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Better Times Will Come - Janis Ian first take

Better Times Will Come - Janis Ian first take


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From Janis:
About the song and recording: This song started running around my head the day after Prine died, as I was doing laundry. It stayed with me through the dryer cycle, and I moved from my head to a notebook about ten minutes later. It was finished half an hour later; I grabbed my phone and sung into it, tapping time with the pen I'd been using. I call this kind of piece a "miracle song" because they're so rare in my life. I've probably written five songs out of 600+ that came this quickly, and I'm always humbled when it happens.
It's labelled "First Take" because it is literally, the first time I sang it out loud.
 

About the artwork: This photo was taken by photographer Dorothea Lange; during the Great Depression, she was hired by the United States government to document the people suffering from it. In part, the goal of hiring artists like Lange was to keep them employed. In part, it was to document. And in part, it was to ensure that art, which had the power to move people in a way no political speech can, helped the people of America to feel a solidarity and kinship with one another - and hopefully, understand one another a bit better.
Lange was the first female artist to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. 
"Migrant Mother" was shot in Nipomo, California; there is a school there now, named after Lange. You can find more about her through MoMA. This work now hangs in the Library of Congress. On a personal note, I have dealt with the LOC and their copyright division since I was twelve years old, and would be incredibly proud to have any piece of mine recognized there. The institution, and its staff, are very personal to me. Just so you know.

BETTER TIMES WILL COME 
(Janis Ian)

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
oh, better times will come

When we greet each dawn without fear
knowing loved ones soon will be near
When the winds of war
cannot blow any more
Oh, better times will come

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
oh, better times will come

Though we live each day as our last
we know someday soon it will pass
We will dance, we will sing
in that never-ending spring
Oh, better times will come

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
oh, better times will come

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
oh, better times will come
Oh, better times will come

Words & music by Janis Ian, © 2020 Janis Ian (BMI). Recording P. Rude Girl Records, Inc. All rights reserved; used by permission. Cover photo by Dorothea Lange, courtesy Library of Congress.

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