janet Bates

janet Bates

 Scotch Creek, British Columbia, CAN

Sociopolitical contemporary folk. Songs crafted to awaken people from the slumber the media has put them in. "Janet Bates tells it like it is.Her Message brilliant and her music wonderful" Thom Hartmann. Performed 5 years on stage at the Oregon country fair


Janet Bates
Songwriter, Singer, Social Activist
Passionate, politically astute, and with phenomenal talent, singer-songwriter Janet Bates usher golden gift of musicianship to help make a difference in the world.
With her evocative three-octave contralto vocals and her gift for writing songs that seek to make the world a better place, Janet builds upon what musicians before her have done in previous decades: making the world sit up and pay attention.
In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs and Pete Seeger, and recalling the lilting voice of Joan Baez, Canadian Janet Bates brings her talented songwriting and simply lovely vocals to the task of bringing to the forefront of public awareness, the issues of environmental degradation, the politics of war, and social justice for people around the world as well as in her adopted home, the U.S.A.

Janet is unabashedly an activist of the tallest order. With her fifth CD now in production, she has, in the five years since she took up her pen, taken on the war in Iraq, the policies of the U.S. government, social justice, corruption, greed, environmental degradation, and now, global warming.
When you glance at your reflection, is it standing straight and tall? she says, in her song The Destination. She exhorts us all to stand up for what is right, stand up and be counted. Like Gandhi, she believes that we each must be the change you want to see in the world.

Janet Bates was first inspired to become an activist by reading the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A few months before the 2003 American invasion of Iraq, Janet had attended a rally for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Picking up a flyer, she read from Kings 1967 speech Beyond Vietnam delivered at Riverside Church in New York City.
"There comes a time when silence is betrayal, said King. Janet read the words and understood that she, too, needed to stand up and be counted. She needed to put forth her efforts to make a difference, to stand up for justice, be a vocal anti-war critic, and to become a significant force in social and environmental advocacy. Janet felt she needed to use her voice in whatever way she could, to speak for those people and ideas that could not advocate for themselves.

On the first day of the Iraq war, after years of playing guitar and covering the works of great songwriters such as Gordon Lightfoot and Joan Baez, Janet wrote the first of her
own songs, protesting the actions of the US government.
Janet Bates continues in that tradition today, seeking to open the eyes of political decision makers across the country, singing to make them hear, make them see what real change means, not just to the country, but the world.
We are perfect for small venues but have played to large crowds. Janet and the band are engaging with great sense of humour and a wealth of personal experiences. You will want to get to know us after the music stops and the evening continues. Has lived for several years in the US, moved 2011 back to Canada, band drummer still in Eugene Oregon

Songwriting achievements
HONORABLE MENTION Mike Pinders (Moody Blues) Songwars Songwriting competition (Oct-Dec 09)
The walls come tumbling down

FINALIST Solar stage singer songwriter contest Vermont 2005 Time to go

FINALIST Susquehanna Singer songwriter contest 2008 The destination

SEMI FINALIST UK songwriting contest 2008 for 2 songs, Silver dollars and For all of his wealth

HONORABLE MENTION - West coast songwriters International songwriting contest 2008 Another child

FINALIST 4th annual Williamsburg songwriting contest 2007 Not in Kansas anymore

HONORABLE MENTION Unisong International songwriting contest 2006 Another child

SEMI FINALIST UK Songwriters contest 2005 Not in Kansas anymore


Martin (U(

Written By: Janet Bates

Martin chorus
Martin he once told me I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
If not you then who will carry on from where I left you
He said miles to go before I sleep

The man who is in the witness box, has skin as black as night
The jury has been selected and everyone of them is white
When he tells his story, you can tell that it is true
The jury will not believe him, and there is nothing he can do
one man holds a rifle and another holds a flag
It is white and it is splattered with any hope he ever had
Another holds a cup, for what has become his new profession
Another holds a bottle, for now he is the luckiest of them all
Though the precious feast that has been placed upon the table
Plenty there for everyone, no one should go unfed
One sits at the table and he takes it for himself
And the farmer and the hunter beg for scraps from what is left

If the road is lonely and if the road is cold, and if the road has taken me so far away from home, and even if its longer than I thought that it would be
I still have miles to go before I sleep
Cus martin he once told me, and Martin he once showed me, and Martin isn’t here to carry on
If not me and you, then who will carry on, for there are miles to go for you and me

Your Independance day

Written By: Janet Bates

Your Independence day c Janet Bates 2006
It’s your independence day, your patriotic foray
Your celebration of pride
All that’s been fought for and all that’s been lost for
And all that’s been taken in stride
I wonder if we will ever be
As free as you seem to be
there on the fourth of July
Is there a place in your heart for a person this far away
You could feel it, if only you’d try

Fireworks exploding, your morals eroding
You maintain your national pride
Brave image your relay then hide behind clichés
And tales of historical might
Have you no shame, have you no sense of blame?
As you line up for your local parade
Are you proud of Falluja?, are you proud of Haditha?
Are you proud of Guantanamo bay?

