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  2. At Seventeen

At Seventeen Lyrics

I leaned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear-skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired

The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone

Who called to say, "Come dance with me"
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen

A brown-eyed girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said, "Pity, please, the ones who serve
'Cause they only get what they deserve"

And the rich relationed hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly

So remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality and dubious integrity

Their small town eyes will gape at you
In dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball

It was long ago and far away
The world was younger than today
When dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me

We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown

They call and say, "Come on, dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me at seventeen

Send At Seventeen Ringtone to your Cell

Janis Ian - Best of Janis Ian - The Autobiography Collection

  1. Hair of Spun Gold
  2. god and the fbi*
  3. Society's Child
  4. Haven't I Got Eyes
  5. This Train Still Runs
  6. Arms Around My Life
  7. His Hands*
  8. When Angels Cry
  9. My Tennessee Hills
  10. Every Love
  11. Some People's Lives*
  12. Stolen Fire
  13. Days Like These*
  14. Tattoo
  15. Through The Years*
  16. I Hear You Sing Again
  17. I Long For You*
  18. Ginny the Flying Girl
  19. Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye
  20. Today You're Mine*
  21. Silly Habits
  22. Jesse
  23. Stars
  24. Thankyous
  25. At Seventeen - album version
  26. Love Is Blind
  27. Fly Too High
  28. Joy
  29. My Autobiography
  30. Hair of Spun Gold (Janis' very first demo, sung into her father's tape recorder in 1963)
  31. At Seventeen