Everybody gets lonely sometimes
This was the first Janis Joplin song I ever heard, from the Columbia Records retrospective/rarities album, Farewell Song. Man. Wow. Shit. All words which passed through my head. That fucking voice! Well, I tell a lie, I'd heard the first verse of Mercedes Benz on the car advert, but it wasn't the same. The whole song. Live. You know those songs on the jukebox, you hear the opening chords and your entire central nervous system jumps for joy? The announcer saying "Janis Joplin" does that for me. God.
Janis Joplin's recordings of this song can be found on Farewell Song, Pearl (digitally remastered version with bonus tracks) and Big Brother and the Holding Company. The main difference, lyrics-wise, seems to be in the spoken section in the middle. Only the Farewell Song version seems to have my favourite part:
If you're a woman, I can only assume you know what you're looking for. I figured it out at fourteen years old! Yeah, and I've been looking for it ever since, too...
The song was written by Etta James, another singer with an amazing, powerful voice, and who is certainly worth a listen.
Tell mama, babe...
Words in italics are from the Janis Joplin cover of Etta James' 'Tell Mama'; copyright is almost certainly held by Columbia Records.