Wikia

LyricWiki

Alanis Morissette:You Oughta Know Lyrics

Talk6
1,717,223pages on
this wiki
Alanis Morissette
StarIconGold
This song is performed by Alanis Morissette and appears on the album Jagged Little Pill (1995).
This song has been sampled by "Weird Al" Yankovic in the song "The Alternative Polka".
This song is featured in the video games BandFuse: Rock Legends and Rock Band 2.
TranslationThis song has been translated into Português (Portuguese).
Original video
Billboard logo
You Oughta Know
Wikipedia sphere
Wikipedia has an article on
I want you to know
That I'm happy for you
I wish nothing but
The best for you both

An older version of me? Is she perverted like me?
Would she go down on you in a theater?
Does she speak eloquently? And would she have your baby?
I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother

'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?
Till 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

You seem very well
Things look peaceful
I'm not quite as well
I thought you should know

Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?
I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner
It was a slap in the face, how quickly I was replaced
And are you thinking of me when you fuck her?

'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?
Till 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

'Cause the joke that you laid in the bed that was me
And I'm not gonna fade as soon as you close your eyes
And you know it
And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back
I hope you feel it
Oh, can you feel it?

Well, 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

Why 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

Music by:

Alanis Morissette and Glenn Ballard
Lyrics by Alanis Morissette


 Khelpcenter“You Oughta Know” is about the fallout of a breakup. The narrator is clearly hurt and angry by the event, expressed through Morissette’s voice and lyrics. The song discusses the new relationship that the ex-boyfriend has begun as the singer compares the new girlfriend to herself. She repeatedly mentions how hard the breakup has been on her, especially when combined with how quickly he moved on.

This song discusses a personal event rather than anything larger that was going on in the United States at the time, but it does reflect the style of the grunge era well; the video does this especially well. The song was written during a time when it was becoming more acceptable for women to be open with their expressions, especially regarding sexuality. Morissette is certainly blunt regarding her sexual relationship with the man in the song, and she is not unique for this. Other female artists at this time such as Liz Phair and Justine Frischmann are equally if not more frank about their sexual expression in their music. The wave of feminism in this period, as reflected by movements like Riot Grrl, did encourage the powerful expression evident in Morissette’s music. Women, however, were not always treated well for their honesty in music; Morissette was even accused of “sexual hysteria” in a seemingly Freudian throwback.

The opening verse of the song is entirely about the new relationship that the ex-boyfriend has started. The singer refers to the new girlfriend as “an older version of me” and questions if the girlfriend is capable of pleasing the man like she was: “Would she go down on you in a theatre,” an example of blunt sexual expression. The next lyrics refer to how the singer is not yet over the relationship, thinking it would have lasted forever, and show a desire to let the ex-boyfriend know the pain she is in: “Does she know how you told me you'd hold me / Until you died, till you died / But you're still alive,” “And I'm here to remind you / Of the mess you left when you went away,” “You seem very well, things look peaceful / I'm not quite as well, I thought you should know.” She expresses hurt at the ex-boyfriend moving on to a new relationship: “It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced / Are you thinking of me when you fuck her?” The song ends with the singer expressing a desire that the ex-boyfriend continues to think of her and wishes that he was still with her, while she suggests moving on, at least physically, herself: “As soon as you close your eyes and you know it / And every time I scratch my nails down someone else's back / I hope you feel it...well can you feel it.” This is another example of the willingness for sexual expression that was becoming prominent in this time.

This song was clearly written for the man that Morissette was in a relationship with. The identity of the man has been speculated for years, and there is a general consensus that it is about Dave Coulier. Coulier remarked in an interview in 2008 that some of the lyrics were specific to the experiences he had with Morissette, although he since retracted his statement. Morissette continues to be silent on the identity of the songs inspiration. In addition to the obvious target for the song, it can also be seen as an anthem written for young women in this time. Women who listen to the song will likely notice emotions that they have personally felt at one time in their lives and be able to relate to Morissette’s experience. The song is full of anger and pain, and listening to it would likely be a cathartic experience for most women who listen to it that are going through a similarly difficult time.

The song was extremely successful in the United States. It peaked at Number 3 in U.S. active rock charts, Number 7 in U.S. contemporary hit radio, and Number 1 in U.S. modern rock. In Canada the song only reached Number 20 and 21 on the pop and rock charts. It won two Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Female Vocal Performance, and was nominated for Song of the Year.
 Khelpcenter“Alanis Morissette.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 24, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alanis_Morissette.

Davies, Helen. “All Rock and Roll Is Homosocial: The Representation of Women in the British Rock Music Press.” Popular Music 20, no. 3 (Oct. 2001): 301-319. Williams, Steven D. “Reading Sexuality in Popular Music.” The Radical Teacher no. 52 (Spring 1998): 25-30.

“You Oughta Know.” Wikipedia. Accessed November 24, 2014. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Oughta_Know#Legacy

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki