The Canadian singer-songwriter who made it on to all of our teenage-angst playlists, Alanis Morissette is in the spotlight today.

Known for her particularly emotive mezzo-soprano voice, Alanis Morissette first emerged into the Canadian music scene with a couple of relatively successful dance-pop albums. However, it was only when she moved over to a more rock-oriented sound that she really began to put herself on the map.

Angst Queen

In fact, we can say this with a fair dose of confidence. Her first rock album Jagged Little Pill, released in 1995, was an enormous success, and she managed to flog over 33 million copies globally. She was even dubbed “Queen of Alt-Pop Angst” by Rolling Stone!

But the real star of the Jagged Pill-show was “Ironic”, the third single released from the album. It was this track that would really cement Alanis Morissette as a figure in our personal 90s Hall of Fame. “Ironic”, with lyrics that describe various ironic situations, was a HUGE success. It reached the number 1 spot in many countries and peaked at number 4 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also collected the Juno Award for Song of The Year! Not bad at all.

However, perhaps equally as (if not more!) successful as the song itself, was the accompanying music video. The video shows Morissette driving along a highway through a wintery landscape. Sounds pretty straight forward until you realise that Alanis is also playing the three passengers in the car too! The video was Grammy nominated, and also won three MTV Video Music Awards of which it was nominated for six! It’s certainly a video that will go down in history, and one that we’d definitely recommend giving a watch below.

But Is It Ironic?

The song generated some heated (and hilarious) conversation about whether or not “Ironic” is actually ironic! The Oxford English Dictionary definition of ironic is “a figure of speech in which the intended meaning is the opposite of that expressed by the words used”. Unfortunately for Morissette, this shows “it’s like rain on your wedding day” to be not so ironic as she may have hoped! Some critics commented that the only thing ironic about the song is that it’s written by someone who doesn’t know the meaning of the word…

Thankfully, Morisette is not short of humour, and is able to laugh at herself too. A 2015 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden had her giving a performance of “Ironic”, but with a slight lyrical twist. She proudly and confidently sang the updated lyric, “it’s singing ‘Ironic’ when there are no ironies”, much to the entertainment of everyone watching. Fair play Alanis, fair play.

The truth is, we aren’t bothered whether the song is properly ironic or not, as it is truly an acoustic guitar banger. The instrument plays such a huge role in the song, especially in the introduction, and we couldn’t resist including it in our RSL Acoustic Guitar syllabus for Grade 4. Get this angsty-anthem into your rep, asap!