Ani Difranco ‘Tis Of Thee

’tis of thee

they caught the last poor man

on a poor man’s vacation

they cuffed him and confiscated his stuff

they dragged his black ass down to the station

and said, ok, the streets are safe now

all your pretty white children can come out and see spot run

and they came out of their houses

and they looked around

but they didn’t see no one

my country ’tis of thee

to take swings at each other on the talkshow tv

why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun

cuz we’ll never live long enough

to undo everything they’ve done to you

undo everything they’ve done to you

above 96th street

they’re handing out smallpox blankets so people don’t freeze

the old dogs have got a new trick

it’s called criminalize the symptoms

while you spread the disease

and i hold on hard to something

between my teeth when i’m sleeping

i wake up and my jaw aches

and the earth is full of earthquakes

my country ’tis of thee

To take shots at each other on prime time tv

why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun

cuz we’ll never live long enough

to undo everything they’ve done to you

undo everything they’ve done to you

they caught the last poor man

flying away in a shiny red cape

they took him down to the station

and they said, boy, you should’ve known better

than to try to escape

i ran away with the circus

cuz there’s still some honest work left for bearded ladies

since they put everyone in jail

except the cleavers and the bradys

my country ’tis of thee

to take swings at each other on the talkshow tv

why don’t you just go ahead and turn off the sun

cuz we’ll never live long enough

to undo everything they’ve done to you

undo everything they’ve done to you

Ani Difranco Anticipate

you are subtle as a window pane

standing in my view

but I will wait for it to rain

so that I can see you

you call me up at night

when there’s no light passing through

and you think that I don’t understand

but I do

we don’t say everything that we could

so that we can say later

oh, you misunderstood

I hold my cards up

close to my chest

I say what I have to

and I hold back the rest

’cause someone you don’t know

is someone you don’t know

get a firm grip, girl

before you let go

for every hand extended

another lies in wait

keep your eye on that one

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

Ani Difranco Adam And Eve

tonight you stooped to my level

i am your mangy little whore

you are trying to find your underwear

and then your socks and then the door

and you’re trying to find a reason

why you have to leave

i know it’s ‘cuz you think you’re adam

and you think i’m eve

you rhapsodize about beauty

and my eyes glaze

everything that i love is ugly

i mean really, you would be amazed

just do me a favor

it’s the least that you can do

just don’t treat me like i am

something that happened to you

i am truly sorry about all this

you put a tiny pinprick

in my big red balloon

and as i slowly start to exhale

that’s when you leave the room

i did not design this game

i did not name the stakes

i just happen to like apples

and i am not afraid of snakes

i am truly sorry about all this

i envy your ignorance

i hear that it’s bliss

so i let go of the ratio

of things said to things heard

and i leave you to your garden

and the beauty you preferred

and i wonder what of this

will have meaning for you

when you’ve left it all behind

i guess i’ll even wonder

if you meant it

at the time

Ani Difranco Amendment

Wouldn’t it be nice if

We had an amendment

To give civil rights to

Women

To once and for all just

Really lay it down from

The point of view of women

I know what you’re thinking

That’s just redundant

Chicks got it good now

They can almost be president

But is worker against worker

Time and time again

Cause the rich use certain issues as a tool

When I say we need the E.R.A ain’t cause I’m a fool

It’s cause without it nobody can get away

With anything cruel

And you don’t need to go far like

Just over to Canada

To feel the heightened sense of

Live and let live

What is it about Americans

Like so many pit-bulls

Trained to attack them

To never give

We gotta put down abortion

Put it down in the books for good

As central to the civil rights

Of women

Make diversity legal

Make it finally understood

Through the civil rights of women

And if you don’t like abortion

Don’t have an abortion

And teach your children

How they can avoid them

But don’t treat all women

Like they are your children

Compassion has many faces

Many names

And if men can kill and be decorated

Instead of blamed

Then a woman called upon to mother

Can choose to refrain

And contrary to eons

Of old time religion

Your body is your only

True dominion

Nature is not here to serve you

Or at any cause to preserve you

That’s just some preacher man’s

Old time opinion

Life is sacred

Life is also profane

A woman’s life

It must be hers to name

Let out an amendment

Put this brutal game to rest

Trust, women will still take you

To their breast

Trust, women will always

Do their best

Trust, our differences make us stronger

Not less

In this amendment shall be

Family structure shall be free

We’ll have the right to civil union

With equal rights and

Equal protection

Intolerance finally

Ruined

And then there’s the kids rights

They’ll naturally be on board

The funnel through which

Women’s lives are poured

Our family is so big

And we’re all so very small

Let a web of relationship

Be laid over it all

Over the strutter of power piled up to the sky

