, the respect he has for every aspect of his culture, are incredibly moving. Whether you agree with them or not, they spring from a place of truth within him."

Amazon.com: Hailed for his grandeur of imagination and superb worldbuilding, winner of and nominee for more than 50 awards for his outstanding work, Mike Resnick has rightfully won a place as one of science fiction's master storytellers. Now, in Kirinyaga, Resnick presents the haunting and utterly compelling tale of one man's utopia. Deeply moving, swiftly paced, and profound in its implications.

Kirinyaga is available on April 5th but you can pre-order it right now in the Shopping Mall.

Patience & Sarah Audiobook Nominated
for a GRAMMY Award!

Wins prestigous AudioFile
Earphones Award!

Janis received her 10th Grammy nomination this year, for her work with Jean Smart on 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.

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

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

"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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