You Oughta Know

By JoCo April 19, 2007

A few people have written to me about the Alanis Morissette cover of “My Humps,” which you have surely seen by now. I am flattered by your comparisons of this to my “Baby Got Back” cover, but I assure you all that she did not steal the idea from me. First of all, she most likely has never heard of me, and second, I stole it from The Gourds doing “Gin and Juice” and Ben Folds doing “Bitches Ain’t Shit” and Nina Gordon doing “Straight Outta Compton” and many other places I’m sure. I want her to know that I’m happy for her. I wish nothing but the best for her both.

So I was thinking about Alanis and covers, and in messing around a bit yesterday with my now very dusty recording equipment, I came up with this. If you’re offended by bad language, adult situations or cringe-inducing lyrical honesty, please don’t listen (you can practically hear me blush in spots). I remember the first time I heard this song I immediately felt guilty for being a man – it still makes me all sorts of uncomfortable, especially to sing it.

You Oughta Know

@Alanis: Word!

Comments

Kerrin says

OMG....A new Jo Co Song!!!!!
A cover, but still....I actually liked the album when it came out.
Today is a good day.

JoCo...you know you missed making songs....I know I missed hearing them.

glych says

YAY! A New Song! Well, a cover, But it's JOCO so I'm so happy. ^_^

*having a happy-gasm*

-glych

Luke M says

That's quite some lyric. Ouch. I don't think this sort of behavior is exclusive to men, though. I can relate, unfortunately.

Great performance. Gender-reversing covers are often interesting and this one works very well. Thanks for this.

I agree with Kerrin, a day that brings a new JoCo song of whatever provenance is a good day. Hooray!

heath says

I am infinitely excited by this. Thanks so much.

And when I first heard your cover of Baby Got Back, I thought of Tori Amos performing Fear of A Black Planet live.

Len says

It's about damn time! ;)

I need to draw this one, too.

minimo says

Perfunctorily as we know you, you appear to be the sort of man who should not be ashamed.
Your pipes are in fine form. Thank you!

Jeff says

Good cover JoCo, good indeed. Glad to hear a new song!

Dean says

Good. Damned good.

w3rd!

Luke M says

Say there, Mr. C, while you've got the studio warmed up, how about recording "Vienna" just for the heck of it? ;)

David King says

So what are our chances of seeing this come to your Thing a Week podcast? Even if it's not a thing a week, it's still nice to see things on it sometimes :)

Today’s 5ive : Tinkr.net says

[...] You Oughta Know - You gotta love Jonathan Coulton. This is is cover of the Alanis Morissette song. Here is the blog link of him explaining why he did it. [...]

Glenn says

Oh man! I got so used to skimming that a friend actually notified me that there was a new song before I'd heard it! I'm a failure as a Coulton evangelist!

Katie FL says

Oh man, that cover's great :)

I'd never heard or seen the original "My Humps" song -- it's pretty disgusting. I really like Alanis Morissette's version, though :)

Sujin says

This song made my day. No, not my day. My week.

Gle3nn says

I was wondering what was up when I couldn't get through earlier. It was like a black fly in my chardonnay not being able to get through but I was able to pull myself together and try again and now I'm here...
woohoo a new song! This made my day.

winegeek says

A big THANK YOU to you, Jonathan! Nice choice of song, pretty arrangement, and your vocals...sheesh! Really sounds great. Hey, if you banged this one out in just a day, you've still got "it," so why not try to throw us a few other ditties, eh? You've got us on a pretty thin reinforcement schedule here, dude.

BucketHatBobby says

Oh my god. Jon, you just completed my life.
I always used to play this song (not publicly, of course) and always felt weird, being a guy singing this.
I've always loved the song, and you made this song so much more awesome for me.

I'm glad you pulled out your recording crap again.

Justin says

I'm glad to hear the gear has been dusted off once again!

