I read once that someone said that only Alanis Morrissette could pull off a song like Thank U without it sounding cheesy and completely self-absorbing or pretentious. It was written in response to a trip Alanis Morrisette took to India, where she finally took off time to truly relax and reflect upon her success after a torrid and relentless period touring Jagged Little Pill.
“Basically, I had never stopped in my whole life, hadn’t taken a long breath, and I took a year and a half off and basically learned how to do that. When I did stop and I was silent and I breathed… I was just left with an immense amount of gratitude, and inspiration, and love, and bliss, and that’s where the song came from, you know.” – Alanis Morrisette.
In 1998, Thank U marked a new era for Morrissette. It was the first single from the incredibly successfully album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie. The song itself earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal and charted unbelievably well, accompanied by a controversial music video with a naked Morrisette covered only by her long hair. Interestingly, a naked Morrisette bestowing gratitude upon the world, came to her in the shower, where Morrisette has explained over the years that it was “less about overt sexuality and more about the symbolism of being really raw and naked and intimate in all these environments where you’d seemingly need protection.”
The song itself is simple enough. It moves along in a mid tempo style filled with Morrissette’s verbal expressions of gratitude. “Thank you India/ Thank you terror/ Thank you disillusionment/ Thank you frailty/ Thank you consequence / Thank you, thank you silence.”
In between, the song’s verses are also filled with a series of prerogative questions to make us wonder about Morrissette’s spiritual journey and maybe our own in some ways too. Moreover, it’s not far-fetched to say Thank U is a song about overcoming adversity, where revealing your truth and finding your inner strength is an attribute that is always most welcomed. Enjoy!
Key Lyrics: “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”.