Alanis Morissette: Ironic Song Lyrics
"Ironic" by Alanis Morissete
The lyrics for "Ironic" are partially re-printed here for your consideration.
An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
Not ironic. Bloody unlucky, but there's no irony. However, we'll grudgingly give this one a "Cosmic Irony" tag. This example explores the "double-whammy" effect of being both too old to really use the money effectively for his own pleasure or comfort, and then actually dying. Doesn't change anything, but we'll give her a couple of marks for that.
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
I have no idea where she was even going with this one. Would a white fly have not
been ironic? Bizarre and absolutely not ironic. Can only assume she was in a rush to finish the song.
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
No irony here again. Not even going to give this one a "Cosmic Irony" tag because it's so banal.
It's like rain on your wedding day
What on earth? If she had said "in the desert, where it hasn't rained in 40 years" we might give it a "cosmic irony" tag, but even then - this is not ironic.
It's a free ride when you've already paid
Nope - this is just a pain in the arse.
It's the good advice that you just didn't take
Oooh, totally non-specific. Can't even begin to rate this one...
Who would've thought ... it figures
Exactly!! This pretty much sums up the reason she's got it all wrong, the apparent belief that irony is used to describe situations where you're "damned if you do, damned if you don't".
Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
'Well isn't this nice...'
Just a nasty coincidence. I don't even want to give this one a "cosmic irony" tag because it's so vacuous.
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
Ah-hah! The nub of the matter. The confusion appears to be that this song should have actually been titled "Fate" - because that's what she's describing. And it's not a bad "poetic" description of fate, either, I quite like it. But it's not irony. It just isn't.
It's a traffic jam when you're already late
Pisser. Not ironic.
It's a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
Huh? Not ironic.
It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
What? Where the hell would you find ten thousand spoons? OK, sorry, just being a dick there. Not ironic.
It's meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
Oh dear God...I give up, I really do.
And isn't it ironic... don't you think