Skip to content

70+ Famous Janis Joplin Quotes On Love, Life & Freedom

Here’s a selection of Janis Joplin Quotes, covering topics such as songs, lyrics, inspiration and holding back.

We really hope you enjoy these quotes and that they give you something to think about.

Who you are is what you settle for, you know?

Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.” – Janis Joplin

It used to make me unhappy, all that feeling. I just didn’t know what to do with it. But now I’ve learned how to make feeling work for me… I don’t know, I just want to feel as much as I can, it’s what ‘soul’ is all about.

The older the grapes, sweeter the wine.

I gotta go on doin’ it the way I see it…I got no choice but to take it like I see it. I’m here to have a party while I’m on this earth…I’m gettin’ it now, today. I don’t even know where I’m gonna be twenty years from now, so I’m just gonna keep on rockin’, cause if I start saving up bits and pieces of me…man, there ain’t gonna be nothing left for Janis.

Distance cannot kill this relationship. Time cannot breakdown anything we have. This is a relationship that I am ready to sacrifice and stand up for.

Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers. You can fill your life up with ideas and still go home lonely. All you really have that really matters are feelings. That’s what music is to me.

I won’t quit to become someone’s old lady.

My business is to enjoy and have fun. And why not, if in the end everything will end, right?

As good as you’ve been to this world is as good as it’s gonna be right back to you.

Hippies believe the world could be a better place. Beatniks believe things aren’t going to get better and say the hell with it, stay stoned and have a good time.

When you hold somebody, you gotta hold them like it’s the last minute of your life.

I got treated very badly in Texas. They don’t treat beatniks too good in Texas. Port Arthur people thought I was a beatnik, though they’d never seen one and neither had I.

You are what you settle for. You are only as much as you settle for.

You know you’ve got it, if it makes you feel good.

If I hold back, I’m no good. I’m no good. I’d rather be good sometimes, than holding back all the time.

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

It’s not what isn’t, it’s what you wish was that makes unhappiness.

All of a sudden, someone threw me in front of this rock and roll band. And I decided then and there that was it. I never wanted to do anything else.

As it gets closer and more probable, being a star is really losing its meaning.

I always wanted to be an artist, whatever that was, like other chicks want to be stewardesses. I read. I painted. I thought.

Audiences like their blues singers to be miserable.

Tomorrow never happens. It’s all the same f*cking day, man.

I read a story about some old opera singer once, and when a guy asked her to marry him, she took him backstage after she had sung a real triumph, with all the people calling for her, asked, ‘Do you think you could give me that?’ That story hit me right, man. I know no guy ever made me feel as good as an audience. I’m really far into this now, really committed. Like, I don’t think I’d go off the road for long now, for life with a guy no matter how good. Yeah, it’s the truth. Scary thing to say though, isn’t it?

Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin. Now, they are so subtle, they can milk you with two notes. They can make you feel like they told you the whole universe. But I don’t know that yet. All I got now is strength. Maybe if I keep singing, maybe I’ll get it.

You got to get it while you can.

If you can get them once, man, get them standing up when they should be sitting down, sweaty when they should be decorous, smile when they should be applauding politely-and I think you sort of switch on their brain, man, so that makes them say: ‘Wait a minute, maybe I can do anything.’ Whoooooo! It’s life. That’s what rock and roll is for, turn that switch on, and man, it can all be.

I’m not really thinking much… Just sort of, trying to feel.

The more you live, the less you die.

If you’ve got a today, don’t wear it tomorrow. Tomorrow never happens. It’s all the same day.

On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people, then I go home alone.

Like most girls I’m always really self-conscious about do I look fat, if my legs are short, if I’m weird shaped, but when I go on stage, man, it never occurs to me. I think I look beautiful.

There isn’t going to be any turning point. … There isn’t going to be any next-month-it’ll-be-better, next f*cking year, next f*cking life. You don’t have any time to wait for. You just got to look around you and say, “so this is it. This is really all there is to it. This little thing.” everybody needing such little things and they can’t get them. Everybody needing just a little … Confidence from somebody else and they can’t get it. Everybody, everybody fighting to protect their little feelings. Everybody, you know, like reaching out tentatively but drawing back. It’s so shallow and seems so … f*cking … It seems like such a shame. It’s so close to being like really right and good and open and amorphous and giving and everything. But it’s not. And it ain’t gonna be.

september 1969
quoted in “the new yorker” 9 august 1999.

Freedom is just another word for when you have NOTHING left to lose.

People, whether they know it or not, like their blues singers miserable. They like their blues singers to die afterwards.

I’ve been looking around, and I noticed something: how much you really need to be loved. Ambition isn’t just a desperate quest for positions or money. It’s just love – lots of love.

I’d rather have ten years of superhypermost than live to be seventy sitting in some g*dd*mn chair watching TV.

