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...For All The Seasons Of Your Mind
Janis Ian

1967

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This album is available as part of the
Society's Child: The Verve Recordings
CD Compilation

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The Basics: Release date: January 1967; produced by George "Shadow" Morton; engineers: Brooks Arthur, Joe Vennerie; recorded at Mira Sound Studios, New York; arranged by Janis Ian & Artie Kaplan; cover art: Joseph Solman; cover design: Michael Malatak; liner notes: Robert Shelton.

Personnel: Musicians: Vincent Bell, Artie Butler, George Duvivier, Al Gorgoni, Janis Ian, Artie Kaplan, Joe Mack, Buddy Saltzman, Jerry Schoenbaum, Sal de Troio. Vocalists: Janis Ian.

Inside Scoop: This is the eponymous debut long-player from Janis Ian, who had already written and recorded this disc of completely original material at the tender age of 15. Her brutal honesty and in-your-face ethos were at least three decades too early for the mid-'60s American mainstream pop consumer. However, by the turn of the century, the same audience would embrace similarly liberated and otherwise angst-ridden female artists such as Jewel and Alanis Morissette. The album was commissioned by Atlantic Records who, after hearing the highly controversial material, copped out and declined to release it. After being shopped around to a majority of the major and independent record labels, the single "Society's Child" was picked up by the Forecast subsidiary of the primarily jazz and vocal pop Verve Records. The song's subject matter -- dealing with teenage interracial relationships -- garnered the attention of conductor Leonard Bernstein, who featured it in a segment of his CBS-TV prime-time network special Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution. This exposure garnered more attention for both the track and the young artist. In early 1967 this album was released, revealing the depth of Ian's craft. While her roots are decidedly folky, her material traverses through a number of genres. One of the more prominent motifs is the dark Baroque flavor accompanying tracks such as "Society's Child," "Janey's Blues," and the stunningly poignant "Hair of Spun Gold" -- a deliciously noir tale that had been published in 1963 by the acclaimed and revered folk music journal Broadside when Ian was a mere 12 years old. There are also a couple of trippy blues-rockers, such as the precocious "Too Old to Go 'Way Little Girl" and the punky protest-filled "Younger Generation Blues." However, the vast majority of Janis Ian is steeped in the acoustic-based folk music that she had immersed herself in during her concurrent sets in and around Greenwich Village at venerable venues such as the Gaslight Café and Kettle of Fish. "Then Tangles of My Mind" and the Dylan-esque "I'll Give You a Stone if You'll Throw It" are both intimate examinations. Also noteworthy are the teen prostitution "Pro-Girl" and "New Christ Cardiac Hero," a biting satire of the ambiguous social role that was being acted out by most organized religions of the time in an attempt to remain relevant to an increasingly disenfranchised youthful audience. The confrontational nature of much of the material on this disc would carry over into her three remaining efforts on Verve/Forecast, as well as become a touchstone for Ian's future works. - Lindsay Planer / All Music Guide

Lyrics

Society's Child

Janis Ian

Come to my door, baby
Face is clean and shining black as night
My mama went to answer
You know that you looked so fine
Now I could understand the tears and the shame
She called you "Boy", instead of your name
When she wouldn't let you inside
When she turned and said
"But honey, he's not our kind"

She says I can't see you any more, baby
Can't see you any more

Walk me down to school, baby
Everybody's acting deaf and blind
Until they turn and say
"Why don't you stick to your own kind?"
My teachers all laugh, their smirking stares
cutting deep down in our affairs
Preachers of equality
Think they believe it?
then why won't they just let us be?

