92 Thought-Provoking Ani DiFranco Quotes - The Famous Singer

Joan Agie
Sep 29, 2023 By Joan Agie
Originally Published on Jan 10, 2023
Read interesting and inspiring Ani DiFranco quotes right here in this article
Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.8 Min

Ani DiFranco is a renowned American songwriter and singer who has released over twenty albums throughout her career.

In 1989 at 19, she started her record label, Righteous Babe Records, and has released all her albums under it. She toured extensively for the next fifteen years and kept recording her albums.

Her music is known as folk-rock and alternative rock, while she was influenced by punk, funk, jazz, and hip-hop. DiFranco has supported several political and social movements by performing at benefit concerts and participating in rallies.

The songwriter has covered popular topics through her songs and has received positive feedback for most of them. She has received consecutive Grammy nominations and won one in 2004 for her album, 'Evolve'.

The lyrics of her songs often instill hope and provide an escape to the worried mind. Her lyrics do not always deal with safe, popular topics but are a weapon against racism and sexism.

For most of her career, she's received positive feedback from her listeners. This positive feedback has propelled her image to new highs.

Here are a few quotes and thoughts by Ani DiFranco, which provide an insight into her musical world and bring joy.

Most Famous Ani DiFranco Quotes

Ani DiFranco has supported various social causes through her foundation over the years. Here are the singer's most famous quotes.

"Because the world owes me nothing

And we owe each other the world."

- 'Joyful Girl', 1996.

"I'm not one of those people who has an act."

"My idea of feminism is self-determination, and it's very open-ended: every woman has the right to become herself and do whatever she needs to do."

"So I walk like I'm on a mission 

Cuz that's the way I groove
I got more and more to do

I got less and less to prove"

- 'Evolve', 2003.

"I think I'm a very solitary person. To actually not be anonymous is a bit claustrophobic for me."

"And I was blessed with a birth and a death,

And I guess I just want some say in between."

- 'Talk To Me Now', 1989.

"She says Do I know you 

I say well, no, not biblically
But I've been waiting for you come 

And talk to me"

- 'If It Isn’t Her', 1992.

"Some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times"

- 'Lost Woman Song', 1990.

"I am writing graffiti on your body I am drawing the story of 

How hard we tried"

- 'Both Hands', 1997.

"I used to be a superhero

No one could touch me

Not even myself"

- 'Superhero', 1996.

"The windows of my soul 

Are made of one way glass
Don't bother looking into my eyes
If there's something you want to know

Just ask"

- 'Willing To Fight', 1993.

"You've got your whole life to do something
And that's not very long"

- 'Willing To Fight', 1993.

"'cause I know the biggest crime
Is just to throw up your hands

This has nothing to do with me."

- 'Willing To Fight', 1993.

"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 past"

- '32 Flavors', 1995.

"She is still playing the martyr

I am still praying for revolution"

- 'Fixing Her Hair', 1992.

"Love is a piano dropped from a fourth-story window, and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time."

“I am a work in progress

Dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding

Offering me intricate patterns of questions

Rhythms that never come clean

And strengths that you still haven't seen." 

- ‘Ani DiFraco: Verses’.

"In order to keep anything cultural, logical, or ideological, you have to reinvent the reality of it."

"If I'm gonna go down

I'm gonna do it with style 

And you won't see me surrender

You won't hear me confess

'Cuz you've left me with nothing

But I have worked with less."

- 'Dilate', 1996.

"Patriarchy is a fundamental imbalance underlying society, And it's one we rarely address because it's so universal. But as I get older, I see that peace is a product of balance."

"Men make angry music, and it's called rock-and-roll; women include anger in their vocabulary, and suddenly they're angry and militant."

"They taught me different was wrong."

“And they say that the truth will set you free

But then again, so will a lie

It depends if you're trying to get to the promised land

Or if you're just trying to get by.”

- ‘Promised Land’, 2003

"'cuz they can call me crazy if I fail 

All the chance that I need 

Is one-in-a-million

And they can call me brilliant 

If I succeed…"

- 'Swan Dive', 1998.

