Us people are just poems
We're ninety percent metaphor
With a leanness of meaning
Approaching hyper-distillation
And once upon a time
We were moonshine
Rushing down the throat of a giraffe
Yes, rushing down the long hallway
Despite what the p.a. announcement says
Yes, rushing down the long hall
Down the long stairs
In a building so tall
That it will always be there
Yes, it's part of a pair
There on the bow of Noah's ark
The most prestigious couple
Just kickin' back parked
Against a perfectly blue sky
On a morning beatific
In its Indian summer breeze
On the day that America
Fell to its knees
After strutting around for a century
Without saying thank you
Or please

And the shock was subsonic
And the smoke was deafening
Between the setup and the punch line
Cause we were all on time for work that day
We all boarded that plane for to fly
And then while the fires were raging
We all climbed up on the window sill
And then we all held hands
And jumped into the sky

And every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
And then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
And the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
Looked more like war than anything I've seen so far
So far
So far
So fierce and ingenious
A poetic specter so far gone
That every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
Over 'oh my god' and 'this is unbelievable' and on and on
And I'll tell you what, while we're at it
You can keep the pentagon
Keep the propaganda
Keep each and every tv
That's been trying to convince me
To participate
In some prep school punk's plan to perpetuate retribution
Perpetuate retribution
Even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
Is still hanging in the air
And there's ash on our shoes
And there's ash in our hair
And there's a fine silt on every mantle
From hell's kitchen to Brooklyn
And the streets are full of stories
Sudden twists and near misses
And soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
With tales of narrowly averted disasters
And the whiskey is flowin'
Like never before
As all over the country
Folks just shake their heads
And pour

So here's a toast to all the folks that live in Palestine, Afghanistan,
Iraq, El Salvador

Here's a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
Under the stone cold gaze of Mt. Rushmore

Here's a toast to all those nurses and doctors
Who daily provide women with a choice
Who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City
Just to listen to a young woman's voice

Here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now
Awaiting the executioner's guillotine
Who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
To find peace in the form of a dream, peace in the form of a dream

Cause take away our PlayStations
And we are a third world nation
Under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
Who stole the oval office and that phony election
I mean
It don't take a weatherman
To look around and see the weather
Jeb said he'd deliver Florida, folks
And boy did he ever

And we hold these truths to be self evident:
Number one, George W. Bush is not president
Number two, America is not a true democracy
Number three, the media is not fooling me
Cause I am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
I've got no room for a lie so verbose
I'm looking out over my whole human family
And I'm raising my glass in a toast

Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels
May we vow to get off of this sauce
Shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
And find that train ticket we lost
Cause once upon a time the line followed the river
And peeked into all the backyards
And the laundry was waving
The graffiti was teasing us
From brick walls and bridges
We were rolling over ridges
Through valleys
Under stars
I dream of touring like Duke Ellington
In my own railroad car
I dream of waiting on the tall blond wooden benches
In a grand station aglow with grace
And then standing out on the platform
And feeling the air on my face

Give back the night its distant whistle
Give the darkness back its soul
Give the big oil companies the finger finally
And relearn how to rock-n-roll
Yes, the lessons are all around us and the truth is waiting there
So it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
And clear the air
Get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
Of someone else's desert
Put it back in its pants
And quit the hypocritical chants of
Freedom forever

Cause when one lone phone rang
In two thousand and one
At ten after nine
On nine one one
Which is the number we all called
When that lone phone rang right off the wall
Right off our desk and down the long hall
Down the long stairs
In a building so tall
That the whole world turned
Just to watch it fall

And while we're at it
Remember the first time around?
The bomb?
The Ryder truck?
The parking garage?
The princess that didn't even feel the pea?
Remember joking around in our apartment on Avenue D?

Can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
Following a fantastical reversal of the New York skyline?!

It was a joke
At the time
And that was just a few years ago
So let the record show
That the FBI was all over that case
That the plot was obvious and in everybody's face
And scoping that scene
Or is it KGB?
Committing countless crimes against humanity
With this kind of eventuality
As its excuse
For abuse after expensive abuse
And it didn't have a clue
Look, another window to see through
Way up here
On the hundredth and fourth floor
Another key
Another door
Ten percent literal
Ninety percent metaphor
Three thousand some poems disguised as people
On an almost too perfect day
Must be more than pawns
In some asshole's passion play
So now it's your job
And it's my job
To make it that way
To make sure they didn't die in vain
Baby listen
Hear the train?

Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Self Evident Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco


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Self Evident song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment

    Okay, so i don't understand why nobody really commented on what the song really means. I mean, why love it soo damn much, but not know not a single word of what she is saying? Yeah some of them are obvious.. but c'mon.. It's a songmeanings Site.. It's a great song, but man.. Let's show our dos

    boxofrainon November 11, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I just listened to the live version of this on So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter. this completely brilliant, Ani really needs to get more recognition for both her kick ass music and her honest to hell politics

    River Wolfon February 27, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    very good song, this is not just "yet another" ani difranco song.

    phaty4on March 22, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I listen to this so much. and I love it. and George W. Bush can fuck himself.

    precipitateon November 04, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song fucking kicks ass. ani rocks. damn government.

    bleedingmaskarahon March 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    The way she reads it is almost as amazing as her writing itself. Absolutely incredible. This was the first song I had ever heard from her and the second I did, I knew she was going to be my favorite artist.

    pyr0_princesson May 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is fucking incredible. The way she sings, her rhythm. It's insane. She's incredible. The words. The flows. This is an anthem.

    -Katie. xoxo.

    Disposition___on January 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This song is FUCKING amazing! Ani, you are a genious. The lyrics, the sound...everything about it is lovely. It gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it.

    Yuyion April 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I downloaded some Ani DiFranco and just got around to listening to it. I played this song and the first lines caught me. I continued listening, absolutely entranced. When I hit the three evident truths I realized I found my new favorite song.

    Oubleion July 11, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    her views on the american government and 911 rally good song though I love how you can feel the passions while she "sings/speaks" thiss ong

    thatsjustcakeon March 12, 2007   Link

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