Thursday, January 6

Musings on "Jagged Little Pill"

Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill" was the first album that I ever felt moved by and loved. It was released in 1995. I was in seventh grade, squarely in the middle of puberty and out-of-control hormones. Yesterday I heard "Hand In My Pocket" on the radio and the memories of this album came flooding back. Let me share them with you.

I asked for and received the album for Christmas in 1995. I have no idea where I heard about Alanis Morissette or why I wanted this music at the time. Maybe I'd heard her first single on the radio? Don't know. Anyway, Christmas of 1995 was spent with my Uncle Bob and Aunt Kathy in their (super cold) South Dakota home. I remember I got the album that Christmas for two reasons: 1) I took a photo of all my Christmas loot, and I can clearly picture the album cover laid out on the carpet, along with a pair of fruit-patterned tights, among other things; and 2) I recall sitting in a room by myself, listening to the music over the stereo, when my Uncle Bob walked into the room during "Hand In My Pocket." He entered the room just in time to catch the line "I'm brave but I'm chickenshit" and he totally called me on it. "Did she just say 'chickenshit'?" he asked, laughing. My cheeks burned bright red from embarrassment to think that someone in my family heard me listening to something that had a cuss word in it! What if Bob told my mom?!? Shit! I mean, shoot!

For reasons I cannot recall, my best friend Emily and I decided to lip-synch to "You Oughta Know." But it wasn't just any lip-synching. We did that thing where we painted a nose and eyes on our chins, then flipped upside down and covered our real nose and eyes, creating a weird little face with an oddly large mouth. Then we performed the song for Emily's mom. Obviously. With such lyrics as "Would she go down on you in a theater?" and "Are you thinking of me when you f**k her?" I'm not sure why we WOULDN'T sing it for one of our mothers.

An example of upside-down singing for you. Nice, right?

Someone once pointed out to me that the last lyrics in "Hand In My Pocket" were "hailing a taxicab." Not sure why anyone thought this was worth mentioning, but for whatever reason, it stuck with me. Even now when I hear this song, I still think about that.

When I found out that the song "You Oughta Know" was probably written about Dave Coulier, I was shocked. SHOCKED. Uncle Joey? What?

The song "Head Over Feet" used to be "our song" to my high school boyfriend and me. Even after we broke up, some of the lyrics still fit our relationship: "It's all your fault."

I was intensely irritated by the fact that all my classmates seemed to think that the things mentioned in the song "Ironic" were actually ironic. They weren't. They were mostly just a bunch of unfortunate instances of rotten luck.


Courtney said...

Is it fair to assume that Mom and Dad didn't know most of this when they bought you the CD? Or did you get if from someone else?

Mom said...

We probably bought it and I'm sure I didn't know what the lyrics were. We were just so trusting---and, fortunately, you guys turned out great!

Lindsay said...

I STILL listen to that album frequently. love it!