The "Better Times" Project

Janis Ian & Friends

Echo Women’s Choir

Better Times Will Come by Janis Ian Performed by Echo Women's Choir
  1. Better Times Will Come Echo Women's Choir 2:52


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Artistic director: Alan Gasser
Administrator: Anne Stanley
Piano accompanist: Susanne Maziarz
Section Leads: Alida Doornberg and Susanne Maziarz
Video & audio editing: Peter Turner
Photograph: Elizabeth Littlejohn
Filmed at City Hall, Toronto, Canada

From Janis: Every time I start feeling sorry for myself as a performer, thinking “Where’s my backstage camaraderie now?” I think of groups like Echo Women’s Choir of Canada. I’m a solo performer; I can rehearse, work up new material, figure out guitar and vocal parts, and take the stage all by myself. Oh, I miss the venue crews, from lighting and sound to ushers and caterers – they’re a lifeline, when I tour. But at the end of the day, I can do my prep alone. 

So imagine what it’s like to be a choir member, director, or arranger, suddenly faced with the inability to gather “live”. The loss of coming together as an extended family. The hugs, stories, commiseration, personal moments that can’t be replicated virtually. The sheer joy of seeing familiar faces who love doing what you’re doing, and being able to do all of that together, as one. 

When I think about their loss, compared to mine, all I can do is tip my hat, and thank everyone concerned for their generosity in providing this take for the Better Times Project. As they themselves say: “We’re still learning how to present our work in virtual video form, as the achievement part of our season, which is paired with the learning we are doing from teachers far and near. We’re very proud to know our voices are still sounding together … though with fewer singers, and all of us widely separated. Many thanks to the Echo Alumnae, guest artists and other singer friends who have joined us, virtually every week.”

(Janis Ian)

Better times, better times will come.
Better times, better times will come.
When this world learns to live as one,
oh, better times will come

When we greet each dawn without fear
knowing loved ones soon will be near
When the winds of war
cannot blow any more
Oh, better times will come


Though we live each day as our last
we know someday soon it will pass
We will dance, we will sing
in that never-ending spring
Oh, better times will come