Great job. Playing this back-to-back with her version makes it feel like some rip in the fabric of space and time is about to happen.

Derek C. F. Pegritz says

You, sir, are an effin' genius. I didn't think anything could touch your cover of "Baby Got Back," but this is just...beautiful. You took one of my LEAST favorite songs of all time and made it freakin' beautiful. It sounds like a lost John Prine/Kansas collaboration, and anything even close to that is just wonderful.

BobCat says

That song was way cooler before I found out it's about Dave Coulier from "Full House".

Jennifer F. says

oh sweet begezus, Len..... do NOT draw a picture of this song!! as much as we all love the man - no offense, Jonathan - we really don't need to see the fingernails, the scratching, the slapping, the jon-on-dave coulier action.... all things best kept within locked boxes hidden in the darkened recesses of our collective fan consciousness.

Andrine says

"First of all, she most likely has never heard of me..." She most likely has now. Be looking for the 'cease and desist' letter in the mail ;)

Will you forgive me, Love?

Talorat says

YES MORE MUSIC!

Could this be a sign of things to come? only time will tell.

D.J. says

So great to find a new tune on the site! Gives me hope that there could be a TAW 5 some day ... ;)

Darias says

Woot! New JC stuff!

And since someone else mentioned what they thought the first time they heard your Baby Got Back cover, I too thought of Tori Amos. Except for me it was her cover of Smells Like Team Spirit. BGB worked as-is...but the gender bend on this sounds like a gay man who's partner left him and "went straight".

Fantastic job though. With the potential litigation from Ms. Morissette's attorneys asking you to take it down, this is now safely tucked into my song library. :)

Batshua says

Does anyone else think the lyric sounds like "I hate to fuck you in the middle of dinner"? It keeps making me giggle. Good think I don't listen to the song while I'm eating, 'cause then it might choke me in the middle of dinner.

dregina says

Lovely & weird. Thank you.

Ben Brown Says » Blog Archive » In a theatre?! says

[...] The internet is ironic cover CUHRAZY! Jonathan Coulton covers Alanis’ You Oughta Know [...]

sillybean » Jonathan Coulton covers ‘You Oughta Know’ says

[...] Jonathan Coulton covers ‘You Oughta Know’ — you might remember his delightful ‘Codemonkey’ 12:47 pm comment [...]

Scott Haley says

Woo hoo! Sounds good.

Mike says

Wheras Alanis was the angry young woman, JoCo sings from a perspective of "Hey, I'm a little pissed off...but uh nevermind."

Beautiful! I love it...

kitty says

i really love this. thank you for making it & sharing it!

Chase says

After listening to this thing for a few days, I really find myself bewitched by the sweet guitar and mouthing the lyrics. Beyond its obvious humor level, I'm really starting to enjoy it independently (which makes it among your best). Nicely done.

esther says

i'm madly in love with this song. where can i download it?

mom on a wire says

Ohhh, that's lovely. Good job!

Eric Ginsberg says

Dave Coulier must be reeling. Man, you told him.

Andrew says

http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/oughta.htm

Ewwwww...

From the "Like it matters..." dept.: I met Alanis a few times when she was in Halifax, NS. I was a DJ and she was doing the rounds on a promo tour for her "Too Hot" single... She was nice.

a

"links for 2007-04-23" by Bob Plankers, The Lone Sysadmin says

[...] Jonathan Coulton » Blog Archive » You Oughta Know Weird coincidence, I first listened to his music on Friday. And I love covers, especially good ones, like this. The links he has to those other covers are worth following, too. I love “Straight Outta Compton” sung by a guitar-wielding white lady. :-) [...]

Wilson Fowlie (aka CuriousMind) says

As a friend of mine pointed out, if Fergie covers "Code Monkey" (say), then we'd have a complete cycle!

And how awesome would that be, anyway!

M_Pony says

That is 9 pounds of wonderful.

Justin Kistner says

I really like this cover. It's beautiful.

