An autobiography in the family

I do not tell many people that I am related to the singer/songwriter Janis Ian because really that is an exaggeration, we are related through marriage. She’s my cousin’s cousin. Easier – we share the same aunt and uncle. The aunt [Flo] is my father’s sister. The uncle [Eddie] – her father’s brother.

Plus, I have never met her after I was perhaps 3 years old, until we saw her perform in town recently and chatted briefly on the CD-signing line.

I do know I will be reading her new autobiography “Society’s Child.” Hey, I may get some interesting family info here.

I also know that her music really spoke to me. I was way young when her first hit “Society’s Child” hit the charts, but I really appreciate that song now. That song was an anthem.

But. The song that really really grabbed me when I was a teenager was “At Seventeen.”

Here is “Society’s Child” too.


10 responses to “An autobiography in the family

  1. I never know how to exactly define tenuous familial links either. I have always loved At Seventeen too.

  2. It is odd, I used to say stuff like so&so is a “first cousin once removed” – what is that?

  3. That means your first cousin’s child. The “once removed” part means you are separated by one generation. Twice removed would mean two generations of separation: Your first cousin’s grandchild.

    The “first” part in “first cousin” means you share a grandparent, making your parents siblings. Second would mean you share a great grandparent and your grandparents are siblings.

  4. [We need a whole new system to account for divorce but no one has thought one up yet.]

  5. Then there would be step-cousins perhaps.

  6. [this could get way-complicated]

  7. I have some cousins that needed to be forcibly removed.

  8. Do I know them?

  9. We don’t speak of them! : )

  10. Hey were they the ones at the wedding who… never mind.

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