Ani Difranco - School Night Lyrics

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

Other Lyrics by Artist

Rand Lyrics

Ani Difranco School Night Comments
  1. Chris Williams

    That one track that speaks so many volumes.......

    If I need a check on rage......
    This is it.

  2. theblueangel28

    how the hell can anybody write songs like this??????

  3. Chris Williams


  4. Ridire

    What instrument is that from 3:58? Driving me nuts :D

    Phoebe Ponton

    I think it’s an oboe or clarinet, but I’m not entirely sure

  5. waydownheknows

    a# f# a# d# f# c for anyone out there who's also waited years to see how this song is tuned. :)

  6. maryan desormeaux

    lufe M🤔

  7. Jessica R

    Im sorry

  8. Jessica R

    More stress than that puke Lil fuk blonde bastard will ever see

  9. Jessica R

    Bleeding FUKING fingers

  10. Jessica R

    Your tears and sweat

  11. Jessica R

    Your bleeding

  12. Jessica R

    Your music is your heart

  13. Capocotta Jammers

    a deeply beautiful song, she's quite a courageous writer to able to not only put on paper such profound and intimate truths but to share them with the world...for our disillusionment

  14. Global Nomad

    I love how the video of this beautiful and touching song is simply black lyrics flirting with a blank page.  I would love to know how 2 do this.  Brilliant and you are my porch light Ani.

  15. Michael Amery

    Such power

  16. Carmen Abate

    @justajumpinggypsygirl i feel ya. exact same situation here so it seems. i too want too split in two

    Carmen Abate

    i too want to*

  17. Ryan Kerouac

    this song haunts my lost mind

    Yvette Schlesner

    Mine too.

    Chris Williams

    No mind is lost.....
    Just misplaced like love, loyalty, or keys ......

  18. Geo. H.

    As David Letterman often said there is no off position on the genius switch!
    Does the genius hurt Ani? Is there a lot of pressure involved? I've often said that I'm a genius, just not a very smart one. And, it's true, my genius is a bully. It pokes me in the chest, and when I look, it flips me in the nose! God forbid I turn my back on it, wedgie time! And the emotional abuse OMG ! ! !
    How do you do it? Did you trick your genius? Blackmail? Do you have something on it, so it leaves you alone? I can't turn it off, and I'm unable to utilize it, it's driving me crazy, it's driving me nuts. Hell, I'm close enough to walk, hell if I fell down my head would land in nuts! OH YEAH PLEASE double entendre the shit outta that! So, on a less serious note Ani, I'm a pretty good percussionist, and I'm single. send me a reply. I'm sorta good looking but that just my opinion. And, I'm a crippled genius! So, what do I know? disclaimer: (I'm not crippled, my genius is) OK?, OK!

  19. Meredith Unger

    Did anyone else always think the "one [she] so loves pleasing" is her guitar? Her music, her lyrics, her art, her home base? The "gravity of duties" always struck me as her job as a musician, constantly writing and producing and performing for her audience, as she has so diligently and ceaselessly done for so many years. The "ground speed of joy" was her long-time relationship. This record came out just two years before her official separation and divorce from Goat Boy, her sound guy. I always thought it was her ode to him, to how in love with him she was, how he elated her so, but that their relationship was impeding her first true love -- her art. So she, the mother, was forced to carry one of her children first through the smoke of unthinkable choices, and she chose her art.
    Man, she is an astounding poet, lyricist, musician, artist. A true Wonder of the World to be treasured til the end of time.

    Raven Pittman

    @Meredith Unger Such a beautiful interpritation

    Blessed Ann Lifted

    Meredith Unger
    Wow! one of the most beautiful interpretations of this song I've heard. Elegantly written Meredith.

  20. Nelynda Fetsch

    "What kind of scale compares the weight of two beauties?
    The gravity of duty or
    The ground speed of joy?" Another brilliant Aniism

  21. urmenior

    I just discovered Ani. I haven't felt so happy about finding a musician for a long time.

