The "Better Times" Project

Janis Ian & Friends

Ina Danko & Lisa Alther

Better Times Will Come by Janis Ian - Performed by Ina Danko & Lisa Alther
  1. Better Times Will Come Ina Danko, Lisa Alther 2:05


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From Janis: I try to get with Ina and Lisa every time I can. They’re a fountain of talent (and great boots, as witness Ina’s soft shoe here), and two of the real-est people I know. So real, in fact, that when Ina tried to teach me to dance, she politely told me that we’d have to wait until another time, when I’d managed to develop some rhythm in my feet… 

They grew up in East Tennessee, just ten miles apart, but didn’t meet until 25 years ago. Ina’s a retired school principal, and Lisa is an author of some renown. (Kinflicks, anyone? Maybe Blood Feud, about the Hatfields & the McCoys?) When I began scaling down my life, I gave my Evo Blustein autoharp to Ina because I knew she’d use it, and eventually pass it on to someone worthy of it. 

Years ago, when I was trying to juggle my work life with my home life, Lisa gave me one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever had. I asked how she managed to balance her writing, and the solitude required for it, with her home life, children, and constantly moving between Vermont, their family’s 1820 log cabin in Tennessee, and their New York apartment. She said (paraphrasing): “Well, I only meant to write a few  books, and I’ve written seven. So the way I look at it, if she goes first, I’ll have plenty of time to write more. And if I go first, I won’t care.”

It put everything into perspective, and helped me decide to put some brakes on my own touring. Of course, that being said, Lisa has written twelve books, and she does have a new one out – Swan SongAny book that begins “It was snowing the afternoon Jessie recycled her sex toys” has got to be read….

(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