Ben says

Another home run, JoCo. I downloaded this the day it came out, but I didn't get a chance to listen until today because i forgot to bring headphones to work. Glad I saved it for today. how awesome, it went well with what I had going on.

Matthew C says

That song takes on a whole different meaning when a guy sings it.
Esp. the line about making an excellent mother.

I think it is fantastic.

Kodamakitty says

Just adding to what everyone else says here - what a great cover. I was listening to Alanis's Jagged Little Pill Acoustic and had to flip back to this site and listen to the JoCo version. Both of them are pretty amazing - especially when you consider that the song is over 10 years old (ack!).

Not all the arrangements on JLPA are fantastic - for being acoustic, there's a lot of additional production ("Perfect" has a lot of echo on the mic and "Right Through You" has an oddly over produced intro), but if you are a fan I would recommend hunting down a copy.

^_^ Liza

rosemary says

Is there anyway I can download this? I would love to listen to it away from the computer. Please let me know!

Rachel says

BRILLIANT!

ouija repair says

Thanks for that one. Wonderful performance, and great to hear that tune in a whole different context.

Helene says

OMG! you have a great voice 0.0

Helene says

the song has a bit of a bitter feeling in it, you missed that but you bring it as a peacefull soft song and your voice is absolutely brilliant!!!! So that makes up for the missing feeling

Brie says

Dude. Your cover of this song is awesome--although it is rather disconcerting to hear a man singing this particular song. Especially the bit about nails scratching down someone's back.

Doug says

I just thought I'd mention that this is a beautiful cover. Granted, it sounds a little strange being sung by JC from Alanis' point-of-view, but it's still very well done.

Tindomiel says

Oh wow. Wow. Plaintive instead of bitter, and a whole new dimension to the lyrics when sung by a guy. Amazing. Devastating. I'm in tears listening to this.

Joe says

I personally think it would sound much better if you changed the words somewhat to make it fit a man's viewpoint.

Joe says

I personally think it would be a wise decision to re-record the song changing some key words and singing it from a man's point of view.

lisa says

this version is great!! i like it exactly the way it is, it sounds almost like a man speaking about his relationship with a man who left him for a woman to have a child/family with. i love it! you've got a great voice!

PonderousMan says

Wow... I ran across this because of the "Covers" entry in JoCopedia, where I was rummaging around for more rickrolling info after last week's show in Madison...

how I managed to miss an entire song, especially one this good, baffles me, and means I will have to carefully check to see if there's anything ELSE I've missed.

Now I have a new song to request for the next show...! *grin*

Erika says

This cover is a revelation: maybe not your intention, but not changing any of the pronouns queers the song in the most incredible, thought-provoking way.

(And while this song was actually popular and I was in high school hating Alanis Morissette was quite fashionable, but I've secretly loved the song ever since finding out it was about Dave Coulier. Dave Coulier!!)

Delirium-Zer0 says

Dude, how did I NOT know about this cover until TODAY? o_O!! Huge alanis fan, huge joco fan, and TODAY I find this. Nice. :P~

This is a FANTASTIC cover. If Alanis hasn't heard it yet, I think she'd actually really like it - she always considered YOK a sad song and this is definitely a very sad interpretation of it.

I disagree with people who don't like that you left the gender pronouns intact. I think it creates a whole new, very emotional story for the song. I mean, imagine yourself as a very secure homosexual man in a very loving relationship with another (seemingly) secure homosexual man as your partner. Suddenly he decides societal pressures are too much and, being cowardly, decides to pursue a relationship with a woman, pretending he's not gay and pretending he never really loved you. I mean, that's enough to just tear your heart out. And comments like "I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother" become MUCH more scathing in that context.

Anyway, I guess this is my long-winded way of saying I REALLY loved this.

Emily says

Aw, man! The first few time I listened to this I cracked up, and then... something in my brain just flipped and I started crying. Thanks!

Yan Hense says

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