This article provides a textual analysis of the lyrics of “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette
(Morissette, 1995) to determine how a reader utilizes the linguistic devices within the
lyrics while activating and employing schemata to make inferences and achieve a coherent understanding of the text-as-presented. It examines the relationship between cohesion and coherence in each section of “Ironic” and includes think-aloud data collected from groups of students who were asked to read and process the song lyrics and discuss the ‘irony’ in them. Findings from both the author’s analysis and student data suggest that the irony in “Ironic” is located in the reader and not in the text itself. The article concludes by linking
the role of schema theory to implications for reading instruction and comprehension.
This article was published in "The Reading Matrix", Vol.5, 2 (2005)