Alternative title for this post: everything I know about life I learned from Ani Difranco.

ani difranco verses


If you’re not getting happier as you get older
then you’re fucking up.

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.

All I can say is if you stretch your mind
all the way as far as it goes
then someone out there lives further than that
in a place you can never know.

Fate is not just whose cooking smells good
but which way the wind blows.

if we all had to change
we all just would
and we would move closer
and that would be good.
& we would buy local and we would buy less
& we’d realise that wasn’t our happiness

more and more there is this animal
looking out through my eyes
at all the traffic on the road to nowhere
at all the shiny stuff around to buy

it took me too long to realize
that i don’t take good pictures
because I have the kind of beauty
that moves

the mainstream is so polluted with lies
once you are wet it’s so hard to get dry.
We are all taught how to justify
history as it passes by

if you’re not trying to make something better
then as far as I can tell
you are just in the way

I had to leave the house of fashion
go forth naked from its doors
because women should be allies,
not competitors

love is a piano
dropped from a fourth story window
and you’re in the wrong place
at the wrong time

you’d better put some beauty back while you’ve got the energy

buildings and bridges
are made to bend in the wind
to withstand the world,
that’s what it takes
all that steel and stone
are no match for the air, my friend
what doesn’t bend breaks
what doesn’t bend breaks

God help you if you are an ugly girl
of course, too pretty is also your doom
’cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
for the prettiest girl in the room
& God help you if you are a phoenix
& you dare to rise up from ash;
a thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy while
you are just flying past

just when you think that you’ve got enough
enough grows
and everywhere that you go in life
enough knows

there’s this brutal imperial power
that my passport says I represent
but it will never represent where my heart lives –
only vaguely where it went

 the media 
is not fooling me

feminism ain’t about women
but that’s not who it is for;
it’s about a shift in consciousness
that will put an end to war.
So listen up you fathers,
listen up you sons
and tell me, which side are you on now?
which side are you on?

some of life’s best lessons
are learned at the worst times

you can doubt anything
if you think about it long enough

 watch out for that t.v., it’s full of splinters 
and remember you can always go outside
really really really far outside

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’ll 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

every tool is a weapon if you hold it right

ani difference favourite quotes

I could go on; actually, it’s a real struggle to stop, which is why I share an Ani Difranco quote most days on Twitter. If you’ve never listened to her, please go and do so now, and if you don’t immediately connect with what you hear, keep digging. She’s insanely prolific and creative, and her style has evolved constantly over the last *counts* years. 

You can also buy her written word poetry here.

Do you have a favourite lyric or lyricist you turn to for wisdom? Any other Ani fans out there? 

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  • Bernadine Jordan

  • March 25, 2024

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  • graliontorile

  • May 14, 2023

I really enjoy reading through on this web site, it holds wonderful articles. “The secret of eternal youth is arrested development.” by Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

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  • Sara Tasker

  • January 12, 2016

Yes! Cant quite explain my excitement at finding my fellow Ani fans! I’m off to do the same, now! 😀 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • January 12, 2016

Yes!! That quote was SO nearly on the list. Actually I’m surprised to see it isn’t up there, but then I started with about a million and had to cut it down… My email sig for the longest time was ‘I don’t care if they eat me alive; I’ve got better things to do than survive’ x

  • Caddi Ranyard

  • January 10, 2016

So pleased to see Ani quoted – a real poet. I used to have this as my signature on my emails:

“..when I look downI just miss all the good stuff
When I look up
I just trip over things”

However I would suggest anyone who doesn’t know it to have a read of ‘Fuel’ – perfection!

  • Georgie|Where The Light Plays

  • January 06, 2016

This post gave me goosebumps!
Ani is my biggest inspiration too and has been since I was 16. Thanks for the reminder of all these great songs (now off to enjoy hours of reminiscing…) 🙂

“I fight fire with words.
Words are hotter than flames,
Words are wetter than water”

  • Sara Tasker

  • January 04, 2016

🙂 Welcome to the world of Ani! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • January 04, 2016

Less wisdom, more wallowing, that one.. x

  • Sara Tasker

  • January 04, 2016

Hahaha! Next time – she can have her own post! x PS – love seeing you here

  • The Nerdy Me

  • January 04, 2016

Absolutely beautiful and inspiring thoughts. x

-Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • Neil Dhillon

  • January 03, 2016

(No mention of Tori? Blaspheme!)
Does David Foster Wallace count if I pretend he’s singing?

  • Sheona

  • January 03, 2016


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