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Restless Eyes
Restless Eyes

1981

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The Basics: Produced by Gary Klein; recorded in Los Angeles late 1980; released 1981 (Columbia). Contains four songs from ABC TV Movie-of-the-Week Freedom (6 songs used in total), Emmy nomination for Mare Winningham, who starred in and sang them in the film.

Personnel: Musicians: Byron Berline, Lenny Castro, Bill Cuomo, Nick DeCaro, Arti Dixson, Buzzy Feiten, Carol Hunter, Janis Ian, Abe Laboreal, Neil Larsen, Dean Parks, Bill Payne, Jeff Porcaro, Rich Schlosser, Lee Sklar, Fred Tacket. Vocalists: John Crowder, Janis Ian.

Inside Scoop: Although Night Rains had been a huge overseas hit, generating monumental income, Columbia executives were worried that Janis hadn't broken the album in the United States. Faced with the choice of having a producer assigned to her or finding someone herself, she picked Gary Klein on her friend Charles Koppelman's recommendation. They set out to create a "pop/folk album", recording in LA and generally having a good time... but as Janis says, "There is no such thing as a 'pop album'. There are only great albums, and the rest. We forgot that little detail." After the failure of this album in the US, and Columbia's failure to promote it overseas, Janis asked for a release from her recording contract (she still had five albums to go). In retrospect "probably a monumental mistake. I could have stayed there, churning out records and getting paid a quarter of a million each so long as I turned them in, for another decade. Many of my contemporaries did, and their recording careers now are in much better shape than mine. But I felt like my writing was going downhill, and I saw no way to get back on track if I had to continue putting out an album every year and touring so much."

Lyrics

Under The Covers

Janis Ian

Spanish boys'll greet you
with that old obscene refrain
The sadness of a thousand
waiting window panes
Gypsy boys'll beat you
at your own familiar game.
while the whore on the corner
drags that same old ball and chain

They make better lovers
So I've been told
Under the covers
That's where you discover if your man is whole
They don't come easy, but they're worth the time
And if you please me, maybe I'll let you be mine

Latin boys are easy
They'll touch you with their eyes
Handle you the way they need
without disguise
Gypsy boys'll fool you
into global compromise
while occasional candy
keeps your belly satisfied

They make better lovers
So I've been told
Under the covers
That's where you discover if your man is whole
They don't come easy, but they're worth the time
And if you please me, maybe I'll let you be mine

They say they only hurt you
because they're hurting themselves
And they don't mean to dry up
all your wishing wells
They say you should be truthful
but you know sometimes they lie
And though it isn't meant to,
it still tears me up inside

They make better lovers
So I've been told
Under the covers
That's where you discover if your man is whole
They don't come easy, but they're worth the time
And if you please me, maybe I'll let you be mine

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

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I Remember Yesterday

Janis Ian

You told me love goes on forever
and I said - talk about the weather
or something else, but don't say that
You're talking through your hat
You know yourself how long forever lasted
before we two were one

There was someone who was close to you
Someone who held you tight
before I split the night
There were laughs and dreams
Hopes and schemes
long before we knew
there'd be a me and you, so baby

Don't be telling me lies
'cause the truth is talking
in your eyes
I believe in tomorrow
but I remember yesterday

You tell me -- I will never leave you
And I say -- sorry, don't believe you
though I believe in mystery
and your sincerity
I know you never meant to be untrue
but once, before we knew

There was someone who was close to you
Someone who held you tight
before I split the night
There were laughs and dreams
Hopes and schemes
long before we knew
there'd be a me and you, so baby

Don't be telling me lies
'cause the truth is talking
in your eyes
I believe in tomorrow
but I remember yesterday
I believe in tomorrow
but I remember yesterday
I believe in tomorrow

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

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I Believe I'm Myself Again

Janis Ian

Blue sky by the ocean
I got a bluebird singing freedom
and I'm happy to be living
I believe I'm myself again

No tears to cry him
No desire to linger here beside him
Without him
I believe I'm myself again

I got a whip'o'erwill, he sings the blues
I got honeybees, and roses too
and they don't sing the way you do
I believe I'm myself again

Thanks to all the friends
who stood by me
when you were standing still
Now I've got perspective on the situation
and it makes me ill

How could I have loved you for so long?
I know I enjoyed you,
but how could I have liked you?

Instrumental

So thank you
God bless you
Sleep well tonight
You made me cry
but I'm better
without you
I'm believe I'm myself again

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

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Restless Eyes

Janis Ian

We have a big house, with lots of gardens,
and children playing in the school next door
These aren't the best times
These aren't the worst times,
but these are my times
I never asked for more

There's always sunshine, and shiny weather
I like it just fine - he likes it better
And I don't know the name
of the people right next door,
but I can't complain
He could have had so much more

And he isn't you, and I'll never be
the one that he left behind
Each time we look in the mirror, I see
those restless eyes when he finds
that I'm not the one he wanted
Aand he's not who I dreamed
Oh, those restless eyes,
and restless me

And when the warm winds that surround me
come raining down me on cold summer nights
He never asks me to surrender
and I remember that when i want to leave

And if my heart beats a touch too fast
And if my eyes blink, he doesn't ask
He lets us both pretend
it's the wind up from the shore
and I love him for it then
like I never did before

And he isn't you, and I'll never be
the one that he left behind
Each time we look in the mirror, I see
those restless eyes when he finds
that I'm not the one he wanted
and he's not who i dreamed
Oh, those restless eyes,
and restless me

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

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Get Ready To Roll

Janis Ian

Play it low in the pocket
Something's just got to break
You've been waiting so long for success
It's a shame it's gonna come too late

Baby, fly like a rocket
Shoot it out in stages from the mother ship
It's too bad you gotta lose
what you had
but when you cruise
you gotta shoot it from the hip
Aw, you give 'em all the slip

And it's too bad
Hear they got you shooting
with a crooked cue
Mmm, somebody really got it in for you
When the night runs down all over town
and everybody's lost control
Get ready to roll
Get ready to roll

Play it high on the hip
Something's just gotta give
Hold that thirty-eight ready
'til she really looks steady
Then just let her rip

Put some powder in your eyes
just before that contact's made
How it must hurt to pervert
when the curtain can't hide
from that fire in your eyes
but is it really a surprise

And it's too bad
Hear they got you shooting
with a crooked cue
Mmm, somebody really got it in for you
When the night runs down all over town
And everybody's lost control
Get ready to roll
Get ready to roll
Get ready to roll

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

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Passion Play

Janis Ian

She came from Dakota, though some say she hailed from the South
He tried to believe, but each time she would leave
with the venom that dripped from her mouth
Like some angel of old bent on saving the soul,
drugged to the knees he would pray
to some rude Russian icon that twined like a python
and blinded the sun night and day
And he'd say

Please bring me peace
You say you'll stay just to leave me
whole, all of my soul your passion play

Though she lies to amuse, she lies to confuse passion with vision and pain
He lies for possession and time, though there's no time to gain
Squandering feeling, constantly stealing
away from the sound of her name
is like thunder and lighting hiding the sound of the rain
And she'd say

Please bring me peace
say you'll stay just to leave me
whole, all of my soul your passion play

So he searches for truth in the beauty that once was her name
Senselessly trusting in time to remind her - blind, she came
Suddenly rootless, fashionably useless,
magically fruitless and tame
like some Sunday scholar who lives off the squalor
of yesterday's knowledge and fame
And he'd say

Please bring me peace
You say you'll stay just to leave me
whole, all of my soul your passion play

Well 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
I must have been lucky. Got out with my body
Iintact and tomorrow in tune
Now it's this sense of time that wraps like a vine
'round the neck of the sun and the moon
He'd say

Please bring me peace
You say you'll stay just to leave me
whole, all of my soul your passion play

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

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Down And Away

Janis Ian

I know your name
through every drop of rain that falls
I've known them all
through every stillborn hurricane
and the skies unchained on the unwashed plain
and the driving rain

Time has a way of slipping past
like reason through the hourglass
We hear too fast
The lines don't last

