Home Link
  • Janis Ian & Shadow Morton backstage at The Tonight Show - photo by Gilbert for Life Magazine
  • Janis Ian & producer Shadow Morton recording - photo by Gilbert for Life Magazine
  • Janis Ian & Joni Mitchell backstage - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian & Odetta - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian & Steve Goodman 01 - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian & Steve Goodman 02 - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian  & Taj Mahal - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian with Bruce Springsteen, radio personality Ed Sciaky, & Billy Joel backstage at the Academy of Music, Philadelphia - photo by Peter Cunningham
  • Janis Ian, Mary Black, & Joan Baez backstage at Joan's show - photo by Joe Bangay
  • Janis Ian with the Abfab girls, backstage at the Royal Albert
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
click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on April 19, 2015

  • Wed April 22 w/ Tom Paxton

    Rio Theatre, Santa Cruz, CA

    Rio Theatre

    Santa Cruz, CA

    Phone: (866) 55-TICKETS

    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!

  • Thur Apr 23 w/ Tom Paxton

    City Winery (Napa), Napa, CA

    City Winery (Napa)

    Napa, CA

    Phone: (707) 260-1600

    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!

  • Fri Apr 24 w/ Tom Paxton

    Center for the Arts, Grass Valley, CA

    Center for the Arts

    Grass Valley, CA

    Phone: (530) 274-8384 x14

    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!

  • Sat Apr 25 2/ Tom Paxton

    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA

    Freight & Salvage

    Berkeley, CA

    Phone: (510) 644-2020 Ext: 120

    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!

  • Sun Apr 26 w/ Tom Paxton

    Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA

    Freight & Salvage

    Berkeley, CA

    Phone: 510-644-2020

    Visit the venue's website

    Second night added!

  • Wed Apr 29

    Tales From the Tavern, Santa Ynez, CA, N/A

    Tales From the Tavern

    Santa Ynez, CA, N/A

    Phone: 805-688-0383

    Visit the venue's website

    A return engagement, at Janis' request! We had the best time here a little while ago, and this promises to be just as much fun.

  • Thur April 30

    Tower Theatre, Fresno, CA

    Tower Theatre

    Fresno, CA

    Phone: (559)485-9050

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sat May 2 SOLD OUT

    AMSDconcerts at Sweetwater Union HS Theater, San Diego, CA

    AMSDconcerts at Sweetwater Union HS Theater

    San Diego, CA

    Phone: 619-303-8176

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sat July 18

    RiverSong Music Festival, Hutchinson, MN

    RiverSong Music Festival

    Hutchinson, MN

    Phone: (320) 587-2599

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis and RiverSong have been trying to find a date that works for years now - so glad this is finally happening! 

[full tour dates list]

Copyright Janis IanPrivacy Policy & Terms Of AgreementSitemapWebsite By Digital Vision Media