Song: Janie’s Got A Gun
Release date: September 12, 1989
Why this song was chosen: Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler originally wrote this sing based on his friend Danny, and the song was called Danny’s Got A Gun. The entire song is a story about a girl who shoots and kills her father because he is sexually abusing her. The line “he jacked a little bitty baby” was originally written “he raped a little bitty baby”, but it was asked that he change it before the album’s release. It’s hard for people to talk about rape and sexual abuse today…imagine how difficult it was in 1989. And while the recording did use the tamer line, Tyler often uses the original lyrics when performing the song live.
What the artist has to say about the song: In an early Rolling Stone interview, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler said “I got really angry that nobody was paying homage to those who were abused by Mom and Dad”. (Source: Rolling Stone) Years later, he briefly discussed his purpose for writing the song with St. Louis’ KMOV in this video.
How do you think this song contributes to the conversation on sex crimes?
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Read the lyrics here.
Possible trigger warning. As with all of the content we post, the songs in the Every Day In May campaign should be listened to at your own discretion. Some may make you feel uplifted and others may make you feel angry, disturbed, or disgusted. The songs should also be considered not safe for work.