Tiptoeing through the used condoms
Strewn on the piers of the westside highway
Sunset behind the skyline of Jersey
Walking toward the water

With a fetus holding court in my gut
My body hijacked
My tits swollen and sore
The river has more colors at sunset

Than my sock drawer ever dreamed of
I could wake up screaming sometimes
But I don't
I could step off the end of this pier

But I got shit to do
And an appointment on Tuesday
To shed uninvited blood and tissue
I'll miss you

I say to the water, to the son or daughter
I thought better of
I could fall in love with Jersey at sunset
But I leave the view to the rats

And tiptoe

Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

Tiptoe Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco


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Tiptoe song meanings
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  • 0
    General Comment

    This is a beautiful poem about leaving something you love behind because you can't take the memories. I believe this poem is about a woman who lives in Jersey, was raped in Jersey, and will be having an abortion in Jersey. I think she needs to leave the city bcause the memories of the rape and the guilt of the abortion is too fresh in her mind. in a way, this peom really captures the feeling of the helplessness after a rape and the need to blame it on yourself.

    spydermunkie101on June 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I belie ve this is a pro-choice song

    raventime22on June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Yeah, I don't think it's necessarily bout being raped but more of Pro-Choice because of the whole "a fetus holding court in my gut" and being able to chose whether or not to keep the baby. None the less, tis great.

    allYOUdespiseon June 27, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I don't believe that this song has anything to do with rape. It's a pro-choice song that's for sure, but I would also venture to guess it is about her own personal experence with abortion. "and i've an appointment on tuesday to shed uninvited blood and tissue" I would guess that this poem is very much related to Lost Woman Song...which also seems to recount a personal experence. And from my personal experence i can tell you that you can look across the Hudson from the West Side Highway in NYC and see the skyline of New Jersey. I always think of this poem when I'm there.

    fallnislikethison January 14, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Ani DiFranco is a fucking paradox. She has sang NUMEROUS anti-war, anti-bloodshed, anti-killing, blah blah, but here she is, sure ready and willing to sing about abortion (legalized murder). I have never liked Ani and this song just solidifies it.

    himtopiaon January 28, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    himtopia, i'm sure i don't need to tell you that that is your own opinion about abortion and it is clearly not the same one that ani holds.

    i think the "uninvited blood and tissue" comment might make people think that it's about rape, but i took it to mean that the child was just unplanned. it seems if she were raped, there would be more references to it.

    infanitygirlon January 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Agreed, I don't think it's got too much with rape but I guess there's no harm in reading it into it.

    I don't want this to turn into a Pro/Anti debate coz everybody knows it's not the place for it...so I'm going to keep my mouth shut on himtopia's comment, only to say that I don't agree with them.

    Booyackaon May 20, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    to me this song is about someone running after an abortion. i dont think its rape. its about a woman saying goodbye to the thing that was growing inside her but letting go and saying 'hey, i survived it' and leaving the view to the rats and tiptoeing back.
    also, i love the sound of it, not thinking about the words.

    xjenixon June 24, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree that this is most definatlely a pro-choice song. It's about the freedom to chose what happens to your body. But it is also about the emotional trauma that one goes through when they decide to terminate a pregnancy, and surviving that trauma. "I could wake up screaming sometimes, but I don't" and "I could step off the end of this pier, but I've got shit to do..." speak volumes to how I felt when I made that decision. I agree that this is not the place to debate the pro-choice/pro-life contoversy. However, being a woman who had this experience I must quote lost woman song by saying Himtopia - have you led "a life free of mistakes"? Keep bashing...Reality will not break.

    BoomBoomKittion August 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    "Himtopia" is obviously a reference to his living in his own patriarichal fantasy-world. And what he's just said is that same old tired argument that's been debunked a thousand times. No place for that here.

    Ani is undoubtedly pro-choice. She has a "Choice" section in the "action" section of her site, she attends events like the March for Women's Lives often, and she has had an abortion. In this poem, she acknowledges that her decision was painful and regretted. It's a beautiful look into her mind.

    Saynaon December 29, 2006   Link

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