"Joyful Girl" as written by and Ani Difranco....
I do it for the joy it brings
Because I'm a joyful girl
Because the world owes me nothing
And we owe each other the world
I do it because it's the least I can do
I do it because I learned it from you
And I do it just because I want to
Because I want to

Everything I do is judged
And they mostly get it wrong
But oh well
'cause the bathroom mirror has not budged
And the woman who lives there can tell
The truth from the stuff that they say
And she looks me in the eye
And says would you prefer the easy way
No, well o.k. then
Don't cry

I wonder if everything I do
I do instead
Of something I want to do more
The question fills my head
I know there's no grand plan here
This is just the way it goes
When everything else seems unclear
I guess at least I know

I do it for the joy it brings
Because I'm a joyful girl
Because the world owes me nothing
And we owe each other the world
I do it because it's the least I can do
I do it because I learned it from you
And I do it just because I want to
Because I want to


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

"Joyful Girl" as written by Ani Difranco

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

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Joyful Girl song meanings
Add your thoughts

20 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General Commentit perfectly sums up the message: do what makes you happy, make mistakes, make decisions no one else would expect or even agree with; as long as you remain true to who you are (the girl in the mirror) you're as good as gold.
    tunebabyon August 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMaybe I've got this all wrong, but I think this is about being in some kind of relationship which is mostly based on sex. Throughout the song she tries to defend her behavour by saing "Well, I do for the joy it brings".. But then:

    "i wonder if everything i do
    i do instead
    of something i want to do more
    the question fills my head"

    - This could maybe refer to her deepest feelings and wishes.. Maybe she really wants more than this, but doesn't feel worthy or ready etc. etc.

    But I dunno.. This doesn't really match "and we owe each other the world. i do it because it's the least i can do. i do it because i learned it from you" .. So yea. Not sure about this one at all.
    Sickerthon June 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment2 Quotes from Ani:

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

    "In terms of the way people perceive me, the people who know me and know my work, who come to the shows, I feel pretty understood. But then there's a lot of people outside of that who just form opinions based upon media, without ever coming to a show and seeing what it is that they have an opinion about....People who stereotype me as an angry person come from very far outside of myself and my community…It's funny because, in my experience, the people who bring the most anger, the most rage over injustices, onto the stage, into their work, those are the nicest people. I mean, the people who give a fuck. Honestly, what is said about me in the media is not my greatest concern. That's part of the job; people you don't even know, never ever will know, stating definitively who and what you are, what you are doing and what it means."
    mickzzzzzzon June 21, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think its ironic how the songs is about joy but the tempo and melody are haunting, slow and not"full of joy" to me it gets the point across even more clearly .
    the way she pauses in the phrase "because the world owes me.....nothing" has you holding you breath going "what the world owes her?" but then she softly says "nothing, we owe each other the world" and i'm left feeling incredibly humbled and appreciative.

    -a masterpiece
    folkitupon December 31, 2006   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIt's about seeing the truth of the world, of patriarchy, of how screwed up everything is and how most people don't even realize it. It's about being awake in a sleeping world, and instead of being bitter or letting it destroy you (through self-destruction, mostly), learning to live for yourself regardless of whatever else, while still speaking up and trying to help everyone else.

    "'cause the bathroom mirror has not budged
    And the woman who lives there can tell
    The truth from the stuff that they say
    And she looks me in the eye
    And says would you prefer the easy way
    No, well o.k. then
    Don't cry"

    Would you prefer the easy way, by which she means, would you prefer ignorance-as-bliss over having a true social consciousness? And, no, of course she wouldn't, so chin up and carry on.

    "I know there's no grand plan here
    This is just the way it goes
    When everything else seems unclear
    I guess at least I know"

    The world doesn't have to be this way, it doesn't have to be any particular way. It is what it is. God ain't directing a cosmic TV show, and fate ain't guiding the path. And no matter what else, "at least [we] know" that.
    abcxyzzzzon August 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationMy interpretation is that every 'do' here simply stands for 'living'. It's an existential song but I also think she means 'joyful' to be ironic and is questioning her own human condition when looking into the mirror.
    But also... Every time you think you understand a DiFranco lyric she puts something in that confuses or contradicts your interpretation, which I like :-)
    jolartion September 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti do it for the joy it brings becuase i'm a joyful girl.

    love it love it love it love it.

    expresses exactly how i feel.
    Tars05ozon August 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentmy theme song.
    elleceeon August 27, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti love this song, but i really dont know what it means...can i get some help
    neonayloron October 16, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love the whole song, but the second verse in particular is just. So. It describes me, I can't believe how much I identify with it.
    spiralledon December 05, 2004   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain