who are you?
This lyrics site was created and is maintained by danah boyd. (In other words, i'm not Ani.) I'm a politically active academic, a researcher of online communities and the Online Organizer for V-Day. If you want to have a better sense of who i am, check out my blog.
anidifranco at danah dot org
(substitute @ for at and . for dot)
why do i care?
I'm often asked why this site exists when so many others do. The reason is simple: i did it for myself and would like to share it with whoever wants Ani lyrics. Early in my life, i recognized the value of her words. in my life, they have operated as a mirror, giving me a similar set of circumstances positioned so elegantly, so that i could reflect on my own pain and passion. Her words motivate me to do the work that i do because they allow me to see the my frustrations are not going unnoticed, that my voice is not alone and that i am capable of surviving amidst all of the insanity.
Many people think that i am some huge obsessive fan of Ani's and that couln't be further from the truth. Ido not know the woman and i do not even try to. I don't read about her life or listen to the gossip that spills out everywhere. I do not judge her for her personal decisions, nor do i agree with all of her spoken philosophies. it is not ani that interests me, but the words that she produces, the way that she says them, and the role that she plays as a public figure. The Ani that i know is the public one, the mirage, a cartoon character of herself. I have never believed in fandom because i see it as offensive. Those of us who listen to her music do not know Ani; we just know how to integrate what she shares into our own lives in meaningful ways.
Thus, i have no desire to create a site that contains fan information, supports rumors or provide any other role that is invasive to Ani. Hell, if it weren't for getting bitched at in 1997 for being digitally passe, this site would probably still be grey with black text and blue writing instead of containing the sparse pictures that i felt guilted into including. I am committed to maintain the lyrics component of this site continuously, so that those who can benefit from access to her lyrics can be provided them, regardless of my personal feelings towards her decisions.
about those MP3s...
For a while, i decided to make accessible the mp3s that i have of unreleased songs. I had chosen to only release unreleased songs because i believed that this was a fair way of supporting Ani's music while getting her word out to the public. Unfortunately, Righteous Babe and i did not agree on what was fair to Ani. From their perspective, it should be Ani's choice to publish what she wants to release and that my releasing of bootlegs or demo albums was both disrespectful as well as in violation of copyright regulations. They also believed that my actions only magnified the illegal albums that are sold on eBay and through other sites.
Although i completely disagree with Righteous Babe on this one, i chose not to fight their request that i remove all available MP3s. Again, i do not pretend to own Ani, her ideas, or her music. I still fundamentally believe that making her words accessible to the masses is beneficial, whether in written or audio form. I also believe that, like many, RBR does not understand the Internet or how it will fundamentally alter the role of the producer in the music business, whether or not they like it. And i have to admit that it disappoints me that they see me as providing a service that disrespects Ani or destroys her ability to profit off of her own works. Again, i just don't think that they get the online world.
Thus, i will not provide MP3s and i've stopped collecting them. I prefer to read the lyrics anyhow. many of you might not realize this, but my preferred style of music is psychedelic trance; i listen to Ani for the words. I would also like to point out that i do not support, in any way shape or form, the bootlegging of Ani's published music. I have bought over 100 copies of her CDs, for myself and others and i would encourage you to buy your own. For if you don't, you aren't hearing what she's saying.
didn't ani cover...
I have chosen to remove the lyrics of all songs that Ani covered (including Prince's When Doves Cry, Bob Dylan's Hurricane, Dusty Springfield's Wishin' and Hopin', Woody Guthrie's Do Re Mi, Pete Seeger's My Name is Lisa Kalvelage, Bill Mather's Who is She, and others). Copyright issues get sticky and frankly, i don't want to fight those battles.
As a result, all song lyrics on this website are the copyright of Righteous Babe and Ani Difranco. My apologies for those looking for cover songs, but i just cannot provide them at this time.
a few more words
If you ever find an error, or know of a song that i am missing, email me immediately at anidifranco at danah dot org and i will correct the error. Please note that i am tired of spam and viruses, as i already receive over 100 a day from this site alone. Please do me and others a favor and make certain that your machine is free of viruses and is kept up to date with anti-virus software. If you have an mp3 or a boot with a song that i don't have, contact me and i will gladly transcribe it.
Also, i am very honored that so many fans have decided to utilize the resources of this website (although my webhosting service is not nearly as pleased). I recognize that many fans want a community of shared Ani fans, and i've been quite saddened to see that service go away for those of you who need it. As much as it pains me to say this, please realize that i'm not able to communicate with all of Ani's fans. Not only do i spend most of my life at work on the computer, but i have severe carpal tunnel which makes the desire to spend more time on email/IM unappealing. That said, if you are in need of support or assistance, i am always able to listen and can quite possibly point you to the right sources for help. I recognize that many fans seek out Ani because of their own horrific experiences, and i am always willing to help those in need.
For those of you who are trying to deal with your own issues surrounding rape/incest/abuse/violence, i'd also encourage you to get involved with V-Day, an organization that works to end violence everywhere. It has been my experience that helping raise money for victims, working directly with victims and promoting education in high schools, colleges and worldwide has provided me with more ways to overcome my own pain that i could ever have imagined.
If you're here, you probably respect Ani's efforts to change the world to be a better place. I'd encourage all of you to follow in her footsteps. Take care! danah