"Animal" as written by and Ani Difranco....
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
At all the wires in the air
At all the people shopping
For the same blank stare
At America the drastic
That isolated geographic
That's become infested with millionaires

When you grow up surrounded
By willful ignorance
You have to believe
Mercy has its own country
And that it's round and borderless
And then you have to grow wings
And rise above it all
Like there
Where that hawk is circling
Above that strip mall

More and more there is this animal
Looking out through my eyes
Seeing that animals only take from this world
What they need to survive
But she is prowling through all the religions of men
Seeing that time and time and time again
Their gods have made them
Special and above
Nature's law
And the respect thereof

And I think when you grow up surrounded
By willful ignorance
You have to believe that mercy has its own country
And that it's round and borderless
And then you just grow wings
And rise above it all
Like there where that hawk is circling
Above that strip mall

Ask any eco-system
Harm here is harm there
And there and there
And aggression begets aggression
It's a very simple lesson
That long preceded any king of heaven
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

'cause I know when you grow up surrounded
By willful ignorance
You learn that mercy has its own country
And that it's round and borderless
And then you just grow wings
And rise above it all
Like there
Where that hawk is circling
Above that strip mall


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

"Animal" as written by Ani Difranco

Lyrics © A SIDE MUSIC LLC D/B/A MODERN WORKS MUSIC PUBLISHING

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Animal song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentshe is prowling through all the religions of men
    seeing that time and time and time again
    their gods have made them
    special and above
    nature's law

    this is a very plain straightforward example of what our dogmatic world has become. not to be completely negative. just realistic.
    regardemylasheskgmon September 18, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is pretty much about everything it says.. about the hawk circling.. and the blank stare.. everyone is searching for the same thing.. and animals are the only true thing on this earth. they only use what they need.. it states everything we are. simply but beautifully.
    marley_22181on April 10, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo me, animal is a realization that the predominant political or religious systems that seem to largely dictate how human life happens come and go. They don't last. To me, Animal is a song about empowerment. Its about owning your politics and/or beliefs by taking a step back systems of power and control created by humans, and realizing that life on earth has always been primarily goverened by nature. In other words, it is an empowering notion that political or religious systems that seem so powerful and unchanging when you exist within them become a joke when you look at the constantly changing history of human systems of control. I think Ani recognizes this, and understands that in the long-term, political systems and religious systems have trivial influences compared to natural ones.

    I don't think this song is about nature exclusively. To me, it means that to empower yourself, and to own your politics instead of feeling powerless means looking at human life differently. "You have to believe that mercy has its own country, and its round and borderless". When I heard that line, I felt I understood exactly what the song was about. I had the same experience previously when I was crossing the border into the US from my home in Canada, and I saw a flock of geese fly over the border without being stopped. That experience made me realize how ridiculous the idea of borders and even countries is.
    mickzzzzzzon January 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentone of my ultimate favorites. its puts words to all my inexpressible feelings about the ever-changing world and how my purpose could or could not effect it.
    folkitupon December 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think mickzzzzzz absolutely nailed it. Really good post and describes pretty much exactly what I thought the first time I heard this beautiful song.
    Dylanesque90on April 03, 2010   Link

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