You ask God for his blessing, that he’ll protect you
And that he’l keep you from harm
While you bring harm to others
It follows that others might be just the same as you are
I wonder if he’s a god who can give, the same time that he’s taking away
Can one persons death be another ones blessing?
Do you rest on your laurels to pray………?

Then there was you

Written By: Janet Bates

There were the nights dreams of princes and princesses

Fairy tales I wished would come true

Dreams of tne knights in their bright shining armour

Dreams I just wandered into

There were times when dreams care with provisos

My deary this is not a dream for you

It is just for princesses and fine pretty maidens

But then there was you


There was you in the dark of the night

Then there was you as I reached for the light

Still there was you in the morning so bright

You were still there, you weren't going anywhere

There was the time that the one that I was with was not anyone that I loved

I want so badly to have and to hold, that I held when I should have let go

I remember trying to make something into something, it was never meant to be

How I wondered, is this all there is to it?

And then there was you


Now when I dream I see, ……………I see a princess

Alone in her tower of stone

And I see the knights in their cold metal armour

And then I see you

I see you with your warmest of grins

I see you, you are taking me in

More and more, so much more than any dream I could have dreamed

And you are still there, you aren't going anywhere

And then there was you, and then there was you and then there was you

silver dollars

Written By: janet bates

Silver dollar Janet Bates 2007.…..
How many times have we chased silver dollars
That slipped through our fingers like slow flowing water (does)

How many dreams have we seen in the distance
That as we got closer they were not what we visioned at all

How many plans have we changed by the time
They got close to fruition, our plans then are different

So many times have I thought of what might have been
Looked at was has been, glad of the life that I lead

Ads I’d seen
in magazines,
thought that could be me
It’s only now I can see

So many things that I thought that I wanted
I found what I wanted only, what I already had REPEAT

You cannot learn too soon
If you reach for the moon
Even though its what you wanted
It won’t fit in your pocket

Stars may seem bright
As you gaze out at night
In the light of the day
They just all go away

….And when you dream
Just of pastures of green
They will all turn to brown
When autumn comes around

here on the farm

Written By: janet bates

Here on the farm

You’re singing out loud (as you’re) dropping the seeds into the ground
I follow behind, cover them up, patting them down
You motion to me, come have a look at what you can see
The land isn’t it grand
A day on the farm
Then I awake, and I am late, the office is full
When I arrive I am behind, no place to find a moment inside
A day where we are.

Our blueberries are ready to eat just as they are
Or if we can wait, maybe they’ll sell Sunday in the park
We cannot believe a place exists that’s better than this
No where is like right where we are
A day on the farm
Then I awake and wish I could stay sleeping away
Instead I climb out of bed, get ready to face another day
A day where we are.

We are cozy and warm, in front of the fire as we weather the storm
I am drifting to sleep, in spite of myself, right here in your arms
And as I drift off, a vision is clear of what we have here.
here we can be who we are
Here on the farm
Then I awake, still in this place , the following day
Here in your arms looking forward to spend all of my days
Here on the farm

For All of his Wealth

Written By: Janet Bates

For all of his wealth

Written by: Janet Bates

For All of his wealth (c janetbates 2006)

Past the slave workers who harvest the crops
The days they are long and the work never stops
Past all the fisherman down on the docks
And the widows of others at sea have been lost
Past children working for pence they are paid
Past all the infantry marching away
Past all the burlap clad beggars on knees
Who cry out please sir, just a morsel to eat

A Man on a stallion is galloping by, he passes so quick lest he be recognized
His policies create their poverty
Lives they are dealt, For all of his wealth

Past all the ghettos on the outskirts of town
And all the bums sleeping right on the ground,
Past the teenager who is selling herself
Past the old wino with stories to tell
And the drug addict diseases so grim
And the loan shark who is looking for him
And the old vet who has just never found
The war that he fights, a way to put it down

A black limousine goes unnoticed tonite
Windows tinted, lest he be recognized
His policies create their poverty
Lives they are dealt, for all of his wealth

Over the mountains and over the seas
Over the lands forests used to be
Over the oceans that are rizing each day
Over the glaciers melting away
Over the lands where pain never sleeps
With gospels disciples and gnashing of teeth
Over the ruins of forgotten wars
And over those that are still in store

His jet is taxiing somewhere tonite, the lights have been dimmed lest he be recognized, his policies are a travesty, the world has been dealt for all of his weatlh

the crossing of the rubicon

Written By: Janet Bates

The crossing of the rubicon c janet bates 2006

There is a ship out on the ocean
Heading starboard to the wind
Carries all that’s left from where they came
They are alone out on the ocean
No lands fore and no lands aft
Could be months till they encounter land again

The crossing of the rubicon one world into the next
They sail a rising water with no shores
One day the waters will recede the ship will land eventually
In a world that will be better than before

It was the end of a society of have and never hads
The haves led the destruction without fail
And the future generations never crossed their little minds
The warning cries were all to no avail

