I love a samba beat with soft nylon-stringed guitar and congas and smooth bass lines. And I deeply appreciate when a singer/songwriter focuses more intently on vocal performance and recording than just about anything else. So, I certainly tuned into a song that came out, back in 1975, that met all that criteria. From a young woman who sang about getting no valentines when she was a teenager.
Sounds sad, right? No valentines.
But that’s part of what she lamented as she sang about being seventeen. In these lyrics…
“The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth.”
Yeah, there’s nothing like the anguish of a seventeen year old girl. Absolutely NO pain in the world can compare. But a couple years after that song came out (1977) Janis Ian got 461 Valentine’s day cards from fans. So, happiness recaptured, time lost became time gained, and redemption rolled in at last.
Well, not so quick.
As it turns out, Janis claims to have a wife. Yes, Janis is a she. So, it’s not reality to say she has a wife. But that’s what she claims. So, who am I to judge. Well, I’m me. So I judge. But don’t judge me for judging. OK?
That’s one strike against her. But she also decided to keep swingin’ and wrote a song, for her last album, about people who are confused. People who don’t know if they’re a boy or a girl. I read this blurb online…
“The heartfelt new song “Perfect Little Girl” was written for a friend of Ian’s who is a transgender man, but the song could speak to anyone who feels boxed-in by restrictive gender norms.”
And when I say “last album,” I mean the last one she’ll record. Because that’s what she’s saying about it. And, at almost 71, that’s a pretty big deal. I don’t know if she’s seen the symmetry in that number.
But I digress.
The main thing I want to point out is how yet another talented singer songwriter would rather be the center of the universe than acknowledge our Creator. She wouldn’t describe it that way. But it’s true. Because when you thumb your nose at your Creator, you decide your eternal fate away from Him.
Janis seems like a pleasant, soft-spoken person. But that’s not a ticket to paradise.
No valentines will pull you through
When your full life depends on you.
So, focus past your misspent youth
And trust The Way, The Life, The Truth.
Tell everybody you know to Jump on the Rhyme and Reason Bandwagon
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Or how about some music for kids