Desert Island MP3s #9

Part of the wildly popular DIMP3s series


Alanis Morissette – Ironic

Isn’t it ironic, that it’s taken me until the 9th installment of this series where I link to youtube every time, to realise I can embed them? Well isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?

This is another tune that’s just great to belt out in a car: the official music video is literally just that. Ironically enough, I get plenty of opportunities to do just that as the radio station I keep on in the car loves this song and has it in heavy rotation. And why wouldn’t they, it’s probably one of the catchiest songs to come out of the early 2000s.

It would be trite to point out (as so many already have) that the examples of irony the song gives are not very good, and in fact you can easily argue that none of them are irony at all.

I will refrain also from pointing out that a song about irony that doesn’t have any irony is, itself, pretty ironic. Except I just did, so it’s ironic that by trying not to I did and what level of irony are we even on right now?

Stepping back from that brink, personally I think that irony needs a bit of context before you can appreciate it. The first line is about a 98 year old man who wins the lottery and dies the next day. Now, that’s unfortunate, yes, but it isn’t exactly ironic because someone that old dying isn’t unexpected. If the person had instead been set up as poor rather than old then it would have been ironic that they finally got wealth, only to not benefit from it.

Whoops, ironically I said I wouldn’t do that “is it irony” breakdown. I think Alanis Morrisette is Canadian, maybe they do irony differently over there anyway.

Still, regardless of its sins against English, this song has had a lasting impact. Whenever anyone talks about irony, someone else- regardless of appropriateness- will pipe up with “like rain on a wedding day?”.

Ironically, it’s usually me.


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