she went over to his apartment
clutching her decision
and he said, did you come here to tell me goodbye?
so she built a skyscraper of procrastination
and then she leaned out the twenty-fifth floor window
of her reply
and she felt like an actress
just reading her lines
when she finally said
yes. it's really goodbye this time
and far below was the blacktop
and the tiny toy cars
and it all fell so fast
and it all fell so far

and she said:
you are a miracle but that is not all
you are also a stiff drink and i am on call
you are a party and i am a school night
and i'm lookin' for my door key
but you are my porch light

and you'll never know, dear
just how much i loved you
you'll probably think this was
just my big excuse
but i stand committed
to a love that came before you
and the fact that i adore you
is but one of my truths

what of the mother
whose house is in flames
and both of her children
are in their beds crying
and she loves them both
with the whole of her heart
but she knows she can only
carry one at a time?
she's choking on the smoke
of unthinkable choices
she is haunted by the voices
of so many desires
she's bent over from the business
of begging forgiveness
while frantically running around
putting out fires

but then what kind of scale
compares the weight of two beauties
the gravity of duties
or the ground speed of joy?
tell me what kind of gauge
can quantify elation?
what kind of equation
could i possibly employ?
and you'll never know, dear
just how much i loved you
you probably think this was
just my big excuse
but i stand committed
to a love that came before you
and the fact that i adore you
is just one of my truths

so i
i'm goin' home
to please the one i so love pleasing
and i don't expect
he'll have much sympathy for my grieving
but i guess that this is the price
that we pay for the privilege
of living for even a day
in a world with so many things
worth believing
in


Lyrics submitted by aur0ra

School Night Lyrics as written by Ani Difranco

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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School Night song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    i love this part: "you are a miracle but that is not all you are also a stiff drink and i am on call you are a party and i am a school night and i'm looking for my door key but you are my porch light"

    ani writes fantastically. she's a poet and the way she sings only adds to this song's perfection.

    sandcastleon December 01, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this is such a tired subject (having to choose between two loves) but ani has captured this with such delicacy and accuracy and just plain beauty that i couldnt help but cry when i first heard this song . . .

    thesunalsoriseson May 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song makes me tear up every time i hear it... "so she built a skyscraper of procrastination and then she leaned out the twenty-fifth floor window of her reply" -- that's amazing! it just makes so much sense... so beautiful.. i love it.

    MelissaGirlon August 20, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    to me its just like my relationship with my boyfriend, he's everything that is desirable and good and fun but it seems like we're just not supposed to be together. Like the other love she is referring to is herself and to be true to herself she can't be true to him, that's the dilemma I'm in anyways and this song is sooooo cathartic for the feelings I have!

    faceless_dollon March 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song, like "you had time," is about ani's choice between a lover and her life as a touring musician.

    _whatallisniceon April 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Ani difranco just blows me away with her lyrics, she really has so much talent.

    KAS2398on June 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    An absolutely gorgeous song. A theme that seems to appear in a lot of Ani's music seems to be that of choices and trying to find a balance between things. She makes the lyrics: "you are a miracle but that is not all you are also a stiff drink and i am on call you are a party and i am a school night and i'm looking for my door key but you are my porch light" sound anything but trite and insipid. It all seems to be about having to make a decision to let go of something or someone and finding the balance between what one wants and actually needs.

    fierceflawlesson June 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    these lyrics are brilliant. they're beaituiful..

    end.

    x_soulrebel_xon February 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I think this song is not just about the choice between two lovers, but about all of the excruciating choices we have to make in our lives, eg. the 'Sophie's Choice' type of decision about which child to save, and how some choices are just impossible to make;

    "What kind of scale ompares the weight of two beauties the gravity of duties or the ground speed of joy? tell me what kind of gauge can quantify elation? what kind of equation could i possibly employ?"

    She finishes by saying that having to choose between things/people you love is an unfortunate reality of loving so much.

    plonkehon June 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    someone mentioned above that this is about her choosing between a lover and her music and that seems to fit best with the lyrics.

    Ani_Smithon June 17, 2006   Link

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