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Thank U by Alanis Morissette

Album: Supposed Former Infatuation JunkieReleased: 1998Charted:
  • This was the first single from Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, which was released three years after Morissette's wildly popular Jagged Little Pill. The wait created a lot of demand for new Alanis material.
  • Morissette wrote this after taking a year and a half off. She toured constantly in 1995 and 1996 to support Jagged Little Pill. The song is Morissette's reaction to the conflicted feelings she had after achieving success. In her VH1 Storytellers appearance, she explained: "I felt that I lived in a culture that told me that I had to consistently and constantly look outside myself to feel this elusive bliss. And I achieved a lot of what society had told me to achieve and I still didn't feel peaceful. I started questioning everything, and I realized that actually everything was an illusion and it was scary for me because everything I had believed in was dissolving in front of me and there was a death of sorts, a really beautiful one ultimately, but at first a very scary one, and so I stopped. I stopped for the first time and I was overcome with a huge sense of compassion for myself first, and then naturally that translated into my feeling and compassion for everyone around me and a huge amount of gratitude that I had never felt before to this extent. And that's why I had to write this song, 'Thank U,' because I had to express how exciting this was and how scary it was and all of these opportunities for us to define who we are."
  • The video showed Alanis singing naked in the middle of an empty city street. Her hair covered her breasts and her crotch was digitally obscured to keep it family friendly. A city block had to be shut down to shoot the video.
  • The album set the record for most copies sold by a female artist its first week with 460,000.
  • This was nominated for a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal.
  • During her time off, Morissette spent time in India, which gave her some of the ideas for this. She thanks India in the song.
  • Natalie Merchant also had a very thankful song in 1998: her track "Kind & Generous" repeats "thank you" about 40 times. The following year, Dido showed her gratitude with "Thank You."
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Comments: 17

I really feel for Alanis in this song... I can only imagine, her thought process - she starts her career singing for the joy of it, writes open, honest and cathartic songs, works hard, releases an AMAZING album (Jagged Little Pill - my favourite album EVER!) and becomes a mega-star... which society says should make her super-happy - and maybe it does, at first, but is money and fame all it's cracked up to be? Is all that 'success' truly fulfilling? Is it even about the music any more? Why aren't I happy, now I have all I ever dreamed of, all I worked my guts out for - why isn't it 'enough'? Plagued with self-doubt, she stops... and, over time, goes on a journey - both literally and metaphorically - of self-renewal and discovery, what (and who) is important to her, what she really wants out of life, and that she's actually an ok person! And as she re-discovers the joy and fulfillment she had always found through her music, that being 'happy' all the time is just not possible (or writes great songs!) she just wants to thank the world for showing her that... much as I want to thank Alanis for doing what she does! ????Tricia - Uk
she is thanking india....coz she found her ineer peace in this country.. and terror made her to reach india... so she thanks terror either.. this song is all about indian belief and buddhism....Xuaan - Mumbai, India
This song is about my country - Inida. Thank you Alanis.
Btw, I disagree with Pradeep who comments, "'Thank You India' was actually a sarcasm meaning that India added more to terror". Tracy (Tulsa, OK) correctly explains the reference to India in a comment below.
Avadhut - Pune, India
i would advice some people here who made foolish comments ,to visit india & try to find out whatever she said, she is thanking india to help her to understand the ultimate truth of the world, but i dont think anyone would sense it, if anybody intrested to know more bout what she said contact me :- newtapal@yahoo.comKamlesh - Bhavnagar, India
well i think India doesn't suits this song no offence it's a great country but what've she learned from a place which is so beautiful from the outside and so dreadful from inside i mean may be she has just seen all the beauty but not the beast i don't care whether any one agrees or not but such superstitions like burring little ill kids during eclipse its awful i cant even imagine whatever not all of it is bad but most of it you know "ALL THAT GLITTER IS NOT GOLD"IT'S an al right song magic of her voice may be don't know what Emma Watson liked in itSarah - London, United Kingdom
For example: this is my favorite line. Her words do sound off when you first hear them but if you think about it, they make perfect sense. What do people attach to horses heads to keep them walking? Carrots dangling in front of their noises, as they move so do the carrots - they are after the carrot but it keeps them going. In life we have transparent dangling carrots - something always in front of us to keep us going. Something we tie ourselves to so we always have hope and never give up.Amanda - Salem, Or
"Thank you" is Alanis' reflection after her visit to India. She came to notice that all these habits she has didn't need to exist. It's a humbling song about growth and gratification, and how easily you can suddenly become aware of yourself and the people around you.

She thanks India for bringing her to realization with the facts of life; Great fullness, not greed.
Amanda - Salem, Or
yaaaaaaaaay its bout my country......Rahul - Chennai, India
The video overshadowed the song. Kinda killed her career but I still love her.Theresa - Murfreesboro, Tn
No, she was not making reference to India causing terror. Terror caused her to take notice of the things that were important. This is a Cathartic song, thanking all elements of emotion and happening to molding her into the person she is happily embracing today.Tracy - Tulsa, Ok
This song is about being thankful for all the bad in the world because it helps us recognize and be thankful for the good.Jesse - Haddam, Ct
I heard that she wrote this song after coming out of a deep depression and it was her taking that year off and traveling to India and stuff that helped her move on from her depression, so she is thanking everything that helped her through it, the good and the bad.Mindy - Moorpark, Ca
every single person in the vid is a very good friend of alanis, hence her 'ease' with her nudity.Theo - Johannesburg, South Africa
According to me, this song is a satire on growing terror and arms in the world. When this song was released, India had just concluded its Nuclear Tests and "Thank You India" was actually a sarcasm meaning that India added more to terror. Hence " Thank you terror" and when the world chose to remain silent about it, " thank you, thank you silence" comes in. I might be wrong here, but if she was talking about happiness why would she thank "terror'.Pradeep - Kathmandu, Other
To me, this is about being thankful for everything in life that gives perspective, for the ability to look at things in a different way, and for the ability to see things from the other side of the coin. A wonderful song, and a powerful statement against the ways of life that we (as Americans) feel are "right" or "the way it is".Phill - Oakland, Ca
what's ironic is that when alanis toured india in jan2005, she didn't receive good response. ..she even mucked up lyrics under pressure. jaime, melbourneJaime - Melbourne, Australia
THANK YOU Alanis!!!Pavitra - Cape Town, South Africa
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