Top 10 Favorite Classic Ani Difranco Songs

Updated on November 8, 2017
purl3agony profile image

An avid music fan all her life, Donna enjoys sharing her love of indie rock singers and songwriters with other music fans.

Ani Difranco has often referred to herself as a "little folksinger". Although the roots of her music may begin with folksy acoustic guitar, her songs are a creative blend of thoughtful lyrics, beautiful vocals, and talented musicianship.

Born in Buffalo, NY, Ani started playing the guitar and writing her own songs at an early age. As a teenager, she moved to New York City to continue with her music and started playing in clubs in the city. In 1989, she started her own record label and released her first album, Ani Difranco, in 1990. Constant touring and word of mouth helped her build a legion of fans. Known for her feminist ideals, open sexuality, and her support of political and social issues, she has become a spokesperson for her generation.

Over her career, Ani has released over 40 albums and explored many musical genres. Her band has changed over the years as she has added elements of rap, jazz, and spoken word to her songs.

The list below might serve as an introduction to Ani Difranco's music. Most of these songs are from the earlier part of her career and could be considered "classic" songs. I have put them in chronological order, but many of her songs appear on multiple albums.

"Fire Door" from her first album, Ani Difranco

This is a simple love song, but shows off the beauty of Ani's voice and songwriting. Although it was first released in 1990 on her album, Ani Difranco, my favorite version appears on her live album, Living In Clip.

"Both Hands" from Ani Difranco

Another great love song from Ani's debut album. However, I prefer the live version that appeared on her ep More Joy, Less Shame.

"Anticipate" from Not So Soft

"Anticipate" from her second album, Not So Soft, is a classic Ani song about independence and mistrust of relationships. There is another great live version of the song on Living In Clip, featuring Sara Lee on bass and Andy Stochansky on drums.

"In or Out" from Imperfectly

"In or Out" is probably one of Ani's best known and loved songs. As statement about her sexuality, the song first appears on her third album, Imperfectly, but is included on Living in Clip and many of her official bootlegs.

"Untouchable Face" from Dilate

"Untouchable Face" was released on Ani's seventh album, Dilate, in 1996. A song about unrequited love, peppered with four letter words as only Ani can deliver. This song also appeared on Living in Clip, and Ani often performed the song with Greg Brown when the two toured together in 1998.

"Gravel" from Living in Clip

Most of us are familiar with the song, "Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen, where the male protagonist picks up his girlfriend Mary and they ride off together. I've always thought that "Gravel" could be a song about what's going through Mary's head when her boyfriend shows up with this plan. First released live on Living in Clip in 1997, a studio version of the song was also included on 1998's Little Plastic Castles.

"Two Little Girls" from Little Plastic Castles

"Two Little Girls" is a song about two newcomers to the Big Apple, building a relationship and trying to protect each other from the dangers of love. Released in 1998 on Little Plastic Castles, this is always a crowd pleaser at Ani's live shows.

"Swandive" from Little Plastic Castles

"Swandive" is a brilliant song - part love story, part statement of independence. The lyrics show Ani's songwriting at its best, with clever word play and a wonderful touch of humor and irony. Although the song was first released on Little Plastic Castles in 1998, there is a great live version on 2002's So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter.

"Angry Anymore" from Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up

"Angry Anymore" shows Ani as a more mature songwriter, reflecting on her own relationship and comparing it to the behavior she saw in her own parents' marriage. The song was released on Ani's ninth studio album, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up in 1999.

"Slide" from Evolve

2002's Evolve featured an expanded band with horns and keyboards. This band helped bring a jazzy feel to one of my favorite songs, "Slide". Again, Ani's strong songwriting, beautiful voice and humor is on display.

Honorable Mentions

Because I couldn't really limit the list to just 10 songs, here are some other favorites:

"4th of July" from Puddle Dive

"32 Flavors" from Not a Pretty Girl

"Swing" from To the Teeth

"Cradle & All" from So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter

"Studying Stones" from Knuckle Down

For more information about Ani Difranco and her music, check out my other article: 10 Things You Might Not Know About Singer-Songwriter Ani Difranco, or visit her website at www.righteousbabe.com. There you will find information about her music, tour dates, and the latest news.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        4 years ago from USA

        Hi Joey, "Gravel" and "Fire Door" are two of my favorite Ani's songs and I enjoy the different versions she's released on various albums. It sounds like that San Diego show was amazing. Ani always puts on a great live show :)

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • profile image

        Joey 

        4 years ago

        Been an ani fan for years and I totally didn't know that the living in clip version of gravel came before the little plastic castle version!! I've seen her live 5 times and was at the San Diego show when she performed that version of "fire door" you posted! Good stuff.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        Hi Spartucusjones! I'm just trying to spread the Ani love :) Thanks for your comments! Much appreciated!

      • spartucusjones profile image

        CJ Baker 

        5 years ago from Parts Unknown

        Awesome hub! I'm a fan of Ani Difranco and her song To The Teeth is a personal fave of mine. Thanks for sharing.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        Hi Dolores - Yes, Ani certainly is energetic, and a great talent :) Glad to introduce another person to her music. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate it!!

      • Dolores Monet profile image

        Dolores Monet 

        5 years ago from East Coast, United States

        I enjoyed this introduction to Ani Difranco. Though I've occasionally heard her music, I knew little about her or her songs. Such an energetic singer! She has such a unique style!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        Hi theframjak - I love "Studying Stones" too. I felt I couldn't put another somber song on the list, so it made the honorable mentions instead. Thanks for your comments, as always!!

      • theframjak profile image

        theframjak 

        5 years ago from East Coast

        Thanks for putting this together purl3agony. I love Ani and enjoy her music. Glad to see "Studying Stones" made the honorable mention.

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        Thanks so much, kidscrafts! I hope this info serves as an intro to Ani's music for those who might not know her :)

      • kidscrafts profile image

        kidscrafts 

        5 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

        I find that Ani Difranco has a very nice energy!

        Very interesting to see how she prepares "her nails" before a concert!

        Nice choice of songs!

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        I'm glad you did :) Always great to meet another Ani fan!

      • profile image

        rmcmillen 

        5 years ago

        Any time..... not often I come across articles about Ani, so I almost kinda had to comment ;-)

      • purl3agony profile imageAUTHOR

        Donna Herron 

        5 years ago from USA

        Hi rmcmillen - Great choice! I particularly like the live version on Living In Clip. I limited myself to 10 songs (sort of) and leaned heavily towards love songs. But then, there's so many great songs to choose from! Thanks for your comments!

      • profile image

        rmcmillen 

        5 years ago

        I've always been a lover of Napoleon

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, spinditty.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://spinditty.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)