Some had thought it was utopia, ignoring all the signs
Until it was too late to change the course
And the waters rose quickly as the rubicon set sail
Someone knew full well what lay in store
There is a ship out on the ocean heading starboard to the wind
Bears no countries flag upon the mast
Children will start anew, they are the passengers and crew
The ones still unencumbered by the past

History repeats itself if there is someone keeping score
Some scores can’t be settled anymore

The walls came tumbling down

Written By: Janet Bates

I built my house my castle,
The finest in the land
With riches I have taken
But the walls came tumbling down.
The wall came tumbling down my friend
The walls came tumbling down
Because no love there could be found
The walls came tumbling down

I built my house my fortress,
With stone walls all around
I built my house with bricks and stones
But the walls came tumbling down
I built the finest temple (people)
Came from miles around
To justify the greed and hate,
But the walls came tumbling down
I built out on an island
With oceans all around
I thought I would be safe there
But the walls came tumbling down
I built my house with care and love and
Gardens all around
There is no use for walls I said
So the walls came tumbling down
A wall can keep a stranger out
A wall can keep you in
Forever you'll be strangers
Till the walls come tumbling down

The Little Spinner

Written By: Janet Bates

Small fingers are so nimble with thread
Tying the knots over their head
The little spinners fill the bobbins for the mill
They are at it 6 days a week, day off for Sunday School
The mill provides a preacher, like the other tools
The preacher tells the children, that they'll inherit heaven
And Jesus loves the children, if they work hard

Small fingers are so brittle they break
Making the knots harder to make
The little spinners fill the bobbins for the mill
Theyre father has no work as he has never been to school
When it was time for him to, he worked the factory too
It pains him to see his children, working there instead of him
He'd gladly do it , they would have to pay him more

Small fingers are so riddled with pain
Working the mill day after day
The little spinners fill the bobbins for the mill
Small hands that worked the land from dawn till supertime
Hard work to say the least, but at least there was sunshine
They worked the farm together, went in seach of something better,
They left the farm forever, forever, forever

Small fingers are so easy to take, and it is so easy to make
A little spinner fill the bobbins for the mill
They never got to be a child, they never will
They never even got to try
The pain they'll never show,places they'll never know
The youth they'll never know
never know...........

coming for you

Written By: janet bates

Coming for you
They're coming for the blacks from Africa
Then they're coming for the Jews
Then they're coming for the homosexuals
Then they're coming for you

They're coming, they're coming, they're coming, they are coming for you

You stood so quietly, despite the hypocrisy till you heard that penny drop
No body cared, at least no body dared, there was no one else there when they knocked

They're coming for the blacks from Africa
Then they're coming for the Jews
Then they're coming for the homosexuals
Then they are coming for you

They're coming, they're coming, they're coming, they are coming for you

Then it was fine colour was on your side, and you blended right in to the wall
The rules have all changed now you are the prey
And I ask you now who will you call

Not In Kansas Anymore

Written By: janet bates

Not in Kansas anymore (c 2004 Janet Bates)

Dorothy your traveling the yellow brick road
Dorothy your not in Kansas anymore

You are traveling along with an lion so scared
he buries his head in the sand
and he is building a wall that will reach to the sky
so that he'll never need to be afraid
you are traveling along with a man made of straw
a man who forgot what the journey was for
he can't even read whats been written on the way
he just follows whereever he's led

You are traveling along with a man made of tin
his heart was replaced a greed entered in
he cannot hear the poor souls that cry out in the night
a man who's never learned how to cry
You are traveling along on a journey tonite
you have missed a turn and your path is not right
and kansas is fading so far out of sight
you may never see it again

canary in a coal mine

Written By: janet bates

A canary is in a coal mine and the air is getting tight
she knows if she could fly away, she would be just fine
but they keep her in a cage a half a mile into the mine
and when she stops singing they hope to make it out in time

polar bear out on a floe of ice, getting small
pondering his options like he has any at all
the nearest land is just too far for him to swim
any fool can see what a predicament he is in

indonesians living just above the water line
just a little closer to the ocean all the time
is no one else concerned about what makes the water rize
could it be that they believe that they will make it out in time

nomad in the desert no oasis can he find
his getting mighty hungry and he is getting mighty dry
the only land that is arable is shrinking all the time
the africaners farm is all he can see on the line

old indian legend about a glacier in the sky
sitting on the highest mountain like an ancient butterfly
should the moon awake to find her wings no longer white
the way the story goes, we'll never make it out in time

The waters rizing will we make it out in time
the earth is drying can they make it out in time
canaries crying wil she make it out in time

takes to the sky
leaves us behind
is there any wonder why
wonder why the waters rising, wonder why the earth is drying........I wonder why.

wonder why the deserts drying
wonder why the waters rizing
wonder why canarys crying
butterfly is flying
ever stop and wonder why


cd 1 A TIME HAS COME.... Sept 04
CD3 Another Child August 06
CD4 released November 2007
cd5 Little Spinner released Sept 2009

Set List

An extensive set list that is structured around the specific venue. We have set lists that can be all sociopolitical and we can also do set lists that are not political at all.(Well almost none at all)