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Tracks from the Past: Jagged Little Pill

BY DI ARTS STAFF | JULY 30, 2009 7:11 AM

Alanis Morissette
Jagged Little Pill
(1995)

With fear of being crass, along with the 9/11 attacks, the horrific and sudden death of JFK Jr., and the fearful realization of hitting puberty, anyone who’s any 20-something in Middle America knows what they were doing when they first heard “Ironic,” by Alanis Morissette. Or, at the very least, realized they had memorized the lyrics.

For me it was sitting in the back of a friend’s van sometime in second grade and realized Mr. Play It Safe was about to die. Those horrific couple lines from a magnificent 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, can safely reside on plenty of charts for years to come.

But the ironic little tidbit about Morissette’s hit is that nothing in the song is actually, AP stylistically ironic. Rain on your wedding day? Coincidence. The free ride that you didn’t take isn’t ironic, but just bad intuition. That man of your dreams and his beautiful wife? Wicked downer, but definitely not ironic.

Fourteen years after its release, and the lines are still embedded into our brains, along with “Hand in My Pocket” and “I’m a Bitch, I’m a Lover.” And props to Alanis for giving us all a little vocabulary lesson.


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