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Women of Music: 45 Great Lyrical Quotes from Ani DiFranco

Updated on April 3, 2012
Ani started playing Beatles covers when she was nine years old. Since then she has written more than 100 songs covering many subjects such as religion, drug abuse, prostitution, and racism.
Ani started playing Beatles covers when she was nine years old. Since then she has written more than 100 songs covering many subjects such as religion, drug abuse, prostitution, and racism. | Source

1. Superhero

I used to be a superhero
No one could touch me
Not even myself
You are like a phone booth
I somehow stumbled into
And now look at me
I am just like everybody else

2. Heroine

When you look at me
You see my purpose,
See my pride
You think I just saddle up my anger
And ride and ride and ride
You think I stand so firm
You think I sit so high on my trusty steed
Let me tell you
I'm usually face down on the ground
Whenever there's a stampede

3. Outta Me, On To You

Some people wear their heart
Up on their sleeve
I wear mine underneath my right pant leg
Strapped to my boot
Don't think cause I'm easy, I'm naïve
Don't think I won't pull it out
Don't think I won't shoot
Outta me, onto you

4. Two Little Girls

So now you bring me your bruises
So I can oh and ah at the display
Maybe I'm supposed to make one of my famous jokes that makes everything ok
maybe I'm supposed to be the handsome prince who rides up and unties your hands
Or maybe I'm supposed to be the furrow-browed friend who thinks she understands

5. Dilate

Life used to be life-like
Now it's more like showbiz
I wake up in the night
And I don't know where the bathroom is
And I don't know what town I'm in
Or what sky I am under
And I wake up in the darkness and I
Don't have the will anymore to wonder
Everyone has a skeleton
And a closet to keep it in
And your mine
Every song has a you
A you that the singer sings to
And you're it this time
Baby, you're it this time

6. Done Wrong

How could you do nothing
And say, I'm doing my best
How could you take almost everything
And then come back for the rest
How could you beg me to stay,
Reach out your hands and plead
And then pack up your eyes and run away
As soon as I agreed

7. School Night

So I,
I'm goin' home
To please the one I so love pleasing
And I don't expect
He'll have much sympathy for my grieving
But I guess that this is the price
That we pay for the privilege 
Of living for even a day
In a world with so many things worth believing in

8. Not A Pretty Girl

I am not an angry girl
But it seems like I've got everyone fooled
Every time I say something they find hard to hear
They chalk it up to my anger
And never to their own fear
And imagine you're a girl
Just trying to finally come clean
Knowing full well they'd prefer you
Were dirty and smiling

9. Brief Bust Stop

We decided our urgency will wane
When we grow old
And there will be a new generation of anger
New stories to be told
But I said, I don't know if I can wait
For that peace to be mine
And she said, well, you know,
We've been waiting for this bus
For an awfully long time

10. Self-Evident

So here's a toast to all the folks who live in Palestine
El Salvador
Here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
Under the stone cold gaze of Mt. Rushmore
Here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
Who daily provide women with a choice
Who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City
Just to listen to a young woman's voice
Here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
Awaiting the executioner's guillotine
Who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
To find peace in the form of a dream

11. Every State Line

And every state line
There's a new set of laws
And every policeman
Comes equipped with extended claws
There's a thousand shades of white
And a thousand shades of black
But the same rule always applies
Smile pretty, and watch your back

12. If it Isn't Her

I told him I loved him
So he thought I'd roll over and play dead
He was god's gift to hypocrisy
With weak knees and a big fat head
She says honey don't tell me
That old story
You are boring me
Just tell me do you like me
Tell me what you're gonna do
Now that you're free

13. What if No One’s Watching

And I think,
What if no one's watching
What it when we're dead, we're just dead
What if it's just us down here
What if god ain't looking down
What if he's looking up instead

14. Worthy

You think you're not worthy
I'd have to say I agree
I'm not worthy of you
You're not worthy of me
Which of us is deserving
Look at the human race
The whole planet at arm's length
And we don't deserve this place

15. Cradle and All

Maybe I'll live my whole life
Just getting by
Maybe I'll be discovered
Maybe I'll be colonized
You could try to train me like a pet
You could try to teach me to behave
But I'll tell you, if I haven't learned it yet
You know,
I ain't gonna sit, I ain't gonna stay

16. Alla This

I will maintain the truth
I knew naturally as a child
I won't forfeit my creativity
To a world that's all laid out for me
I will look at everything around me
And I will vow to bear in mind
That all of this was just someone's idea
It could just as well be mine

