The Story
Ani DiFranco 1990

I would have returned your greeting 
if it weren't for the way you were looking at me. 
This street is not a market and I am not a commodity. 
Don't you find it sad that we can't even say hello. 
'Cause you're a man and I'm a woman 
and the sun is getting low. 
There are some places that I can't go as a woman. 
as a woman can't go there 
and as a person I don't care. 
I don't go for the "Hey baby, what's your name?" 
And I'd alone thank you just the same.

I am up again against the skin of my guitar 
in the window of my life, 
looking out through the bars. 
I am sounding out the silence, 
avoiding all the words. 
I'm afraid I've said too much. 
I'm afraid of who has heard me.

My father, he told me the story and it was true for his time, 
but now the story's different. 
Maybe I should tell him mine. 
All the girls line up here. 
All the boys on the other side. 
I see your ranks are advancing. 
I see mine are left behind. 
I am up again against the skin of my guitar 
in the window of my life, 
looking out through the bars. 
I am sounding out the silence, 
avoiding all the words.

I'm afraid I can never say enough. 
I'm afraid no one has heard me. 
And despite all the balls that I've been thrown and forced to drop 
on the social totem pole, 
I'm preciously close to the top. 
They put you in your place and they tell you to behave, 
but no one can be free until we're all on even grade. 
And I would have returned your greeting 
if it weren't for the way you were looking at me.
Ani DiFranco