Alanis Morissette Says She Didn’t Really Like Ironic

by : Emily Brown on : 11 Jul 2020 16:28
Alanis Morissette Says She Didn't Really Like IronicAlanis Morissette Says She Didn't Really Like IronicShutterstock/Alanis Morisette/YouTube

Ironically, Ironic singer Alanis Morissette has admitted she didn’t really like the hit song Ironic. Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?


The song debuted in 1996 and went on to peak at number four in the charts in March of that year, making it the singer’s highest-ever performing release.

Even if they don’t know the woman behind the song, many people know the iconic line that repeats numerous times throughout the tune and has already made an appearance in this article: ‘Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?’

In spite of the song’s success, Morissette has revealed that she was actually never keen on it, telling Rolling Stone Music Now she ‘didn’t even want it on the record’.


Morissette spoke about Ironic during an interview in which she discussed her powerful new album, Such Pretty Forks in the Road, explaining how the song she claimed not to like came to be on her Jagged Little Pill album.

She said:

I remember a lot of people going, ‘Please please, please.’ So I said, ‘OK.’ That was one of the first songs we wrote; almost like a demo to get our whistles wet.

But people wound up really liking the melody, and I wasn’t that precious about it. And I came to realise later that perhaps I should have been.

Though the song became a hit, it has also been the source of almost 25 years worth of ‘shaming’, with many people teasing Morissette for the examples of irony present in the song and some arguing that they weren’t actually irony at all.

The first verse, for example, reads:

An old man turned 98, he won the lottery and died the next day, it’s a black fly in your Chardonnay, it’s a death row pardon two minutes too late.


Morissette was teased about the lyrics in Jagged Little Pill the musical, as she explained Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody ‘nailed’ the joke by having a character say: ‘That’s not irony. That’s just, like, sh*tty.’

Discussing the unfavourable response she had from some people, Morissette said:

I guess one of the things that is the scariest for us in terms of our collective shame is being [seen as] stupid or uneducated or ignorant. I can embrace, ‘I’m stupid,’ I can embrace that I’m really brilliant. It just depends on when you catch me!

While Ironic may not have been her first choice for the album, the singer made the right call by allowing it to be included. It might be the source of some teasing, but it also gave the world something to sing whenever something ironic happens.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Music, Alanis Morissette, Ironic, Irony, Jagged Little Pill, Now, Such Pretty Forks in the Road


Rolling Stone
  1. Rolling Stone

    Alanis Morissette Settles the Whole ‘Ironic’ Thing, Once and For All