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Unreleased 1: Mary's Eyes
Unreleased 1: Mary's Eyes

1998

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The Basics: Recorded at various times (1971-1997); created as a special offering for fan club and website members.

Inside Scoop: Remember - this was 1998. No iTunes. No high speed. Very little digital world. Most of my fans were not on line; almost none of the overseas fans were. I decided to hold an online holiday sale event. When I posted a bulletin board note asking what the fans would most like to see offered in the sale, heading the list (just before boxer shorts, oddly enough) was a CD of unreleased material. I asked them to send in the songs they wanted to hear, and compiled the album out of their suggestions and a few of my own.

Lyrics

Roses For The Damned

Janis Ian

One too many gone, one too many died
All my heroes have been silenced
All the young men marching off in two-four time
Dance to that righteous killer's cadence

One too many gone, laying wasted in the sand
Death's got no feeling for the brave
Crazed men hustling selling guns and ammunition
Bear your rifle, bear your burden, save your children

Mothers raise their sons for the sacrifice
Babies carry guns and dream of paradise
Nectar and roses and soft dark Arabian nights
Dying for water, and no oasis in sight

No mean day dream bridal magazine
promises to wave a magic wand
Advertising confidence, fourteen lesson eloquence
Will teach you how to live beside the bomb

High school fools rule, foam from the mouth
Keep you 'til you're old enough to buy
Teachers talk of temperance, allegiance to coincidence
snd documents to recompense your pride

No one calls on you to live, no one calls you to die
No one sends roses to crazy old ladies who lie
in dark dusty rooms the size of a small foreign car
Sometimes you wonder where all the good people are

Strangers walk the streets in the summer heat
Tempers shorter than a baby's dryness
Stepping on your shoes, leaving mind and body bruised
Ain't it easy now to kill someone for kindness

It'd make a man of any man who's old enough to cry
Surely make a loser feel at home
Blessings on the children of the city when they die
One more overpopulation gone

You cannot walk the streets no more, or live in town
I always thought there'd be somewhere to crawl
when the sky fell down
I'm watching my horizon exploding
like a spring too tightly wound
Silence is the only sound

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Tune That In

Janis Ian

Woke up this morning
and I walked into the door
I don't know what I been drinking
but I hope to Christ there's more
I want to be your lover baby
I don't need to know your score
Wake me when my heart crawls out the door

Well, I went to drink some water
but the faucet heads were gone
They weren't sterling silver
but how I loved to turn them on
Wake me when it's over
Take it on the run
Tell me when the deed is done

I like the way you hold me
like an extravagant bottle of wine
and when you drink me slowly
makes this tired body shine
Ain't no need to save it
There's more where that came from
It must have been a vintage in
the year of '51

Woke up in the morning
I had a doorknob in my hand
and I took it for a warning
It's time to take a stand
I want to be your lover baby
I don't want to be your friend
Wake me when you tune that in

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Do Wrong, Do Right

Philip Clark/Janis Ian

Johnny tends a bar on 29th and Carson
lobby of the Grand Old Hotel
Listens to the stories, tales of hope and glory
while he's mixing drinks at the well
and every night he sighs, hearing the alibis
Love is waiting, love is waiting

Do wrong, you do right
You paint it black, you paint it white
and you fight the good fight every night
Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose
Whatever it takes to get you through
'cause you fight the good fight every night

Johnny has a child who ran a little wild
and now he tends the bars of his cell
blaming it on a girlfriend, blaming it on the world
then blaming everyone but himself
And every night he sighs, thinking of alibis
Love is waiting, love is waiting

Chorus

© 1999 Rude Girl Publishing/Oh Me Oh My Songs, admin. Bug Music (BMI); all rights reserved.

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Mary's Eyes

Janis Ian

Mary's eyes are startling blue
and her hair's Newcastle gold
and she walks the thin white line
between the body and the soul
She's as faithful to her history
as a novice to his fast
for she is standing on the bones of Ireland's past

She is singing of the Troubles
and a fire in the land
'til I can almost feel the famine
slipping through my trembling hand
And I wonder as I hear her
that the spirit still shines through
and she can reach across the ocean deep
and break my heart in two

Mary's wise as she is foolish
She's as constant as the tide
for it's a woman's heart that beats beneath
that stubborn Irish pride
We are saints and we are sinners
We are heroes we are thieves
We are all of us beginners
on the road to Galilee

We are singing of the Troubles
and a fire in the land
'til I can almost feel the famine
slipping through my trembling hand
And I wonder as I hear her
that the spirit still shines through
and she can reach across the ocean deep
and break my heart in two

So let us hoist a pint of silence
to the east where Ireland lies
and we'll stare across the waters
for a glimpse of Mary's eyes
We are ships without a harbor
We are sailors on dry land
and the song goes on forever
even though the record can't

We are singing of the Troubles
and a fire in the land
'til I can almost feel the famine
slipping through my trembling hand
And I wonder as I hear her
that the spirit still shines through
and she can reach across the ocean deep
and break my heart in two

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Way Of The Land

Janis Ian

Man rolls out of bed and he knots his tie
Gulps his coffee as he says goodbye
Drags his car down a one-way street
Got appointments to keep
It's the way of the land
He works in a room with the windows closed
Got no time for the open road
Punches out at a quarter to five
Feels a little bit more alive
It's the way of the land

He used to dream of Robin Hood
He used to make his plans
to race through Sherwood Forest
with a longbow in his hand
And Friar Tuck and Marian
would call him hero then
He'd rob the rich and help the poor
to understand, man to man,
it was the way of the land

Woman wakes up and she makes the bed
Got a thousand troubles running through her head
Drags her body through another day
for a little under minimum wage
It's the way of the land
Got no job but she works full time
Get the kids on the bus and the washing on the line
and the rushing and the planning and the grocery shop
Having dinner ready seven o'clock
It's the way of the land

She used to dream of Tinkerbelle
She dreamt of Peter Pan
Of scouting distant islands
Finding treasures in the sand
She'd battle Captain Hook
until he'd lost his other hand
and clap so hard that every child
would live again, to ride the wind
It's the way of the land

I dreamed a dream just the other night
My mama walked and my daddy cried
and their eyes were bright as shooting stars
And they held each other hard
You understand…

They used to dream of travelling
They used to make those plans
Fred Astaire and Ginger
in the ballrooms of romance
But time is hard on heroes
They never had the chance
I dreamed a dream the other night
and knew somehow that they're dancing now
'cause it's the way of the land
It's the way of the land

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Make A Man Of You

Janis Ian

You've grown too tall again
Somebody better clip your wings
before you fly away

You are too bold to live
Somebody better learn to give,
or learn to lose with grace

The sky knows your name now
The leaves, they fall too fast
You're dying in the grass
and I can't let this moment pass

Your breath, it reeks of ocean breezes
Your eyes have turned too blue
The sky holds no challenge for you
What strange diseases,
that make a man of you

Here is the sky's parole
Somebody's got to leave it whole
Go on and take it

The earth's too small to breath
and if you can't get free,
I know you can fake it

Your lips don't move the air
The sun comes tumbling down
You're fading into novas
and you leave me on the ground

Your face it reeks of ocean breezes
Your eyes have changed their hue
The skies hold no memory of you
What strange diseases,
that make a man of you

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Paris In Your Eyes

Janis Ian

Every time I see you, I see Paris in your eyes
A hint of the forbidden, Brigitte Bardot style
Every time I dream of you, I dream that distant land
where I once held tomorrow in my hand

First time I saw Paris in your eyes
you told me how you loved me
under blue Picasso skies
We spoke of Michelangelo
and we solved each others' lives
the first time I saw Paris in your eyes

Every time I touched you,
I could taste a breath of spring
April in Paris is every lover's dream
Every time I'd call your name,
it would sound so much in tune
just like Notre Dame Cathedral at high noon

First time I saw Paris in your eyes
you told me how you loved me
under blue Picasso skies
We spoke of Michelangelo
and we solved each others' lives
The first time I saw Paris in your eyes

Now every time I see you
April showers seem to start
and they rain on every hope I have
'til they hurricane my heart
Every time I dream of you
I dream of what we had
and wonder, how could something so good go so bad?

The last time I saw Paris in your eyes
you told me you were leaving
under blue Picasso skies
We spoke of Michelangelo
and believed each others' lies
the last time i saw Paris in your eyes
The last time i saw Paris in your eyes

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

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We Endure

Janis Ian

The fields were fallow, the wells were dry
A mother's sorrow begged an unforgiving sky
and every day another year dragged by
'til it seemed that even God had turned his back
and just like Mother Earth, we soon would crack

But we endured
Though the road only got longer, we endured
and it seemed to make us stronger
Even when the wolves were howling at the door
we endured

Summer sorrows gave way to winter chills
Fever stalked the land 'til it drank its fill
of children sweet as mother's milk
Every night another angel earned its' wings
and it seemed we would not live to face the spring

Chorus

Our hearts are fragile
Our bodies soon unwind
We've barely learned to live
when we begin to die
When your children ask me
why we're even born
I say - we are but the tail wind of a storm
The thunder echos loudest when it's gone

But we endure
Though the road only got longer, we endure
and I swear it makes us stronger
Even when the wolves are howling at the door
we endure

© 1999 Rude Girl Publishing, admin. Bug Music (BMI); all rights reserved.

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Lone Ranger Days

Janis Ian/Kent Robbins

Cowboys and Indians hot on my trail
out on the high Western plains
Riding the Pony Express with the mail
'til mama called me away
back in the Lone Ranger days

My little brother took over the route
My cap guns and hobby horse reins
He was just five when I went off to school
and that's where he stayed
back in the Lone Ranger days

And the neighbor kids laughed at him
They called him strange
His body grew older
but he never changed
I went to college and married one day,
but he and his rocking horse ride never changed
back in the Lone Ranger days

We got a letter from home yesterday
With his favorite crayon, he'd painted his name
Mom's not that old, still she's turning grey
but he and his buckaroo chaps never change
He's back in the Lone Ranger days
Hi-O Silver, away

And the neighbor kids laughed at him
They called him strange
His body grew older
but he never changed
I went to college and married one day,
but he and his rocking horse ride never changed
back in the Lone Ranger days

© Taosongs Two (50%)/Irving Music. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Forever Young

Janis Ian

Can you see the early morning chill
in the frost that covers this cold hill
Can you hear the high and lonesome sound
of shovels striking ground

Can you feel the earth begin to move
as though judgment day had come too soon
Can you taste the earth upon her lips
like one last lover's kiss

Can you hear the wind begin to howl
Too late, too late to turn back now
And the fiddle plays until it aches
and fills her resting place

Her mem'ry haunts his heart
Her body burned its mark
Her soul has flown from his embrace
no more to fear the dark

Oh jealousy, where is your sting
Who knows the poison fruit you bring
but fools rush in where angels fear
and lose the love they hold most dear

We will watch him riding through the gates
to the prison cell that now awaits
He will never no more see the sun
and she will be forever young

He will never no more see the sun
and she will be forever young

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Unwinding

Janis Ian/Kye Fleming

* Also recorded by Maura O'Connell

The hours pass, the night unwinds
You left my heart a beat behind
Time is a friend and a foe
I never dreamed you would go
Love is a clock unwinding

'round and around
'til the feelings run down
I toss and I turn
'til I'm all tired out
I know I told you not to worry,
I'll be fine
It's just a matter of the heart,
and that takes time to unwind

I saw your sister yesterday
We couldn't find a lot to say
I took an apartment downtown
I'm getting used to it now
Leaving the past behind me

'round and around
'til the feelings run down
I toss and I turn
'til I'm all tired out
I know I told you not to worry,
I'll be fine
It's just a matter of the heart,
and that takes time to unwind

Oh, 'round and around
'til the feelings run down
I toss and I turn
'til I'm all tired out
I know I told you not to worry,
I'll be fine
It's just a matter of the heart,
and that takes time to unwind

© Taosongs Two (50%)/Irving Music/Eaglewood Music.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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On The Way To Me

Janis Ian

* Also recorded by Mare Winningham

I'm on my way,
though I guess one day I'll wake
and find it's just another false alarm
Somebody told me once --
You can be whatever you want to be,
but it don't come free

I'm on my way
Though I don't know where I'm going,
I wish I'd gone there yesterday
Cold wind's blowing at my back
but I can't stay
Don't you see? It's where I need to be

I'm on my way to me, but I can't see
my future for the past
If I'd done what you had asked
I could have been there in a flash
I'm on my way back home, but I don't know
tomorrow from today
I'm gonna find my way
Find my way

I don't know who,
but there's a stranger with my face
who knows the proper things to do
She smiles in all the right places
She runs in all the best races
I do too, but not for you

I'm on the way,
and though the stranger bears my name
she just can't sing the songs i play
but there's no shame in learning
halfway there, you want to be turning
Back a while - gonna turn back that dial

I'm on my way to me, but I can't see
my future for the past
If I'd done what you had asked
I could have been there in a flash
I'm on my way back home
but I don't know tomorrow from today
I'm gonna find my way - find my way
Find my way back home

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

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Cosmopolitan Girl

Janis Ian

I was only
twenty-nine and lonely as a bull moose in heat
when he came along, singing that same old song
I said, You know I'm entering my prime
Thirty-one to thirty-nine
Bet you've read the articles, too
Statistically speaking, my hormones are creeping
I can feel them moving in the night
But like the articles say - I am woman
I can wait until it's right

I want to be a cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan girl
Take half a dozen lovers, teach them what i've seen
in between the covers of my favorite magazine
I want to read statistics, plan logistics
Live my life to the hilt
without shame, without pain, without guilt

I hit thirty
waiting for my endocrines to match the questionnaires
He grew impatient. I said - I'm saving myself
Meantime, let's do some therapy
Take a course in co-dependency
and while we're at it, you could lose some weight
We've got so much to share - no, don't touch me there
What's another year between friends?
The wait will be worth it
I'm bound to be perfect by then

I want to be a cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan girl
I'm reading Kama Sutra - I bought it on cassette
I found a chiropractor who can limber up my neck
I want that first time flawless, really lawless
Want to enjoy it to the hilt
without shame, without pain, without guilt

The big day finally came
There was a note on the door
It said - Here's a little something to remember me by
I've fallen for a waitress who accepts her cellulite

This is a cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan gift
And I know that you'll appreciate it when you think of me
all those empty nights while you're protecting your virginity
This gift is flawless, this gift is cordless
so enjoy it to the hilt
without shame, without pain, without guilt
without shame, without pain, without guilt
No shame, no pain, no guilt

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

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La Cienega Boulevard

Janis Ian/Jane Street

She stares at the cars, holds up a sign
Says "Hungry Need Work", no one minds
Sunny day in LA
Past the restaurants, the galleries
Past the shelter and the Frosty Freeze
Shopping mall, graffiti wall
Man, this town has got it all

La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard
La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard

The Beverly Center smiles down on me
Billboards are my destiny
Broken dreams and postcard scenes
They got my favorite station on the radio
playing all the golden oldies that I used to know
Remember when?
We were really cool back then

La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard
La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard

You're chasing the scene
(You know what I mean)
It's all just routine, so keep your nose clean
'cause times are getting hard
here on La Cienega Boulevard
On the Boulevard

La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard
La la la la la la la
La Cienega Boulevard

© Rude Girl Pub. (50%)/Scheme of Things Music.
All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Morning Alone After You

Janis Ian

I've got slow blues
Don't know what to do
I can't stop thinking of you
It's a stranger's eyes
awakening right on the
morning alone after blues

Bring back the sunrise
Comfort me now that I'm down, dear
Hold me deep in your heart
When we're apart, dear
I'm not myself. Here's to

loving you
is an easy thing to do
Don't make it hard to believe
If I can't be there,
dream of me when when I'm dreaming of you

Slow blue, I need you
Comfort me now that I'm down, dear
You're there, waiting around
Heart on the ground
I'm in trouble without

It's the morning alone
after you've been long gone
It's a shame to waken this way
I've got slow blues
Don't know what to do
On the morning alone after you

© Rude Girl Pub. All rights reserved; international copyright secured.

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Tour Dates

click on any date for full information
click again to close that date

All tour dates updated on September 12, 2017

  • Saturday, April 28th, 2018

    The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA,

    The Birchmere

    Alexandria, VA,

    Phone: 703-549-7500

    Visit the venue's website

    Janis returns to the legendary venue with a show full of new songs and new ideas - one appearance only! See venue closer to the date for more information.

[full tour dates list]

In The Store
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The Autobiography Collection
CD

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Live From Grand Center DVD

Live From Grand Center DVD
A PBS Special

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Society's Child Signed 1st Ed. Hardback Book

Society's Child: My Autobiography
Signed 1st ed. hardcover

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Folk Is The New Black CD

Folk Is The New Black CD

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