You can destroy your now by worrying about tomorrow.

At least we know we tend to be afraid. If you object to my plural noun, i’ll retract it.

Rock on out.

Texas is OK if you want to settle down and do your own thing quietly, but it’s not for outrageous people, and I was always outrageous.

Wait a minute, maybe I can do anything.

All any girl really wants is just love and a man. But what man can put up with a rock-n-roll star?

All my life I just wanted to be a beatnik. Meet all the heavies, get stoned, get laid, have a good time. That’s all I ever wanted. Except I knew I had a good voice and I could always get a couple of beers off of it. All of a sudden someone threw me in this rock ‘n’ roll band. They threw these musicians at me, man, and the sound was coming from behind. The bass was charging me. And I decided then and there that that was it. I never wanted to do anything else. It was better than it had been with any man, you know. Maybe that’s the trouble.

Life is too damn short and [screwed] up to go through it silently loving someone and never telling them how you feel. [Screw] the consequences, [screw] the implications of the actions, to hell with it all… whatever happens as a result is better than the nothingness that is inevitable with silence.

This whole thing that’s happened to me, you see, this whole success hasn’t yet really compromised the position that I took a long time ago in Texas, that was to be true to myself, to be the person that I…that was on inside of me and not play games.

Never compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.

You can feel all things at once, so why not wear all things at once?

‎’don’t compromise yourself – you are all you’ve got.

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.

Don’t compromise your self, you’re all you got.

I just want to feel as much as I can, it’s what soul is all about.

You are what you settle for.

Playing is just about feeling. Playing isn’t necessarily about misery. Playing isn’t necessarily about happiness. But it’s just about letting yourself feel all those things that you have already on the inside of you, but you’re all the time trying to push them aside because they don’t make for polite conversation or something.

I think I think too much. That’s why I drink!

My father wouldn’t get us a TV, he wouldn’t allow a TV in the house.

I’m just doing what I wanted to and what feels right and not settling for bullsh*t and it worked. How can they be mad at that?

Don’t you know that you’re nothing more than a one night stand?

Singing, it’s like it’s like loving somebody, it’s a supreme emotional and physical experience.

Being an intellectual creates a lot of questions and no answers.

Little girl blue”

sit there, hmm, count your fingers.
what else, what else is there to do ?
oh and I know how you feel,
i know you feel that you’re through.
oh wah wah ah sit there, hmm, count,
ah, count your little fingers,
my unhappy oh little girl, little girl blue, yeah.

oh sit there, oh count those raindrops
oh, feel ’em falling down, oh honey all around you.
honey don’t you know it’s time,
i feel it’s time,
somebody told you ’cause you got to know
that all you ever gonna have to count on
or gonna wanna lean on
it’s gonna feel just like those raindrops do
when they’re falling down, honey, all around you.
oh, I know you’re unhappy.

oh sit there, ah go on, go on
and count your fingers.
i don’t know what else, what else
honey have you got to do.
and I know how you feel,
and I know you ain’t got no reason to go on
and I know you feel that you must be through.
oh honey, go on and sit right back down,
i want you to count, oh count your fingers,
ah my unhappy, my unlucky
and my little, oh, girl blue.
i know you’re unhappy,
ooh ah, honey I know,
baby I know just how you feel.

After they see me, when their mothers are feeding them all that cashmere sweater and girdle —– [expletive deleted by the new york times], maybe they’ll have a second thought – that they can be themselves and win.

On stage I make love to twenty five thousand people; and then I go home alone.

Guess what, I might be the first hippie pinup girl.

What we’ve had to do is learn to control success, put it in perspective, and not lose the essence of what we’re doing – the music.

#305 “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

I would trade all my tomorrow’s for one single yesterday.

I have to have the ‘umph.’ I’ve got to feel it, because if it’s not getting through to me, the audience sure as hell aren’t going to feel it either.

You’re only as much as you settle for. If they settle for being somebody’s dishwasher that’s their own f***ing problem. If you don’t settle for that and you keep fighting it, you know, you’ll end up anything you want to be.

When I sing, I feel like when you’re first in love. It’s more than sex. It’s that point two people can get to they call love, when you really touch someone for the first time, but it’s gigantic, multiplied by the whole audience. I feel chills.

You know why we’re stuck with the myth that only black people have soul? Because white people don’t let themselves feel things.

You better not compromise yourself, it’s all you’ve got.

I’m tired of all these hippie jack-offs.

To be true to myself, to be the person that was on the inside of me, and not play games. That’s what I’m trying to do mostly in the whole world, is not bullsh*t myself and not bullsh*t anybody else.

It’s hard to be free but when it works, it’s worth it!

If someone comes along, gonna give you some love and affection, I say get it while you can.

I’m one of those regular weird people.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *