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Billie's Bones

Matthew

Janis Ian

Footsteps on gravel at the neighborhood bar
Things start to unravel, then they go too far
The sound of pain written on the wind
fades to grey and then goes dim

A boy is tied to a barbed wire fence
for the crows to ride and the claws to clench
For the sweet bouquet of blood and bone
to undermine the scent of collegiate cologne

What makes a man a man?
The cut of a coat, the hint of a tan?
It's not who you love, but whether you can
What makes a man a man?

Who did he harm, what was the crime?
Did he walk too lightly, did he seem too shy?
Did he make them wonder deep inside?
Did they feel like real men when he died?

Did the waning moon look down from on high?
Did the twinkling stars try to catch his eye?
Did the wind caress his flesh and bone?
Did they leave him there to die alone?

What makes a man a man?
The cut of a coat, the hint of a tan?
It's not who you love, but whether you can
What makes a man a man

Now the stars are nailed to an empty sky
The moon is pinned like a butterfly
and I'm afraid to shine too bright
since the day they took his life

So mothers, teach your children this
Don't overreach, don't run the risk
Hide in the shadows, don't expect
your good heart to save your neck

What makes a man a man?
The cut of a coat, the hint of a tan?
It's not who you love, but whether you can
What makes a man a man?

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

Tour Dates

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All tour dates updated on October 20, 2019

  • Friday February 28

    E. J. Thomas Hall, Akron, Ohio

    E. J. Thomas Hall

    Akron, Ohio

    Phone: 330-972-7570

    Visit the venue's website

  • Sunday, March 1

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Bloomington, IN

    Buskirk-Chumley Theater

    Bloomington, IN

    Phone: 812.323.3020

    Visit the venue's website

    With Livingston Taylor.
    Tickets will go on sale to the public at 11am on Thursday, Sept 19th. 
    Tickets available via OvationTix

  • Monday June 29 to Friday July 3

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone: N/A

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 6 to Friday July 10

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina,

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 13 to Friday July 17

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 20 to Friday July 24

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. Time of her classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Monday July 27 to Friday July 31

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Swannanoa Gathering, Warren Wilson College

    Swannanoa, North Carolina, USA

    Phone:

    Visit the venue's website

    For the first time, Janis will be giving her 5-day series "A Master Class In Artistry" during each of the Swannanoa Gathering weeks. The final week will also feature a second, more interactive class tentatively titled "War Stories". Time of classes is TBA; please check the  website for more information. The 5 day class covers everything from the origins of artists to physicalization, songwriting for profit and not so much, performance, the need to be brave, how to survive as an artist in the modern world, and why bother. Points are illustrated with songs and playing as she takes us on a journey that begins with the first caveman to tell a story and continues through the myth of the artist as "crazy", the need for silence, and why she believes "art saves". Drawing on her 55 years of experience in the entertainment industry and her ten years with Stella Adler, presented with humor and grace, brutally honest, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her students. 

  • Thursday August 6

    Living Room Concert, Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Living Room Concert

    Private, Massachusetts, USA

    Phone: Private

    Visit the venue's website

    Private Living Room Concert benefitting the Pearl Foundation. We are currently considering other LRC's in the general area; if you are interested please contact us through the "Make Pearl An Offer" charity section of this website. * Please do not ask if you can attend. Invitations are solely up to the donor(s) and we will not put you in touch, regardless of your reason.

[full tour dates list]

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