17. Red Letter Year

And you and I both know how to drink so
We will always have work in this town
And besides the police are stationed at the bridge
And they're preventing passage to higher ground
So let's pull up a barstool and get ourselves a ringside seat
For one unnerving moment they're gonna show the truth on TV

18. Shy

And you'll stop me, won't you
If you've heard this one before
The one where i surprise you
By showing up at your front door
Saying 'let's not ask what's next,
Or how, or why'
I am leaving in the morning
So let's not be shy

19. Which Side Are You On

30 years of diggin'
Got us in this hole
The curse of reaganomics
Has finally taken it's toll
Lord knows the free market
Is anything but free
It costs dearly to the planet
And the likes of you and me
I don't need those money lenders
Suckin' on my tit
A little socialism
Don't scare me one bit!
We could do a whole lot worse
Than europe or canada
C'mon Mr. president
C'mon congress make the law

20. Grey

The sky is grey, the sand is grey, and the ocean is grey
I feel right at home in this stunning monochrome, alone in my way
I smoke and I drink and every time I blink I have a tiny dream 
But as bad as I am I'm proud of the fact that I'm worse than I seem
What kind of paradise am I looking for 
I've got everything I want and still I want more
Maybe some tiny shiny thing will wash up on the shore

21.Glass House

Guess that push has come to this
So I guess this must be shove
But before you throw those stones at me
Tell me what's your house made of?
And if you think you know what I'm doing wrong
You're going to have to get in line
For the purposes of this song
Let's just say I'm doing fine
I guess I'm doing fine

22. Half Assed

You are an unruly translucent
A dirty windshield with a shifting view
So many cunning running landscapes
For my dented door to open into
I just wanna tune out all the billboards
Weld myself a mental shield
I just wanna put down all the pressures
And feel how I really feel

23. Fuel

They were digging a new foudation in Manhattan
And they discovered a slave cemetary there
May their souls rest easy
Now that lynching is frowned upon
And we've moved on to the electric chair
And I wonder who's gonna be president, tweedle dum or tweedle dummer?
And who's gonna have the big blockbuster box office this summer?
How about we put up a wall between houses and the highway
And you can go your way, and I can go my may

24. Make Them Apologize

Because the music business
Is still run by men
Like every business
And everything
But we can sing like a son of a bitch
Make them twitch around their eyes
Make them apologize

25. Tiptoe

Tiptoeing through the used condoms
Strewn on the piers
Off the west side highway
Sunset behind the skyline of jersey
Walking towards the water
With a fetus holding court in my gut
My body highjacked
My tits swollen
I'm sore
The river has more colors at sunset than my sock drawer ever dreamed of
I could wake up screaming sometimes
But I don't

26. Rush Hour

He said change the channel
I've got problems of my own
I'm so sick of hearing about drugs
And aids
And people without homes
And I said, well,
I'd like to sympathize with that
But if you don't understand
Then how can you act

27. Million You Never Made

No I don't prefer obscurity
But I'm an idealistic girl
And I wouldn't work for you
No matter what you paid
And I may not be able
To change the whole fucking world
But I could be the million
That you never made

28. 32 Flavors

And god help you if you are an ugly girl
Course too pretty is also your doom
Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
For the prettiest girl in the room
And god help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying back

29. Crime for Crime

You might be the wrong color
You might be too poor
Justice isn't something just anyone can afford
You might not pull the trigger
You might be out in the car
And you might get a lethal injection
'Cause we take a metaphor that far

30. Asking Too Much

Because if you hear me talking
Listen to what I'm not saying
If you hear me playing guitar
Listen to what I'm not playing
And don't ask me to put words
To all the spaces between notes
In fact if you have to ask, forget it
Do and you'll regret it

31. Untouchable Face

Tell you the truth i prefer
The worst of you
Too bad you had to have a better half
She's not really my type
But i think you two are forever
And i hate to say it but
You're perfect together

32. Angry Anymore

Night falls like people into love
We generate our own light
To compensate
For the lack of light from above
Every time we fight
A cold wind blows our way
But we learn like the trees
How to bend
How to sway and say
I think I understand
What all this fighting is for
And baby, I just want you to understand
That I'm not angry anymore
No, I'm not angry anymore

33. Letter to a John

I was eleven years old
He was as old as my dad
And he took something from me
I didn't even know that I had
So don't tell me about decency
Don't tell me about pride
Just give me something for my trouble
'Cause this time, it's not a free ride

34. Gratitude

But you changed the rules
In an hour or two
And I don't know what you
And your sisters do
But please don't
Please stop
This is not my obligation
What does my body have to do
With my gratitude?