"Through many dangers

Toils, and snares

I have already come

It was grace that brought me"

- 'Amazing Grace', 1996.

"Taking me seriously is a big mistake. I certainly wouldn't."

"If you like it, let it be, and if you don't, please do the same."

"I seriously hate pop music and all things super-commercial."

"I'm a little hibernating animal. Anonymity is one of my favorite things. I mean, that's why I moved to New York when I was like 18 because there, there are just so many people that there's no one, and you're just lost. You're completely invisible, and I find that very liberating."

Best Ani DiFranco Quotes

DiFranco's albums have been launched on her record label Righteous Babe Records, for the past 32 years. Here's a list of her best quotes over the years.

"Our entire world is supported by the friends we make along the way."

"The foreground's out of focus

But you know I kinda hope it's 

Just a phase, just a phase"

- 'Phase', 2003.

“I fight with love and I laugh with rage… you gotta live light enough to see the humor, and long enough to see some change…”

"Art is why I get up in the morning

But my definition ends there. 

And it doesn't seem fair

That I'm living for something I can't even define. 

There you are right there

In the meantime"

- 'Out Of Habit', 1990.

"And I don't always feel lucky

But I'm smart enough to try."

- 'Grand Canyon', 2004.

"I love all those great 'f' words - feminism, folk music.."

- Interview for MuchMusic, 2003.

"My political mission is as acute as ever. For me, in addition to kind of looking at the world and trying to engage in my society politically, having the kid around sort of makes me check in with myself. I think you're all busy trying to fix the world, but what about yourself?"

"When I first started writing songs and being very explicit, it was hard, but one of the main things people respond to in my writing is that 'just say it' attitude of my songs."

"And 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"

- 'Animal', 2004.

"Some days the line I walk 

Turns out to be straight -
Other days the line tends to


- 'In Or Out', 1992.

"I'd rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous."

“Don't treat me like I am something that happened to you.”

"I've been saying the Occupy Movement has got the ball rolling, and now we need to take the fight to the great indoors!"

"We have to be able to criticize what we love, to say what we have to say 'cause if you're not trying to make something better than as far as I can tell, you are just in the way."

“Some people wear their heart up on their sleeve. I wear mine underneath my right pant leg, strapped to my boot.”

"So we're led by denial like lambs to the slaughter
Serving empires of style and carbonated sugar water"

- 'Subdivision', 2002.

"I hate it when people don't recognize the work of women as being universal, or having any import to the world at large, as opposed to men's work, which is generally tends to be seen as more universal - men's writing about their own experience tends to be put in a broader context."

"It seems that different people have an idea of what I am and what I should be. And then there's me."

Most Interesting Ani DiFranco Quotes

DiFranco mostly plays tunes that can be put in the folk-rock and alternative rock genres. Here are some of the singer's most interesting quotes.

"Taken out of context, I must seem so strange."

- 'Ani DiFranco: Verses'.

"Well, nobody likes their job

Nobody got enough sleep

Maybe you just had 

The worst day of your life

But, you know, there's no escape

And there's no excuse

So just suck up 

Suck up

Suck up and be nice"

- 'Pixie', 1998.

"My life may not be something special

But it's never been lived before"

- 'Brief Bus Stop', 1991.

"We discovered we are both 

Pleasantly furious half of the time

When we're not just toeing the line"

- 'Brief Bus Stop', 1991.

"The happiness you find in your personal life is the first step towards making real change."

"I don't know if there are artists out there who love their own records. I haven't met any, and I'm kind of extreme in the other direction, but therein lies the impetus to keep working and keep making new songs and new records."

"You can't start with imbalance and end with peace, be that in your own body, in an ecosystem, or between a government and its people. What we need to strive for is not perfection, but balance."

"These days, my main guitar amps have been Magnatone. They're beautiful. Magnatones have actual tremolo, which I recently learned about guitar amps."

"Every tool is a weapon - if you hold it right."

- 'Empire', Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, 2000.

"There isn't much I have to say that I wouldn't rather just shut up and do."

"I believe in that step of not just making revolutionary music but making it in a way that challenges the system, Especially in this day and age when the tools for producing and distributing are more and more accessible to the average Joe and Josephine."

