Janis Joplin – Down On Me

Whenever I hear this song I think of a story that Dick Cavett told. He said he met Janis in a restaurant and a Janis song was playing on a jukebox while they sat down. Cavett asked Janis what the name of it was…and she said “Down On Me.” Dick said “Wow, I guess that is one you cannot sing on television”…Janis smiled and said “Dick, it’s a gospel song.

It was a traditional gospel song from the 20s that Janis reworked. The song was on the debut album of Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis and the album had the same name. The song peaked at #43 in the Billboard 100 in 1967. The album was sloppy…Big Brother and the Holding Company were really raw with no polish. On their second album “Cheap Thrills” they would improve but Janis left after the that album to work with better musicians.

This is not the best Joplin song but I do like it.

Down On Me

Down on me, down on me,
Looks like everybody in this whole round world
They’re down on me.

Love in this world is so hard to find
When you’ve got yours and I got mine.
That’s why it looks like everybody in this whole round world
They’re down on me.

Saying they’re down on me, down on me.
Looks like everybody in this whole round world
Down on me.

When you see a hand that’s held out toward you,
Give it some love, some day it may be you.
That’s why it looks like everybody in this whole round world
They’re down on me, yeah.

Lord, they’re down on me, down on me, oh!
Looks like everybody in this whole round world
Is down on me.

Believe in your brother, have faith in man,
Help each other, honey, if you can
Because it looks like everybody in this whole round world
Is down on me.

I’m saying down on me, oh, down on me, oh!
It looks like everybody in this whole round world
Down on me!

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

29 thoughts on “Janis Joplin – Down On Me”

  1. I straight-up adore Janis Joplin. Learning the origin stories of many of her songs showed me a lot about who she was: a humanitarian who wanted better for everyone around her, because she’d been on the receiving end of bullying by those who wanted the opposite.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m just not a huge fan of her music, but this song is alright. She certainly had a good voice for doing traditional southern Gospel material, though it surprises me she went there musically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Her idol was Bessie Smith so it fit into what she was doing. If she would have lived…you probably would have heard more control in her voice like on Pearl…but I do like the rawness… That is why I like Tanya Tucker and Bonnie Tyler…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You think so? Maybe it’s because I live in Nashville where to be a singer you have to have “that” look. Sometimes image is too important.

        I would like to think her talent would win out.
        Personally, I would take her over almost anyone. Her and Arthea are my favorite female singers.

        Liked by 1 person

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