"Present/Infant" as written by and Ani Difranco....
Lately I've been glaring into mirrors picking myself apart
You'd think at my age I'd thought of something better to do
Than making insecurity into a full time job
Making insecurity into an art

And I fear my life will be over
And I will have never lived in unfettered
Always glaring into mirrors
Mad, I don't look better

But now here is this tiny baby
And they say she looks just like me
And she is smiling at me with that present infant glee
Yes, and I would defend to the ends of the earth
Her perfect right to be, be, be, be

So I'm beginning to see some problems
With the ongoing work of my mind
And I've got myself a new mantra
It says don't forget to have a good time
Don't let the sellers of stuff power enough to rob you of your grace

Love is all over the place
There's nothing wrong with your face
Love is all over the place
There's nothing wrong with your face

Lyrics submitted by Megaira

"Present/Infant" as written by Ani Difranco


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Present/Infant song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentAn amazing song. I think the first verse should be 'and I will never have lived it UNFETTERED' though. It's so true - she's talking about how the media and the world outside you tries to project the idea that you're never pretty enough, popular enough, thin enough, sexual enough, clever enough..... and she fell for it. Now she looks at her daughter, who is just so content to be here, to smile, and she sees that the fetters she had on her life were ridiculous, so she's brushing them aside and enjoying herself the way she is. She's seeing through all the ways she's 'supposed' to be, and finding that she's actually fine. She sees this through her daughter too - maybe she hopes that she'll never be caused to doubt herself the way most people seem to.
    daneypopson April 07, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAw, I love this song.. the first time I heard it live (before it was released) and I just could not wait to hear it again. Having someone tell you there's nothing wrong with your face is remarkably impowering. makes me smile everytime. :)
    PositivelyPositiveon October 22, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentChecking the liner notes it seems that daneypops is right, it's "never lived it unfettered". I had a different interpretation when I first heard it that I like more: "will have never lifted a feather". It's like "lifted a finger" but with a feather instead, meaning that she never really... "flew".

    That said, this song disappoints me. Here's this amazing, powerful goddess of a woman singing about how she never had much self-worth until she had a baby! That's depressing. There are sexist beauty standards in our society telling women they're never pretty enough, but there's an equally strong message from society that "real women have babies". Like you're not really an adult until you've had a child. That seems really anti-feminist and just really shallow and pathetic to me, and I'm hoping that's not what she's trying to say.
    Saynaon February 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRight before singing this song at her concert, Ani said that she wrote it when she was 36 and had just had a baby and "was feeling the most unsexy" she ever had in her life. So, I don't think she meant the song to mean she always had low self-esteem until she had a baby.

    I think it's about the changes she went through when she became a mother and realized she wasn't feeling as young and hot as she'd usually felt. And then looking at her daughter and thinking that it shouldn't matter and re-claiming her sense of self-worth.
    monomaniacon November 15, 2010   Link

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