They say I can't see you any more, baby
Can't see you any more

One of these days I'm gonna stop my listening
Gonna raise my head up high
One of these days I'm gonna raise up
my glistening wings and fly
But that day will have to wait for a while
Baby, I'm only society's child
When we're older, things may change
but for now this is the way they must remain

I say -- I can't see you any more, baby
Can't see you any more
No, I don't want to see you any more, baby

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

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(Too Old To) Go 'Way Little Girl

Janis Ian

Don't go out in the street, little girl
and don't go out into town
You don't know who you'll meet, little girl
There are bad men around
Your mother, she's in love with you
She tells you, you shouldn't go with guys
So go to bed at ten, let your mama tuck you in
and turn on your Mickey Mouse night-light
Then you make it with your mind

Don't go out into town, little girl
Stay safe in the house, little girl
Your mother's stares, and the Enquirer's tales
keep you hiding, denying

Don't go into the park, little girl
You know those men are all the same
Stay inside alone after dark, little girl
Boys want just one thing
Don't talk about sex, you might get hexed
God'll punish you for your dirty mind
Now, there is no escaping, and you'd enjoy a raping
just to find out the facts of life
Mama says - Maintain your pride

Don't go out into town, little girl
Stay safe in the house, little girl
Your mother's stares, and the Enquirer's tales
keep you hiding, denying

Don't go into your mind, little girl
The windows, they're only made of glass
Don't let me catch you trying to pry, little girl
Mirrors of illusion tumble fast
You're too far gone for anyone
I'd like to help, but I can only sigh
You'd best maintain your mama's pride
'cause you lost yours the time
you obeyed when she said "Don't fraternize"
No place to hide

Don't go out into town, little girl
Stay safe in the house, little girl
Your mother's stares, and the Enquirer's tales
keep you hiding, denying

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

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Hair Of Spun Gold

Janis Ian

When I was just the age of five
my world had just come alive
Wondrous things to be seen and be done
All that I could think of was fun

With hair of spun gold
Lips of ruby red
and eyes as deep as the deepest sea

And when I was just the age of ten
my life it did change again
I threw away all my childish toys
and worked on getting noticed by the boys

And when i was just thirteen years of age
going steady was all the rage
My momma picked me out the cutest boy
My little leather-jacketed toy

And hair of spun gold
turned to black as the night
Lips of ruby red were turned to pale pink

And when I was fifteen years of age
he had my hand in marriage
And when fifteen years of age
in my arms I held my babe

And now I'm twenty-one
I feel my life's over and done
and I'm looking down on my little child
wondering if she'll be so wild

She's got hair of spun gold
Lips of ruby red
and eyes as deep as the deepest sea

And I'm looking down on my child
I swear she'll have the time
There'll be time to love, there'll be time to learn
Her childish memories she won't spurn
We'll find time to laugh, there'll be time to play
She won't have to throw her toys away
I swear to you
We'll wait for time to take its time

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

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Then Tangles Of My Mind

Janis Ian

In the tangles of my mind
and a haze of mourning wine
As the swollen evening sun
turns to a morning shroud
And the purple grains of sand
whisper through my hourglass hands
convincing me I've little time for sleeping

And the sullen light of morning time
will come again
Return my pain
Take away my only escape

Keeper, take me for a ride
The evening's daylight stands outside
upon two-legged thoughts
of candles burning
As the stardust in my eyes
turns to earthdust, halts my cries
and life's a masochistic dream of learning

And the sullen light of morning time
will come again
Return my pain
Take away my only escape

Lock the canyons of my mind,
and in sleep I'll forever lie
As reality draws near to me,
I run screaming
And the purple grains of man
whisper through my hourglass hands
convincing me to spend my time in dreaming

And the sullen light of morning time
will come again
Return my pain
Take away my only escape

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

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I'll Give You A Stone If You'll Throw It (Changing Tymes)

Janis Ian

When all of your friends say you must make amends
before they'll let you dance,
and they threaten to ignore you
And your best friend, your father
looks at you, wondering
who the hell asked for you
All the plays you used to say
just bore you
All the presents they bring, the praise they sing
only makes a whore of you
Go on, let the hurting creep on through

Don't let it bother you
Don't let it blow your mind
It's only a sign of the changing times

And when all of the guys who said they'd stand by you
Lie for you. Die for you.
Maybe even shut their eyes and cry for you
And now you see that the tears they bring
were just bribes for you
For they'll bring you up, and they'll string you up
crying "Baby Blue"
Let the hurting creep on through

Chorus

They want you to stay the same way you were
when they first saw you
They'll ask for love. You go above, and they'll do you up
complaining that they're bored with you
It's only a time for a change in your mind
Leave behind what you do