Over the illusion of autonomy on which it relies

Over any absolute that nature does not supply

And the birthing woman shall regain her place

In a circle of women, in a sacred space

Turn off the machines, put away the knifes

This amendment shall deliver from bondage midwives

Ani Difranco Allergic To Water

You can’t even imagine

The tortuous state I’ve been existing in

I am allergic to water

It itches my throat and it blisters my skin

Still, I drink cuz I have to, I bathe cuz I have to

But boy it’s a pain

But I don’t cry

Cuz it hurts to cry

And I don’t go outside in the rain

And you may wonder what would possess

Someone like me to go on

You may wonder how it’s possible

Something so basic could go wrong

And all I can say is

If you stretch your mind all the way as far as it goes

There’s someone out there who lives further than that

In a place you can never know

So right now if you’re looking at me

You can assume that I am thirsty

And a good day is one when that ache in my brain

Can remain at a doable three

And I don’t really want your sympathy

I’m just telling you so you’ll understand

This is me, sincerely

Doin’ the best that I can

Ani Difranco Angry Anymore

growing up it was just me and my mom

against the world

and all my sympathies were with her

when i was a little girl

but now i’ve seen both my parents

play out the hands they were dealt

and as each year goes by

i know more about how my father must have felt

i just want you to understand

that i know what all the fighting was for

and i just want you to understand

that i’m not angry anymore

i’m not angry anymore

she taught me how to wage a cold war

with quiet charm

but i just want to walk

through my life unarmed

to accept and just get by

like my father learned to do

but without all the acceptance and getting by

that got my father through

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, 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

Ani Difranco 4th Of July

you gotta have the right tools

for every job

so I invite myself in

through a hole in the fence

I am tripping through the junkyard

scanning over the piles

the thin cats raise their skin in defense

I know he’s watching me

I can see him through the cracks

his eyes are small and shy on my back

he says his name is jason

he lives in the last trailer on the right

and he’ll be seven

on the fourth of july

only the people who live here

know the name of this place

my path through iowa would be

hard to trace

all the adults in this town

try not to frown

when I walk by

but jason smiled at me

he met my eye

he don’t ask me

where I’m from

or why I came

here alone

we all go looking for paradise

then we go back home

we cut out the small talk

go right to the way things are

he showed me his squirrel skull

I told him I locked myself out of my car

so there goes the only friend

I have in iowa

his hand flapping behind him

waving good-bye

his name is jason

he lives in the last trailer on the right

and he’ll be seven

on the fourth of july

Ani Difranco Akimbo

What dreams cause me

To abandon my pillow each night?

Push away each of them, in fact

Since there always seem to be more than one

Then wake to aching stiff neck twisted

Tits and face smashed against the mattress

Legs and arms akimbo

Like the high pitched body of a jumper

Waiting for her chalk outline

Finally at rest

Ani Difranco A Spade

I will not lie down

On the wrongful ground or play

While it’s still a radical sound

Just to call a spade a spade

Dear friends, women and men

Please check my math once more

In the totality of all war’s history

There’s but one common denominator

The answer is in the intention

That lies behind the question

Put that on your standardized multiple choice

I mean, how’s this supposed to look to me

But half of divinity

Out there trying to make harmony

With only one voice

You know I’ve got experience

Looking right past the obvious

So I know what is so big and so close

Is always the hardest stuff

For us to reckon with

The hardest stuff to know

Dear friends, especially the women,

Tell me are you up to the task?

Of turning the wheel on human history

At long last

The answer is in the intention

That lies behind the question

Put that on your standardized multiple choice

I mean, how’s this supposed to look to me

But half of divinity

Out there trying to make harmony

With only one voice

I will not lie down

On the wrongful ground or play

While it’s still a radical sound

Just call a spade a spade

Dear friends, women and men

What better time to face

That we’ve been looking for

The answer to war

In the wrong place

Ani Difranco Alla This

I will not stand immersed

In this ultra violent curse

I won’t let you make a tool of me

I will keep my mind and body free

Bye, bye, minutiae

Of the day to day drama

I’m expanding exponentially

I am consciousness without identity

I am many things made of everything

But I will not be your bank roll

I won’t idle in your drive through

I won’t watch your electric sideshow

I got way better places to go

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

I won’t rent you my time

I won’t sell you my brain

I won’t pray to a male God

‘Cause you know that would be insane

And you know that I can’t support the troops

‘Cause every last one of them is being duped here

And I will not rest a wink

Until the women have regrouped

I am many things made of everything

But I will not be your bank roll

I won’t idle in your drive through

I won’t watch your electric sideshow

I got way better places to go