A few days ago, Playbill published a fun article titled “11 Bruce Springsteen Songs Musical Theatre Fans Should Know”, in acknowledgement of Springsteen’s upcoming Broadway solo show. While I have nothing but love for Bruce, there is another international vocal artist who is bringing her work to The Great White Way soon: my queen and goddess, Alanis Morissette (and I do mean GOD-dess). Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill: The Musical is set for a pre-Broadway engagement in Massachussetts next year, and I can’t wait.

A singularly gifted songwriter and vocal performance artist, Alanis Morissette is one of the most defining alternative pop/rock artists of the 1990s– along with the likes of Kurt Cobain, Radiohead, Gwen Stefani, and others. Her platinum album, Jagged Little Pill (1995), successfully tapped into the voice of an entire generation of young people. Below, I’ve compiled 11 essential Alanis Morissette hits that every musical theatre fan should familiarize themselves with in preparation for Jagged Little Pill: The Musical. NOTE: Live video performances are posted here, but studio recordings are also available here.

1. “YOU LEARN” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
I recommend getting your heart trampled on to anyone
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

2. “HAND IN MY POCKET” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
I feel drunk but I’m sober

I’m young and I’m underpaid
I’m tired but I’m working, yeah
I care but I’m restless
I’m here but I’m really gone
I’m wrong and I’m sorry baby

What it all comes down to
Is that everything’s gonna be quite alright
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is flicking a cigarette
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet
’cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign

3. “IRONIC” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
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

4. “THANK U” FROM SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE (1998)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
How bout no longer being masochistic

How bout remembering your divinity
How bout unabashedly bawling your eyes out
How bout not equating death with stopping

Thank you India
Thank you Providence,
Thank you disillusionment
Thank you nothingness
Thank you clarity
Thank you thank you silence…

5. “YOU OUGHTA KNOW” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
‘Cause the love that you gave that we made

Wasn’t able to make it enough for you
To be open wide, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me
You’d hold me until you died
‘Til you died, but you’re still alive

And I’m here, to remind you
Of the mess you left when you went away
It’s not fair, to deny me
Of the cross I bear that you gave to me
You, you, you oughta know

6. “HEAD OVER FEET” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
You’re the best listener that I’ve ever met

You’re my best friend
Best friend with benefits
What took me so long

I’ve never felt this healthy before
I’ve never wanted something rational
I am aware now
I am aware now

You’ve already won me over in spite of me
And don’t be alarmed if I fall head over feet
Don’t be surprised if I love you for all that you are
I couldn’t help it
It’s all your fault

7. “HANDS CLEAN” FROM UNDER RUG SWEPT (2002)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
You’re essentially an employee and I like you having to depend on me
You’re kind of my protege and one day you’ll say you learned all you know from me
I know you depend on me like a young thing would to a guardian
I know you sexualize me like a young thing would and I think I like it

Ooh this could be messy
you don’t seem to mind
Ooh don’t go telling everybody
overlook this supposed crime
We’ll fast forward to a few years later
And no one knows except the both of us
And I have honored your request for silence
And you’ve washed your hands clean of this

8. “EIGHT EASY STEPS” FROM SO-CALLED CHAOS (2004)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
How to hate women when you’re supposed to be a feminist
How to play all-pious when you’re really a hypocrite
How to hate God when you’re a prayer and a spiritualist
How to sabotage your fantasies by fear of success

I’ll teach you all this in eight easy steps
The course of a lifetime, you’ll never forget
I’ll show you how to in eight easy steps
I’ll show you how leadership looks when taught by the best

9. “EVERYTHING” FROM SO-CALLED CHAOS (2004)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
I’m the funniest woman that you’ve ever known
I’m the dullest woman that you’ve ever known
I’m the most gorgeous woman that you’ve ever known, and you’ve never met anyone
As everything as I am sometimes

You see everything
You see every part
You see all my light
And you love my dark
You dig everything
Of which I’m ashamed
There’s not anything
To which you can’t relate
And you’re still here

10. “THAT I WOULD BE GOOD” FROM SUPPOSED FORMER INFATUATION JUNKIE (1998)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
That I would be loved even when I numb myself
That I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
That I would be loved even when I was fuming
That I would be good even if I was clingy

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
Whether with or without you

11. “PERFECT” FROM JAGGED LITTLE PILL (1995)

LYRIC SPOTLIGHT
I’ll live through you
I’ll make you what I never was
If you’re the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him compared to her
I’m doing this for your own damn good
You’ll make up for what I blew
What’s the problem, why are you crying

Be a good boy
Push a little farther now
That wasn’t fast enough
To make us happy
We’ll love you just the way you are
If you’re perfect

Kevin Michael Jones

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