When Alanis Morissette penned her hit single 'Ironic' in 1996, she had no idea that it would unleash a decades-long debate on the definition of irony. The Grammy-winning singer joined HuffPost Live to discuss her music, and revealed why she ended up ultimately being embarrassed by 'Ironic.'
The lyrics mention a number of supposedly ironic situations, including rainy weather on a wedding day and a death row pardon that comes too late. Though the song received backlash initially, Morissette explained that the changing definition of irony has softened some critics' response to the song.
"[With] the old-school definition of ironic, I think it would definitely not be filled with ironies," she said to host Ricky Camilleri. "The new-school Webster definition, I've had people come up to me showing me the dictionary saying, 'see, it is ironic!'"
Even though some fans support her examples of irony in the song, the reaction to her lyrics made her feel ashamed. "There are a lot of people that have shame around being stupid, and I did too. It was embarrassing to have the planet basically say, 'you're a dumba--' for your malapropism."
She added, "We weren't being precious about it--honestly I thought 10 people would hear that song. I didn't think the whole planet would be putting it under such scrutiny so, I wasn't really being precious about it."
"Although there are times where I'm grammatically very intense and very perfectionistic, there are other times where clearly I don't care and I make up words and I play with words linguistically like they're paint."
But ultimately, Morissette said that she still enjoys the song. "And at the same time, it is ironic that a song called 'Ironic' isn't filled with ironies. And I love that song, and I love that era."