The veteran musician continues to evolve and shares a refreshing new attitude in her three-song set

Ani Difranco on May 10/2021


  • Ani Difranco: Finer, Stronger, Wiser
  • LIVE SHOW: A 3-song set for NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) series (15 mins)
  • Tiny Desk Set List
  • LYRIC: Revolutionary Love

Click on the arrow above to hear DiFranco’s 15-minute set for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series. The recent performance presents an assured and evolving musician.


Ani DiFranco embraces a new attitude

A twenty two year-old Ani DiFranco splashed down at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in 1992 wowing the masses as only an astonishing and prodigious talent can. Small in stature, big in voice, sporting a shaved head and tattoos, her folk-punk songs blurted urgent political and personal missives. Her speedy, staccato guitar lines bolstered quickly sung lyrics friendly to her left-of-centre, pro-feminist and queer fan base.

And she had a message for the music industry too: you don’t own me. Eschewing major label overtures, DiFranco started Righteous Babe Records when she was 19. The successful business has issued each of her 22 albums to date including the latest – Revolutionary Love – plus those of a small cadre of fellow artists.


The cover of her 1990 debut album

The arc of her 30-year career has seen DiFranco mature into an increasingly sophisticated and aware musician. At the same time she’s earned her place in the pantheon of folk protest stalwarts like Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips and Billy Bragg all of whom she has performed and recorded with.

DiFranco’s latest collection was released at the end of January and she’s slated to start performing again in June. The collection marks a change in attitude. Kurated will have a look at the album in an upcoming column.

In the meantime, here’s her lovely three-song set for the Tiny Desk (Home) Concert. The surprising performance presents a finer, stronger and wiser DiFranco. In its review of Revolutionary Love, The New Yorker magazine notes:

“Inspired by “See No Stranger,” a book by the Sikh-American activist and lawyer Valarie Kaur, DiFranco … endorses love and compassion as radical tools to process rage, grief, and tumult. Robust melodies, padded with streaks of soul and jazz that represent some of DiFranco’s fullest productions yet, prop up a challenging attempt at peace and healing.”

The lyric sample below offers a look at her new approach to old problems.

The Tiny Desk Set List

  • Everest – from 1999’s album Up, Up, Up, Up, Up, Up
  • Not A Pretty Girl – the title track from her sixth album released in 1995
  • Revolutionary Love

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Stay tuned and enjoy!

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22 May 2021


Lyric Excerpt

Revolutionary Love

by Ani DiFranco

I will tend my anger
I will tend my grief
I will achieve safety
I will find relief
I’ll show myself mercy
I’ll show my self-respect
I’ll decide when I’m ready
To forgive but not forget
I will ask you questions
I will try to understand
And if you give me your story
I will hold it in my hands

Yes, I will bring the love
The revolutionary love
I will bring the love
The revolutionary love
I will bring the love
The revolutionary love
The revolutionary love

And even if you hurt me
I will not shut down
No, you can’t make me hate you
And carry that hate around
I will see no stranger
Only parts of myself, I don’t yet know
I’ll see right through evil
To a wound, too scared to show
I have the power to stay open
I have the power to be
The one that I’ve been waiting for
The one who sets me free