35. Light of Some Kind

In the end the world comes down to just a few people
But for you it comes down to one
But no one ever asked me if I thought I could be
Everything to someone
There's a crowd of people harboured in every person
There are so many roles that we play
And you've decided to love me for eternity
I'm still deciding who I want to be today

36. Both Hands

I am writing graffiti on your body
I am drawing the story of how hard we tried
I am watching your chest rise and fall like the tides of my life,
And the rest of it all and your bones have been my bed frame
And your flesh has been my pillow
I am waiting for sleep
To offer up the deep
With both hands

37. Anticipate

Dress down get out there
Pick a fight with the police
We will get it all on film
For the new release
Seems like everyone's an actor
Or they're an actor's best friend
I wonder what was wrong to begin with
That they should all have to pretend
We lost sight of everything
When we have to keep checking our backs
I think we should all just smile
Come clean
And relax
If there's anything I've learned
All these years on my own
It's how to find my own way there
And how to find my own way back home

38. Joyful Girl

Everything i do is judged
And they mostly get it wrong
But oh well
'Cuz the bathroom mirror has not budged
And the woman who lives there can tell
The truth from the stuff that they say
And she looks me in the eye
And says would you prefer the easy way?
No, well OK then
Don't cry

39. Coming Up

I lower my eyes
Wishing I could cry more
And care less,
Yes it's true,
I was trying to love someone again,
I was caught caring,
Bearing weight
But I love this city, this state
This country is too large
And whoever's in charge up there
Had better take the elevator down
And put more than change in our cup
Or else we
Are coming

40. Imperfectly

When you're pretty as a picture
They pound down your door
But I've been offered love
In two dimensions before
And I know that it's not all
It's made out to be
Let's show them how it's done
Let's do it all imperfectly

41. Willing to Fight

I was a long time coming
I'll be a long time gone
You've got your whole life to do something
And that's not very long
So why don't you give me a call
When you're willing to fight
For what you think is real
For what you think is right

42. Blood in the Boardroom

I go and find the only other woman on the floor
Is the secretary sitting at the desk by the door
I ask her if she's got a tampon I could use
She says oh honey, what a hassle for you
Sure I do you know I do
I say it ain't no hassle, no, it ain't no mess
Right now it's the only power that I possess
These businessmen got the money
They got the instruments of death
But I can make life
I can make breath
Sitting in the boardroom
The I'm-so-bored room
Listening to the suits talk about their world
I didn't really have much to say
The whole time I was there
So I just left a big brown bloodstain
On their white chair

43. You Had Time

You'll say did they love you or what
I'll say they love what I do
The only one who really loves me is you
And you'll say girl did you kick some butt
And I'll say I don't really remember
But my fingers are sore
And my voice is too

44. Gravel

All i need is my leather,
One t-shirt and two socks,
I'll keep my hands warm 
In your pockets 
And we can use the engine block,
And we'll ride out to california
With my arms around your chest,
And i'll pretend that this is real
'Cuz this is what i like best,
And you've been juggling two women
Like a stupid circus clown
Telling us both we are the one
And maybe you can keep me from ever being happy,
But you're not gonna stop me from having fun.
So let's go before i change my mind
I'll leave the luggage of all your lives behind
'Cuz i am bigger than everything that came before

45. Evolve

I walk in stride with people
Much taller than me
And partly it's the boots but
Mostly it's my chi
And I'm becoming transfixed
With nature and my part in it
Which I believe just signifies
I'm finally waking up 
And there's this moth outside my kitchen door
She's bonkers for that bare bulb
Flying round in circles
Bashing in her exoskull
And out in the woods she navigates fine by the moon
But get her around a light bulb and she's doomed 
She is trying to evolve
She's just trying to evolve

32 Flavors



Ani DiFranco albums in order of release date:


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    • Ollie Jean profile imageAUTHOR

      Ollie Jean 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I only just barely started to listen to her and I find her fascinating! :D

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 

      6 years ago from Parts Unknown

      Thanks for the lyrics and the video clips! I'm a huge Ani fan. I love her edginess, authenticity and her lyricism.


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