Music Videos Dissected: Alanis Morissette – Unsent

Let me just start by saying that I grew up with Alanis Morissette. She was a staple of mid-90’s radio so, whether I liked it or not, I spent my teen years listening to her commercially-indie heartfelt angst.
The “Jagged Little Pill” album was an absolute monster. It totally destroyed 1995/6. Like Godzilla, it crushed everything in its path.

The song I’m putting under scrutiny wasn’t actually on the aforementioned album. It can be found on the follow up album; “Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie”.
Being called “Unsent” it seemed, on the surface, to be Alanis (or whomever it may concern) fondly recalling her former partners and sending them a musical love letter.

I always liked this song.

But as I grew older, more cynical and disenfranchised, something about the lyrics struck me as insincere. So I delved deeper…

Listen to this song for the last time with an innocent/uncorrupted ear…

Now here’s the new reality.
The actual lyrics are in italics and the reality is in bold.

“Dear Matthew, I like you a lot. I realize you’re in a relationship with someone right now and I respect that. I would like you to know that if you’re ever single in the future and you want to come visit me in California I would be open to spending time with you and finding out how old you were when you wrote your first song.”

Dear Mathew, I still vaguely like you. I know you have a partner but whatevs. If you’re ever near where I am I would totally be up for a booty call.”

“Dear Jonathan, I liked you too much. I used to be attracted to boys who would lie to me and think solely about themselves and you were plenty self-destructive for my taste at the time. I used to say the more tragic the better. The truth is whenever I think of the early 90’s your face comes up with a vengeance like it was yesterday.”

“Dear Jonathan, I loved your utter bastardry. So much so that I would even lie to myself to continue our sleeping together arrangement. I’d lie to myself continuously. Your bastardry was so awesome that I still think of you, many years after our relationship ended.”

Dear Terrance, I love you muchly. You’ve been nothing but open hearted and emotionally available and supportive and nurturing and consummately there for me I kept drawing you in and pushing you away, I remember how beautiful it was to fall asleep on your couch and cry in front of you for the first time. You were the best platform from which to jump beyond myself. What was wrong with me”

“Dear Terrance, I sorta like you, in that “cutesy misuse words” kinda way. You were actually everything I said I always wanted but, as it turns out, I don’t actually want at all. So, I used you, I treated you like shit, I grew as a person, and then I left you. I kind of feel bad about it.”

“Dear Marcus, you rocked my world. You had a charismatic way about you with the women and you got me seriously thinking about spirituality. And you wouldn’t let me get away with kicking my own ass, but I could never really feel relaxed and looked out for around you though and that stopped us from going any further than we did. And it’s kinda too bad because we could’ve had much more fun”

“Dear Marcus, you fucked me good. You probably fucked other women too but I didn’t care because you made it sound like we were being spiritually open. Or something. But I didn’t really like the fact that you were most likely sleeping with other women. I would have continued to sleep with you if you weren’t so promiscuous.”

“Dear Lou, we learned so much. I realize we won’t be able to talk for some time and I understand that as I do you. The long distance thing was the hardest and we did as well as we could. We were together during a very tumultuous time in our lives. I will always have your back and be curious about you, about your career, your whereabouts…”

“Dear Lou, shit went down and I’ll tell myself it’s a learning experience. We can’t even talk to each other anymore because I fucked up so royally I don’t want to hear you call me on it. You were in another state working to pay off a mortgage, I got drunk, and the cute guy from across the hall was having a party… and shit got real. I’ll never let people talk trash about you because I was actually the one that dropped the ball. I hope you’re not dead.”

Now listen to the song again…

What a bitch.

Author: Travis Nevers

Just another random blogger trying to make his way in this crazy world we all share. Sometimes insightful, sometimes not... Read along at home!


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