Alanis Morissette Looks at the Word "Ironic"

Who is Alanis Morissette?

She is a Canadian singer that is known mostly for her first CD "Jagged Little Pill". Here we are going to look at one her popular songs, "Ironic". 


But what does Ironic mean?

Ironic: Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.

Here are some very good examples from 
http://www.customerssuck.com/board/archive/index.php/t-1797.html

Luna08-13-2006, 02:55 AM

  • Driving to work over the past couple of weeks I've seen lots of bumper stickers. (Bumper stickers are things that you stick to the back end of your car.)
  • One said HANG UP AND DRIVE...the woman driving was on her cell/mobile phone.
  • A school bus ran a red light (yes, with kids) causing me to slam on my brakes and honk the horn. The sticker on the back said "how's my driving?" 
  • To run a red light means that you do not stop at the red light. 
  • To slam on the breaks means to brake but very strongly.
  • Big red posted signs in front of buildings that say "No smoking within 50 feet of any entrance or this posted sign" with smokers huddled around the sign. Huddled means grouped closely together

Click on the video below to listen to the song "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette. Scroll down for the full lyrics.

IRONIC by Alanis Morissette

An old man turned ninety-eight

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

And isn't it ironic... don't you think


It's like rain on your wedding day

It's a free ride when you've already paid

It's the good advice that you just didn't take

And who would've thought... it figures


Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly

He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye

He waited his whole damn life to take that flight

And as the plane crashed down he thought

"Well isn't this nice..."

And isn't it ironic... don't you think


It's like rain on your wedding day

It's a free ride when you've already paid

It's the good advice that you just didn't take

And who would've thought... it figures


Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you

When you think everything's okay and everything's going right

And life has a funny way of helping you out when

You think everything's gone wrong and everything blows up

In your face


A traffic jam when you're already late

A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife

It's meeting the man of my dreams

And then meeting his beautiful wife

And isn't it ironic...don't you think

A little too ironic...and, yeah, I really do think...


It's like rain on your wedding day

It's a free ride when you've already paid

It's the good advice that you just didn't take

Who would've thought... it figures


Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you

Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out

Helping you out

Phrasal Verbs

  • Alanis Morissette uses 4 Phrasal verbs in this song.

  • crashed down 
  • sneaking up
  • helping out 
  • blows up in your face

    Look back at the lyrics and see if you understand what they mean? Don't worry I will wait while you look. :) 

    Now, try to match the following explanations with the phrasal verbs.
  • to aid someone, especially in a difficult situation
  • if a plan, a deal or a situation goes very wrong and causes you harm or embarrassment
  • to move towards someone or somthing very quietly so that they do not see or hear you until you reach them 
  • to fall with a very loud noise 

    The answers are at the bottom of this page!
  • Expressions

    Here are some expressions or ways of saying things that Alanis Morissette uses in her song. If you already understand them GREAT if not...now you know. :)

    To turn ____ (an age...98 for example) When you get older you turn that age. For example my birthday is on the 22nd of November and in 2012 I turned 30.

    Death row is when you are sentenced to die. If you receive the death penalty you are then waiting to die...on dealth row. So in the song, a dealth row pardon is when you are excused and no longer need to die.

    Who is Mr. Play it Safe? When someone calls you Mr. or Mrs. Play it safe, it means that you are very causious and don't like to take risks.

    A funny way. Here funny refers to something that is strange or weird. So if you have a funny way of cooking something...it means that your way is different or strange.

    A Traffic Jam. This is when traffic is moving very slowly...if it is moving at all. You usually get stuck in traffic jams.

    Phrasal Verb Answers

    crashed down: to fall with a very loud noise

    sneaking up: to move towards someone or somthing very quietly so that they do not see or hear you until you reach them

    helping out: to aid someone, especially in a difficult situation 

    blows up in your face: if a plan, a deal or a situation goes very wrong and causes you harm or embarrassment


    I hope that you have learnt a lot from Alanis Morissette's song. It is fun to listen too and has many great expressions and phrasal verbs that you can try to incorporate into your daily vocabulary.

    Happy learning!
    Diana

    Alanis Morissette uses phrasal verbs...click here to listen to another song with phrasal verbs

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