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At Seventeen Lyrics By Janis Ian

    i learned the truth at seventeen
    that love was meant for beauty queens
    and high school girls with clearskinned 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 browneyed girl in handmedowns
    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
    marries into what she needs
    with a guarantee of company
    and haven for the elderly

    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 dance with me
    and murmur vague obscenities
    at ugly girls like me
    at seventeen

    Artist: Janis Ian

    Year: 1975

    Decade: 70s

    Language: en

    Word Count: 145