And when all the hippy things you used to do only bother you
only serve to amuse your laughing eyes
Try and explain that it's only the pain
of a change in your mind
When all those who warned - don't you finalize
They categorize, cut you down to size
They say - hey, you're hung up
You know they're just strung up
in a web of their kind
And you let it get you up tight

Chorus

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

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Pro-Girl

Janis Ian

Standing on the corner, waiting for who to come by
You laugh only to cry and aid the blind
Let's go, girl
If mother only knew you lived through all the books she hid
Them that can't do, teach, your pimp has said
and you're a pro, girl
Now if flesh were the only thing you sold, might be all right
but for just five pounds, you also sell a smile
Mothers warn their kids Watch out for this
Red lights change slow

Pro-girl, you know girl
Sell your soul for a sum, and it's taken by a john
Bargain well, girl

Now you want a life of loving, and it can be bought, although
some of the best things in life are free
Don't blow it, girl
Mothers would but daren't be you, keep it locked with guns
They say Something must be done! but send their sons
so show it, girl
The headlines scream about your life, and they pretend to see you
Make you lie about the why of what you are, don't scream, girl
Serve them all, have a ball
Writers dream, but only you know

Pro-girl, you know girl
Sell your soul for a sum, and it's taken by a john
Bargain well, girl

And you're looking for a man who won't want to buy your time
You're searching down an alleyway, a garbage can
Forget it, babe
It hurts to say you work your way on through the streets of hell
only looking for yourself to put up on a shelf
Don't let it, babe
You'll find a guy, a god, and it must be love this time
Laying at your side, his shadow splits the night
then waken in the morning, God turns on his side
Says How much do you get, girl?

Pro-girl, you know girl
Sell your soul for a sum. You've been taken by a john
You bargained well, girl
What more do you have to sell
Pro-girl

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

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Younger Generation Blues

Janis Ian

I was standing on the corner, I was smoking on the sly
when along comes a grownup from the grown-up FBI
He said - This ain't Marlboro country, hon
Where's you get your cigarettes? You know you are too young
Then up stepped three more governmental nuts
who'd been laying in the gutter disguised as cigarette butts

If you think I'm hating grown-ups, you've got me all wrong
They're very nice people when they stay where they belong
But I'm the younger generation,
and your rules are giving me fixations
I've got those younger generation, regurgitatin' blues

Called for the sergeant. He rolled up in a hearse,
and he called me a lousy no-good juvenile pervert
He gave me a lecture on cancer of the lung
Said - Anyone who smokes is a low down dirty bum
"Don't let me catch you smoking around here again", he said
and he took another drag of his own cigarette

Chorus

Going down the corner, I was going against the light
which had just turned green, when up comes this guy
Says - Don't you know that's a federal offence?
Seems like kids your age just ain't got no sense
Don't you know you're risking juvenile arrest?
Committing suicide is punishable by death

Chorus

Sitting on a city park bench, Reader's Digest in my hand
when down next to me sits this liberal looking man
who says - You're a cute chick, I believe in being free
I swung at him with my pocket book - Don't you natural around me!
He took out a badge, put some handcuffs on my hands
"Now you're carrying a weapon, self defense be damned"

Chorus

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

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New Christ Cardiac Hero

Janis Ian

Yesterday's preacher, today's bikini beacher,
They've stolen your clerical robes and your bible's been thrown
Your virgin red crown of thorns has turned to ivory horns
and your corner throne, it has become a coroner's stone.
The crucifix you prayed on turned to jail-house bars
Its silver chain you left out in the rain to glow with dust
has turned to seaweed tangled in your heart.
Now how does it feel to pull out the nails and find you still can walk?

Oh, you can't feel it all from your self imposed rack on the wall.
The tighter you drive the nails, oh, the harder you'll fall.
So come on down, come off it, sir, your gonna get hurt.

The holy water you bathe in mingles with the sewer
All your disciples have reclaimed their rifles and taken the cure
Your lectures of ways are only today's pool room jokes
sprawled on the walls of tenement halls and bathroom bowls
As jingle bells cry -- Pay us well or you'll go to hell,
freedom's chains bind your pain and tie you well,
but how could you know the gallows you hold weighs you down?
Now isn't it boss you don't need a cross to get around.