Not like they used to do
when I had you
How fast they flew away
Down and away

I loved you young
when all impression gathered,
spun on foreign suns
we gathered crumbs

One or another drifting by
past regiments of humble pie
And the soggy sky and the unstitched eye
writ across the glass
of an unsung past

Not like it used to do
when i had you
The words i threw away
Down and away

On the unmarked road to hell
all the faithless heroes dwell
And the wine blood sand
of a burned out land
drifting on the wind
of each and every faceless sin
Bursting through the eyes
of your whitewashed skies
Not unlike the sighs
of these pale blue thighs
Unchecked visions stream
Each succeeding dreams
on the rights of kings
and the balance swings

Not like it used to do
when I had you
The lives I threw away
Down and away
Down and away

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

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Bigger Than Real

Janis Ian

Streets of your city are dirty and gritty
Now, ain't it a pitiful sight
Sing Hallelujah and praise California
Pedestrians move to the right
I'm waiting here for the man with the answer
to ease my soul
I got the blues so bad it can't be true
Honey, I'm waiting on you

People just walk. The sidewalks talk
and everyone's been derailed
Everything's bigger than real here
Honey, i don't feel too well
These buildings are singing the blues
You better use your sins
Honey, i'd like just to meet with the righteous
but i don't know where to begin

And the tambourine
it's playing for free
It's telling me - trust in the lord
Sing Hare Krishna
or Jesus or Mithra
It don't matter who anymore
They say God relieves
if I'd only believe
but I just can't whore
Honey, I'm trying
to deal with the dying
and I can't score

So here we all are, waiting for God
Or someone who looks just like him
I can't believe this is me here
Some days, you just can't win
They say the downtrodden shall rule
but ain't it a fool likes to kneel
Big city blues makes the small town news
Honey, it's bigger than real

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

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Dear Billy

Janis Ian

Dear Billy, how are you?
I hope you are well
The flowers are blooming
The plants, I can't really tell
I see by your letter
you have no intent to come home
so I'll take the house and the kid
and make out on my own

Dear Billy, I'm trying to say what I feel
but the feelings are locked up in pain
I hope you're enjoying whatever it is
you are doing with whoever's name
Well, the night it runs cold
and it chills to the soul
but you wouldn't know, what's the use
It's all one to me, so go ahead and be free
After all, you've got nothing to lose

I still go to school
and the kid, she goes too
We're learning to silence the fear
that no one is here
She calls me Dear”
and i wait for you
What else can I do?
No, nothing has changed
It all stays the same
We all remain ever faithful
and somewhat confused
except maybe you
who threw the harpoon
Are you coming home soon?

Dear Billy, please send my regards to your lady
I wish her well
and I hope that one day
we will meet on the far side of hell
Well, the sun's got the moon
and the writer his tune
but i never had nothing 'cept you
On the day that you die
I will sing lullabies
In the hope that you got yours, too

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

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Sugar Mountain

Janis Ian

Do you go down on the side of Sugar Mountain
when leaves are brown
and the sunlight splits the sky?
I have found that the sea breeze tears at the ocean,
and I hope somebody will love me 'fore I die

Oh willow, weep no more my lady,
though the days are long and lazy,
and the sun sits heavy on the sky
Weep no more, I'm homeward bound
I'm gonna tear this mountain down
You're gonna be somebody bye and bye

Sugar mountain trees are made of candy,
and the sun drips honey in your eyes
Every fountain's water tastes like brandy,
and I know somebody will love me 'fore i die

Oh willow, weep no more my lady,
though the days are long and lazy
and the sun sits heavy on the sky
Weep no more, I'm homeward bound
I'm gonna tear this mountain down
You're gonna be somebody bye and bye

Sugar mountain lovers taste like honey
and their lips like elderberry wine
Every other stranger pales and withers
and I hope somebody will love me 'fore I die

Oh willow, weep no more my lady,
though the days are long and lazy,
and the sun sits heavy on the sky
Weep no more, I'm homeward bound
I'm gonna tear this mountain down
You're gonna be somebody bye and bye
Weep no more, I'm homeward bound
I'm gonna tear this mountain down
You're gonna be somebody bye and bye

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

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