  22. Violet Deliriums

    Ani seems to like it when you notice her mistakes though! I think she does them on purpose sometimes just to show us that it's ok. :)

  23. justajumpingypsygirl

    Me too. I feel like losing the one I am committed to would be like losing an arm. Yet when I talk to the other one on the phone I subconciously pick up a flower and put it in my hair. I don't even realize I'm doing it until I find the petals in my hair half an hour later. This has happened multiple times. Sigh, I wish i could split myself in two.

    Eve Jepsen

    Stop talking to the other man, and, in time, you will get over him. You're not being fair to either of them, or yourself. You can't split yourself in two, so you either sever your arm off and choose the new man or cut him out and choose your husband.

  24. wapenstilstandsonder

    telegaleria butt jeans addvert >_< ahahahahah

  25. Blume257

    I just love all to songs of her.. shes the best!!!

  26. MrJoeCage

    i had lost a love and was running to take my mind off of it. This song came on my ipod and it literally took my legs from under me. for 5 minutes all i could do was kneel on the shoulder and cry. poignant, moving stuff.

  27. Kusuma Prabhakara

    This song is just so damn good. I never bought this album but I seriously want to cry every time I hear this.

  28. Olivia Rodriguez

    @Lastpaw Actually, I did. So read it again. And get some counselling or something so you can stop harassing people on YouTube over stupid crap to make yourself feel tough.

  29. Olivia Rodriguez

    @Lastpaw Are you serious? I have the CD. Why would I sit on YouTube just listening to a song, with my eyes closed? That's stupid. I was looking for a video with this song to show my friend and introduce her to Ani, and the lyrics distract from the weight of the song if you're listening to it for the first time. So yeah... I'll just close my eyes... WTF.

  30. lunarlove77

    absolutely stunning.

  31. Olivia Rodriguez

    Undoubtedly one of her best songs. In my top 3 favorites.
    I just think that the text in this video takes away from the song. It'd be nice to be able to find this song on here with images or something. The text is hard to ignore and distracts from her singing and playing. :(

  32. lunarlove77

    just magick. pure . magick.

  33. turbobugwoman

    beautifully done. beautiful.

  34. chrispiechoc

    "The fact that I adore you is just one of my truths..."

  35. Megara

    I love her lyrics. She's such an amazing poet and musician!

  36. vellerb

    hey, thanks (and to all of you for the comments). think i could've done a lot better work, especially toward the end doesn't feel quite right, but still thanks a lot for not noticing the mistakes

  37. vellerb

    now I can see what you mean... definitely not on purpose, didn't even occure, but certainly could have been as it makes sense to me too.. on a personal life-like level, unfortunately. hm.

  38. vivianmari

    this must be her saddest song, its totally heartbreaking

  39. sisifo37

    de lo mejor de Anita junto con dilate, joyfulgirl, you had time... bueno de las baladas luego tiene canciones más inteligentes. Excelente toda ella

  40. Wower

    she has the most amazing way of describing her feelings:-So she built a skyscraper of procrastination...she leaned out the twenty-fifth floor window
    --...choking on the smoke of unthinkable choices...haunted by the voices of so many desires,...bent over ..begging forgiveness,While ...running ...putting out fires

    Every song since the early 90's has so much, except I haven't heard much of RLY, after a few listens, nothing has stuck out. If anyone has a fav on there let me know.

  41. vellerb

    ..and I know about the role being kept in the dark. So for a while now, I hate this song.

  42. myporchlight

    this is one of my favorite ani songs.

  43. MrJoeCage

    this is a great song.

  44. jojo gatismo

    lil' choked up are we?

  45. MMAniac76

    While she tells a painful story, the emotions are VERY positive and mature. Just amazing...

  46. Rachel Stone

    Everytime I listen to it, it gets more and more beautiful.

  47. kekoaT

    no i understand... many of ani's best album's have a continuity that is lacking in R/R

  48. JustInCase

    You sure pegged it...truly haunting

  49. ravermuse

    how can you say R/R is her weakest!?
    i mean,it is great album,
    and i love it!
    and also agree with that it contains some of
    her most amazing songs;)

  50. Robert Schrader

    It's funny--in a lot of ways, R/R is Ani's weakest album, but it contains some of her most amazing song: School Night, Marrow, So What, et al.

  51. Cassie Glock

    this is the ultimate ani song. it haunts me so, but i truly love it.