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Strictly SoloBetween The LinesLive On The Test 1976The Bottom Line: Encore CollectionWorking Without A Net: LiveBest Of Janis Ian: The Autobiography Collection

At Seventeen

Janis Ian

I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
and high school girls with clear skinned smiles
who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth

And those of us with ravaged faces
lacking in the social graces
desperately remained at home
inventing lovers on the phone
who called to say - come dance with me
and murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen

A brown eyed girl in hand me downs
whose name I never could pronounce
said - Pity please the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve
The rich relationed hometown queen
marries into what she needs
with a guarantee of company
and haven for the elderly

Remember those who win the game
lose the love they sought to gain
in debentures of quality and dubious integrity
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
in dull surprise when payment due
exceeds accounts received at seventeen

To those of us who knew the pain
of valentines that never came
and those whose names were never called
when choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
when dreams were all they gave for free
to ugly duckling girls like me

We all play the game, and when we dare
we cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
that call and say - Come dance with me
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly girls like me, at seventeen

© Mine Music Ltd./EMI Music Publishing Japan Ltd.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
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All tour dates updated on December 6, 2014

  • February 18

    The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ

    The Rhythm Room

    Phoenix, AZ

    Phone: (602) 265-4842

    Visit the venue's website

    One of Janis' favorite clubs, the Rhythm Room is a funky, friendly place with fantastic audiences! Anything can happen - one visit, her dressing room was a converted closet (cleaned and dusted, but a little airless.) Another time, 3 people in the front row called in a pizza order just before she went onstage, left the room to meet the delivery guy and pay, brought the pizza back to their seats, ate it, then left during her fifth song. (We have no idea why they came in the first place.) Janis says "We call places like the Rhythm Room 'hot & sweaty gigs' because that's what they are - and those places are where you can experiment, take chances, try out newer material. Great gig."

  • Friday February 20

    Rio Grande Theatre, Las Cruces, NM

    Rio Grande Theatre

    Las Cruces, NM

    Phone: (877)466-3404

    Visit the venue's website

    A first-time event for Janis; in 40+ years of touring, she's never played Las Cruces. Very exciting!

  • Sunday February 22

    TBA, Santa Fe, NM

    TBA

    Santa Fe, NM

    Phone: TBA

    Visit the venue's website

    You'll know when we know!

  • Monday Feburary 23

    TBA, Santa Fe, NM

    TBA

    Santa Fe, NM

    Phone: TBA

    Visit the venue's website

    You'll know when we know!

  • Wednesday March 4th with Tom Paxton

    South Orange Performing Arts Center, South Orange, NJ

    South Orange Performing Arts Center

    South Orange, NJ

    Phone: 973-313-2787

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for what feels like far too short a time.

    Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  • Thursday March 5th with Tom Paxton

    Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY

    Tarrytown Music Hall

    Tarrytown, NY

    Phone: 877-840-0457

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalistextraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Friday March 6 with Tom Paxton

    The City Winery, New York, NY

    The City Winery

    New York, NY

    Phone: 212-608-0555 X 714

    Visit the venue's website

    Finally, Janis and Tom in New York! This is a great venue, great sound, great performers. Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show; Janis was just 13 years old. She took the stage with Tom, Lou Gossett Jr., Phil Ochs, Eric Anderson, and other folk singers to get a standing ovation and two encores.

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "the sum is greater than the parts". They'll each be doing a solo set, so you'll still get to hear songs like "At 17", but they'll also be singing on one another's songs, harmonizing, playing backup, and kidding around. Don't miss it!

  • Saturday March 7 - with Tom Paxton

    Patchogue Theatre, Patchogue, NY

    Patchogue Theatre

    Patchogue, NY

    Phone: (631) 207-1313

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr, Phil Ochs, and a few other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid - go back!"

    The show these two dear friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "the sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing on each others' songs, add harmonies and instrumentals, and share the stage for what feels like far too short a time.

    Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!

  • Sunday March 8 with Tom Paxton

    Marasco Performing Arts Center, Monroe Township, NJ

    Marasco Performing Arts Center

    Monroe Township, NJ

    Phone: (732) 521-4400

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

  • Wednesday March 18 with Tom Paxton

    The Dakota, Minneapolis, MN

    The Dakota

    Minneapolis, MN

    Phone: (612) 332-5299

    Visit the venue's website

    Tom Paxton was at Janis' very first public show, at New York's famed Village Gate. Janis was just 13 years old. She received a standing ovation but since she was nervous and already headed back to her seat, she had no idea it was happening. (She also hadn't attended enough concerts to know that you were supposed to take an encore!) Tom, along with Lou Gossett Jr and a couple of other performers, urged her to "Go back, kid! Go back!"

    The show these two old friends put on, with the able assistance of multi-instrumentalistextraordinaire Robin Bullock, is living proof that "The sum is greater than the parts." In addition to singing old favorites like "Ramblin' Boy" and "At 17", they sing one another's songs, add harmony and instrumentals, and share the stage for far too short a time.

    Don't miss it!

[full tour dates list]

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