Oh, you can't feel it all from your self imposed rack on the wall.
The tighter you drive the nails, oh, the harder you'll fall.
So come on down, come off it, sir, your gonna get hurt.

The eyes that cried for mankind's pride are covered with shades,
as the children of God trample unshod past your mindly grave
New Christ, hipster, cardiac hero of 2000 years past your mind,
Spits at your feet crying "We have no need of a god, each of us is his own."
Yesterday's preacher, today's bikini beacher
They've stolen your clerical robes, your bible's been thrown.
You must have a cross but they've taken yours, God,
and shot you filled with dead
So following new Christ, pick up on a cycle instead.

Oh, you can't feel it all from your self imposed rack on the wall.
The tighter you drive the nails, oh, the harder you'll fall.
So, come on down, come off it, sir, your gonna get hurt.

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

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Lover Be Kindly

Janis Ian

I walk in a gutter love,
all up and down
Little bit of water's all it takes
to bring me down
I might not be here
next time you look around
so be kind to the swallow
hovering at your brow
If my enemies don't get me,
my friends 'll know how

Hey, lover, be kind
I'm too old to die
and too young to cry
Lover lover lover lover, love
Lover be kind

Why'd you give me your feelings
If you didn't want the same?
Forgive me if I'm feeble
but I'm rather new at your game
Now you ask for my number
to come to play
You'll have to buy me a phone
and write down the number babe
I won't be responsible
for letting you in again

Hey, lover, be kind
I'm too old to die
and too young to cry
Lover lover lover lover, love
Lover be kind

Is this a joke for the insane?
You call and you ask how I am
I've put my bubblegum away
I changed to a rhyme
I've got my bell around my neck
in case I go blind
Don't worry I'll get my head
out of your twine
if you'll please
get your cut throat off of my knife

Hey, lover, be kind
I'm too old to die
and too young to cry
Lover lover lover lover, love
Please don't be mine

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

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Mrs. McKenzie

Janis Ian

She taught them all about sex
and other little girls
Encouraging them to go out among friends
and spread the word
And going from one little game to another
she became more of a friend than a mother
Kept them in her freedom

Oh, look at her
Lady Mckenzie, she's in a frenzy
for her children to leave
so she can be free
What a drag it must be
feeling wanted

She said - If you've got a problem
I'm not here to help you
You've got your hang-ups, it's none of my fault
Pull yourself through
You say that you need me, I'm only your mother
I only work here, please don't bother me
Teach yourself to be free

Oh, look at her
Mrs. Mckenzie, she's in a frenzy
for her children to leave
so she can be free
What a drag it must be
Feeling wanted

I tried to help her, to tell her
hey wouldn't be what she'd like them to
You can't fix your mind if it's wrapped in the twine
of the psycho blues
She just said "Get out, 'cause Mother's always right
"In a logical world, age means might
"If you're raped, chalk it up to experience"

Oh, look at her
Lady Mckenzie, she's in a frenzy
for her children to leave
so she can be free
What a drag it must be
feeling wanted

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

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Janey's Blues

Janis Ian

Janey's down, can't get off the ground
Too low to fall, she can't come up at all
Hey, Janey's just an accident
Fatal mistake on the day after Lent
and her parents always say
"We don't need you today,
"and we expect just the same"

She's got a blues-y feeling in her eye
and it's making her sigh
Cry... cry for Janey

Well, her mother plays on the golf course every day
and her daddy, he sits at home and plays with the maid
They've found the perfect alibi
Stay together for the sake of the child
You know, divorce don't fit
and they're too young to split
Think they're martyrs, but they're killing the kid

She's got a blues-y feeling in her eye
and it's making her sigh
Cry... cry for Janey

Now they put her down,
and they knock it if she hits the ground
Next moment, grab a purse
and take her out on the town
It's either a hit or a miss in the fight
A slap by day, and a kiss at night
You know, their hating sets them free
Loving only wants to see Janey taking sides

She's got a blues-y feeling in her eye
and it's making her sigh
Cry... cry for Janey
Cry for Janey
Cry for Janey

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

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All tour dates updated on January 13, 2017

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