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Shirley Bassey - JESSE / Janis Ian - At Seventeen (1976 Show #4)

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Published on Oct 28, 2011

1976 (Shirley Bassey hosts Janis Ian on her 1976 TV Variety Show. In this clip Shirley performs a beautiful cover of Janis' hit song, 'Jesse' with Janis accompanying her on the piano, and then Janis performs another one of her huge hits, 'At Seventeen' - I am a male, but I remember when this song came out and thought how her lyrics were really heart felt and speaking out to so many people!

Shirley recorded and released the song, 'Jesse' on her 1975 LP titled, 'Shirley Bassey - Good, Bad, But Beautiful'

ABOUT the songwriter, Janis Ian:
Janis Ian (born Janis Eddy Fink, April 7, 1951) is an American songwriter, singer, musician, columnist, and science fiction author. She had a career singing in the 1960s and 1970s, and has continued recording into the 21st century. In 1975, Ian won a Grammy Award for her song, "At Seventeen". Her most successful single in the United States was "At Seventeen", released in 1975, a bittersweet commentary on adolescent cruelty, the illusion of popularity, and teenage angst, as reflected upon from the maturity of adulthood. "At Seventeen" was a smash, receiving tremendous acclaim from critics and record buyers alike — it charted at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

Other artists have recorded Ian's compositions, most notably Roberta Flack, who had a hit in 1973 with Ian's song "Jesse" also recorded by Dame Shirley Bassey, Joan Baez and Dottie West; Ian's own version is featured on her 1974 album Stars (the title song of which has also been oft-covered, including versions by Cher, Nina Simone and Barbara Cook).

LYRICS:
Jesse, come home
There's a hole in the bed
Where we slept
And now it's growin' cold
Hey Jesse, your face in the place
Where we lay by the hearth
All apart
It hangs on my heart
And I'm keeping the light on the stairs
No I'm not scared
I wait for you
Hey Jesse, I'm lonely, come home
Jesse, the floors and the boards
Recalling your steps
And I remember too
All the pictures are fading
And shaded in grey
But I still set a place
On the table at noon
And I'm leaving the light on the stairs
No I'm not scared
I'll wait for you
Hey Jesse, I'm lonely, come home
Jesse, the spread on the bed
Is like when you left
I've kept it up for you
All the blues and the greens
Have been recently cleaned
And it's seemingly new
Hey Jess', me and you
We'll swallow the light on the stair
We'll do up my hair
And sleep unaware
Hey Jesse, I'm lonely, come home
Hey Jesse, I'm lonely, come home...

AT SEVENTEEN Lyrics:
I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
In 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
They only get what they deserve
And the rich relationed hometown queen
Married into what she needs
A guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly
Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
Indebentures 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
And 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
That call and say, come dance with me
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me
At seventeen

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