Alanis Morissette- Ironic

2 Jun

I LOVE THE 90’s! I am thoroughly obsessed with 90’s music. I recently indulged myself with a 90’s music downloading binge—it was fantastic! I came across in my iTunes library an old favorite of mine: Ironic by Alanis Morissette. It might just be my favorite Alanis song. Then I started thinking, which can never be good: does Alanis know what irony is? I don’t think so. If she did, I doubt she would have entitled her song Ironic. None of the situations described in her lyrics are ironic. They are merely unfortunate coincidences. There is nothing ironic about rain on your wedding day or dying the day after you win the lottery—that’s just really unlucky. Situational irony (which is what Alanis was going for as she was describing situations) is if the actions taken have an exact opposite effect from what was intended. I think a funny example of situational irony is studying for psychology and wind up driving yourself crazy.

Anyway, watch to her video and see if you agree with me. It’s still a good song, but for obvious rhetorical reasons, I think I like Head Over Feet better.


11 Responses to “Alanis Morissette- Ironic”

  1. isoundmyyawp 3 June 2012 at 10:42 am #

    This. Song. Drives. Me. Crazy.

    I try to tell myself that she did it because then the entire song is ironic, since it’s called Ironic but nothing in the song is ironic. Either that, or irony is different in Canada.

  2. jparjets21 3 June 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    It may not be lyrically or grammatically correct, but this song makes me smile.

  3. jparjets21 5 June 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Forgot what irony was after listening to the song, Ironic. Please help…..

  4. Ciarrai 6 June 2012 at 8:12 pm #

    I still maintain that each and every situation in the song could be ironic if we had more information. The no smoking sign on her cigarette break? What if she was taking a break from putting up the signs? Or if she moved her wedding day from one date to another because she thought it was less likely to rain on that date? I simply assume that the is a rich backstory that validates the ironic label and enjoy the song.

    • mom305 21 June 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      I used to make up all these great back stories to the situations to justify the irony. 😉

  5. findingfurever2012 11 June 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    *Love*. I made sure to share it with my word nerd friends on Facebook. Well done!

  6. The Word Nerd 11 June 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    I also love the song (and 90s music in general), but the incorrect use of the word “ironic” always bothered me. I remember watching one of those VH1 “I Love the 90s” shows. When this song came up, someone tried to explain irony. His example went something like this: If you live in Seattle, where it rains all the time, and so you choose to get married in Phoenix, where it rarely rains, but on your wedding day it rains in Phoenix and not in Seattle, THAT would be ironic.

  7. christiana83 18 June 2012 at 4:05 am #

    We actually discussed this song back in one of my high school English classes, for exactly this reason. It’s sad to think that she has probably misled a huge portion of the population into thinking irony is something it’s not…

  8. mom305 21 June 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Love the song but I agree with your post. Good song to singalong with anyways. Long live the music of the 90’s.

  9. Chris Biscuits 28 June 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Ah, the irony. It’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is one specific spoon…

    May I draw your attention to this fellow if you haven’t seen him before; Irish comedian chap by the name of Ed Byrne.

    Great blog, by the way!


  1. Fingernails Down a Chalkboard « Grey House Journal - 22 June 2012

    […] She uses contemporary examples to illustrate language points such as Alanis Morisette’s Ironic. In one post she used comics to illustrate […]

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