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Alanis Morissette - Ironic - Lyrics Meaning

"Ironic," from Alanis Morissette's 1995 album Jagged Little Pill, was released as a single in 1996. Though it was only the fourth single off the album, it experienced a great deal of commercial and critical success. "Ironic" was Morissette's second number one hit on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and also climbed to number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the highest place any of the artist's singles every reached on the chart. Despite its success, however, "Ironic" was the subject of controversy and criticism, as many accused Morissette of using the term "ironic" improperly. Many of the lines, such as "An old man turned ninety-eight / He won the lottery and died the next day," simply describe bad luck. The only truly successful instance of irony that appears in the song can be found in the story of a man referred to only as "Mr. Play-It-Safe." The man is terrified of flying and on the day that he finally overcomes his fear, the plane crashes, prompting him to think "Well, isn't this nice?" Though the terminology of the song is not technically correct, the message is still conveyed clearly: life sometimes has a strange way of teaching us lessons, but the lessons will always make us stronger.

Meanings of other songs by Alanis Morissette:
8 Easy Steps
You Oughta Know

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