Janis Joplin: Prayer as Wish Fulfillment

Janice first performed this on August 8th, 1970 the same day she wrote it. 

“I’m a victim of my own insides. There was a time when I wanted to know everything … It used to make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn’t know what to do with it. But now I’ve learned to make that feeling work for me. I’m full of emotion and I want a release, and if you’re on stage and if it’s really working and you’ve got the audience with you, it’s a oneness you feel.” -Janice Joplin

I think she knew the sadness of wanting to know it all. She grew up much as I did. In the Midwest. Christian family. She probably started out with a Faith like mine, that God, not just any god, but the biblical God had it all sorted. He knew what we didn’t. He controlled what we could not. He could supply what we lacked, and could be trusted with our lives. 

This song pokes a little fun at all that we once were before the world showed us differently. And before we realized the God of the Bible to be the Deadbeat Dad and absentee Father that He really is. There are still many who, like we did, still cry out in supplication and ‘with words that cannot be uttered’ for’help in their time of need’. But it seems silly now to me to ask for a Mercedes when halfway across the world, or even just downtown from me here in Arizona, people just need food, warm clothing and a roof for their families… yet have no answers. 

Some of them, many of them here in Christian America, ‘Ask, Seek, and Knock’ from the same God and His Son, Jesus … but not to ‘consume upon their own lusts’, yet still have not the things they request and need. God seems to be more interested in parking places and lost sets of keys.

Maybe this is why Janice lived so freely and with such emotion. She realized there would be no Mercedes, color TV or night on the town coming from the skies. She realized the ‘oneness’ of humanity and the connection we all share with each other and the personal responsibility to ourselves and others around us to ‘give us our Daily Bread’. 

She realized that no one Knows it All by themselves, not even that God she grew up with. We all ‘know in part’ and combine our parts with each other to know still not All, but more than we did before. She enjoyed life to the fullest and her concerts were a testimony to the unfettered “full tilt boogie” full of emotion and life. 

A life devoid now of meaningless and fruitless begging to a Biblical God who wasn’t there to answer. We are all we have. Humanity and  connection and in Janice’s word… Oneness. Embrace it. Embrace not having to Know it All today. Recovery awaits.



11 thoughts on “Janis Joplin: Prayer as Wish Fulfillment

  1. Hey … if you don’t have any objections, I’d like to steal your image of the homeless guy for a post I’ll be writing in the next day or so.

    On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 9:23 AM, The Recovering Know It All wrote:

    > KIA posted: “Janice first performed this on August 8th, 1970 the same day > she wrote it. https://youtu.be/7tGuJ34062s “I’m a victim of my own > insides. There was a time when I wanted to know everything … It used to > make me very unhappy, all that feeling. I just ” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting. She was off my radar so I did not know her music. I have heard this one on the radio but never really put it together before. I guess some people do pray like god is an atm. What does that do to his plan for me if I am poor and he wants me to be that , yet I pray for wealth and I am assured my prayers are heard and answered. Also if I have enough faith I can have my way, I can make the wealth happen. Guess that would really mess up his plan? I hear you on others needs. I tell people as bad as my body is misbehaving I am so lucky. I have it much better than a lot of people. I have a husband who keeps me feed, in medical care, clothed, and with toys and things I want. There are many for who that is not possible, they have no way to do it themselves and no one to look to for help. Great post. Thanks. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ralph McTell’s 1969 song, The Streets of London’ is the most poignant song I have heard about homeless people. The last 3 minutes of this video has an interview with McTell about the song which he was originally going to call ‘The Streets of Paris’:

    Liked by 1 person

Please comment Responsibly and Respectfully

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s