Ironic (3:49)

Cover of Jagged Little Pill

From Jagged Little Pill and 48 other releases

“Ironic” is a song written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard and produced by Ballard for Morissette’s third album Jagged Little Pill (1995). It was released as the album’s fourth single in 1996.

Musically, the song is a glossy take on a basic grunge music format with delicate, sparsely-instrumented verses alternating with loud, aggressive chorus sections. Lyrically, it comprises a series of vignettes describing situations that end with the question “Isn’t it ironic?”

Because “Ironic” was Morissette’s first single to be given a commercial release in the United States, it was eligible to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and reached number four. As of 2008, it was her highest-peaking single in the US. “Ironic” became Morissette’s third number-one hit on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart and her first on the Top 40 Mainstream chart and received frequent rotation on Adult Top 40 radio stations. It reached the Top Ten in Germany and peaked just outside the Top Ten in the United Kingdom, becoming Morissette’s first top twenty hit there.

“Ironic”, which contains a reference to a plane crash (…”and as the plane crashed down, he thought, ‘well, isn’t this nice?’”), was on the list of songs deemed inappropriate by Clear Channel following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and subsequently left off the set list during her 2002 tour.


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