- Rolling Stone Interview 1995.

"Plus I dream in skin scented sentences

Of a stronger faster fiercer you

And to each noun, verb and predicate

I dedicate a vivid hue"

- ‘Educated Guess’, 2004.

"I had a little bit of resistance to the idea of taking energy away from my work, and the baby comes along and, lo and behold, that's exactly what happens."

"'Cause I know there is strength 

In the differences between us

And I know there is comfort 

Where we overlap"

- 'Overlap', 2007.

"I don't need anyone to hold me; I can hold my own."

"I don't take good pictures 'cause I have the kind of beauty that moves."

"Playing show after show is like my bread and butter."

“I don't like my language watered down; I don't like my edges rounded off.”

"I did a lot of work with myself over the course of being pregnant and the first few months of being pregnant. It's nice, the pace of being pregnant; it gives you a long time to not just germinate a baby but germinate the mother that you're gonna be."

"I see a lot of connections between folk and punk music just because they're both sub-corporate music - I mean, traditionally."

"It's great being your own boss, but then, you know, you make your own mistakes, you know, and you own them. You know, so it's empowering, and it's also humbling along the way."

"Why do you think I write these feminist songs to try and teach myself to respect myself. You know, it's not because I'm a hero.

"Either you are a feminist, or you are a sexist/misogynist. There is no box marked 'other."

"I've been collecting some more high-end guitars. I have an old Martin D28 from the '60s, a beautiful, classic Martin that I know I played on 'Mariachi."

"When you're pretty as a picture

They pound down your door

But I've been offered love

in two dimensions before"

- ‘Imperfectly’, 1992.

"So my heart finally broke. It was so long bent.
And it broke in three places when it finally went."

Most Inspiring Ani DiFranco Quotes

With her support for various social causes and political movements throughout her career, along with support for the LGBTQ community, DiFranco has been an inspiration for many. Check out some inspiring quotes by the singer.

"Music has as many roles as people make it."

"I don't care if they eat me alive; I've got better things to do than survive."

"Life isn't just a juggling act; it's about finding the right balance to keep you happy."

"The stronger I am in my personal life, the more energy I have to look outward, to address my society."

"Don't doubt that you contain the strength to be the best version of yourself imaginable."

"If you don't ask the right question, every answer seems wrong -"

"I do believe that music has an intense power to connect us together, to inspire us to become ourselves."

"I was attracted to a lot of different art forms - dancing, painting. But there's something about music that people hold so close. It's such a powerful art form, and that's why I live for it."

"In any marginalized community, whether people identify themselves or not affects us all."

- 'GLBTQ', Interview 1994.

"Let's grow old 

And die together

Let's do it now"

- 'The Waiting Song', 1992.

"Sometimes, the beauty is easy. Sometimes you don't have to try at all. Sometimes you can hear the wind blow in a handshake. Sometimes there's poetry written right on the bathroom wall."

“Strangers are exciting; their mystery never ends. But, there's nothing like looking at your own history in the faces of your friends.”

"Pop stardom is not very compelling. I'm much more interested in a relationship between performer and audience that is of equals. I came up through folk music, and there's no pomp and circumstance to the performance."

"Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV."

"I don't hate being compared with female musicians. I don't mind that at all. I have no problem with seeing connections between women's work."

"I've been trying to learn how to not be so conflicted about things like my own anger. I've always had a place in my music for my anger as a way of compensating for not having a mechanism to express it in my everyday life."

"Having more exposure is kind of a bittersweet thing for me, honestly, because it's nice to have a little more job security in life now."

"There's a crowd of people

Harbored 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"

- 'Light Of Some Kind', 1995.

"It can be very frustrating and very deflating to be constantly defined and described by other people, so I've stopped reading anything written about me, and I find it much healthier. I just sort of concentrate on what I do and don't worry too much about that."

"And I was shocked 

To see the mistakes of each generation 

Will just fade like a radio station 

If you drive out of range"

- 'Out Of Range', 1994.

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Written by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

Joan Agie picture

Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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