I was born to two immigrants
Who knew why they were here
They were happy to pay taxes
For the schools and roads
Happy to be here
They took it seriously
Just like a job of citizenry
My mother went campaigning door to door
And holding to her hand was me
Cause I was just a girl in a room full of women
Licking stamps and laughing
I remember the feeling of community blooming
Of democracy happening

But even though my parents were cool
I had to teach myself to see
All that stuff that got lost
On its way to church
All that stuff that got lost
On its way to school
All that stuff that got lost
On its way to the house of my family
But something was not lost on me

Teach myself to see each of us
Through the limbs of forgiveness
Like we're stuck with each other, god forbid
Teach myself to smile
And stop and talk to whole other color kids
Teach myself to be new in an instant like the truth
Is accessible at any time
Teach myself its never ever one or the other
It's a paradox in every paradigm

Overall
In my chest pocket was my house key
And my quarter to buy lunch
And on that big yellow bus
With my sign that said sucker
And I was off to the days suckering punch
But there are so many artists
Who would fall into magnet school
And I remember thinking that the long hair lady
Who called herself a poet was particularly cool
Someone stood up and gestured to a forest of options
And I found my path to joy through those trees
But I had to teach myself to keep coming back
To the view from a field from right in the middle of my peace

Oh yes
I was just a girl in a room
Full of women licking stamps and laughing
I remember the feeling of community brewing
Of democracy happening
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Paradigm Lyrics

Ani Difranco – Paradigm Lyrics