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Top 10 Alanis Morissette Lyrics


Alanis Morissette is one of the most powerful and arresting lyricists in pop music. This is a selection of her best.

1. "Ironic" - 1996

Alanis Morissette
Tim Roney/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Despite discussions of whether multiple scenarios discussed in "Ironic" are truly examples of the literary term irony, it remains perhaps the most clever of Alanis Morissette's lyrical creations. Below is simply one of the scenarios laid out in the song.

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..."

Watch Video

2. "You Oughta Know" - 1995

Few debut pop singles have ever had the visceral impact of the bile unleashed in "You Oughta Know" against a former lover.

And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me
You'd hold me until you died
Till you died, but you're still alive

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3. "Thank U" - 1998

"Thank U" was written in response to a trip Alanis Morissette took to India. The song is filled with verbal expressions of gratitude.

How about me not blaming you for everything
How about me enjoying the moment for once
How about how good it feels to finally forgive you
How about grieving it all one at a time

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4. "All I Really Want" - 1995

This was one of the first songs written for Alanis Morissette's breakthrough album Jagged Litle Pill. It is filled with self-deprecation just barely masking a sense of bitterness.

Do I stress you out?
My sweater is on backwards and inside out
And you say how appropriate
I don't want to dissect everything today
I don't mean to pick you apart you see
But I can't help it
There I go jumping before the gunshot has gone off

5. "You Learn" - 1996

This song from the album Jagged Little Pill successfully points out that in every negative life event, significant learning is possible.

You grieve you learn, you choke you learn
You laugh you learn, you choose you learn
You pray you learn, you ask you learn
You live you learn

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6. "Hands Clean" - 2002

This lead single from the album Under Rug Swept is a depiction of a love affair an underage Alanis Morissette had with a record company executive.

Just make sure you don't tell on me especially to members of your family
We best keep this to ourselves and not tell any members of our inner posse
I wish I could tell the world cuz you're such a pretty thing when you're done up properly
I might want to marry you one day if you watch that weight and keep your firm body

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7. "Underneath" - 2008

This is the lead single for the album Flavors of Entanglement. The song reflects the need to change oneself before attempting to change the rest of the world.

Look at us form our cliques in our sandbox
Look at us being cruel kids with both our hearts blocked
Look at us turn away from all the rough spots
Look at dictatorship on my own block

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8. "Hand In My Pocket" - 1995

This hit from Jagged Little Pill demonstrates Alanis Morissette's own unique take on staying relaxed and focused in a maddening world.

What it all comes down to my friends
Is that everything's just fine fine fine
] I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is hailing a taxicab

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9. "Head Over Feet" - 1996

Alanis Morissette gets positively romantic here...an unusual twist of mood.

You are the bearer of unconditional things
You held your breath and the door for me
Thanks for your patience

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10. "Uninvited" - 1998

"Uninvited" was featured on the soundtrack of the film City of Angels. It was nominated for 3 Grammy Awards.

Like anyone would be
I am flattered by your fascination with me
Like any hot blooded woman
I have simply wanted an object to crave

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