Songs »At Seventeen

at seventeen janis ianOh, Janis! Was it really so bad? Of course it was. We all remember the angst and pain that went with being a teenage girl, always feeling left out, ugly, alone, and totally misunderstood. Perhaps no song captures these feelings with such earnestness and compassion as this.

'Those of us with ravaged faces/
Lacking in the social graces/
Desperately remained at home/
Inventing lovers on the phone'

I can imagine curling up and listening to this on my record player in 1975, crying quietly so my siblings won't hear and make fun of me. Hearing someone who felt just like you must have been such a comfort, kind of like Sassy magazine was for me and my peers.

A songwriter like Ian, who speaks for the girl that doesn't fit it, is needed more than ever in today's world, where Teen Vogue is telling girls they should be spending $500 on the latest trendy skirt, doll-prostitutes like the Bratz never want for friends and boyfriends and live only to shop, and the vacant nimrods of the Hills are meant to be idols.

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Posted on August 13, 2007

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