"You Learn"
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album Jagged Little Pill
Released July 9, 1996
Format CD single
Genre Pop rock, alternative rock
Length 4:00
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Producer Glen Ballard
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"You Learn"
Single for the MTV Unplugged version
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album MTV Unplugged
B-side Thank U (MTV unplugged)
Released April 18, 2000 (2000-04-18)
Format CD
Recorded September 18, 1999 (1999-09-18)
Genre Acoustic rock
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette, Glen Ballard
Producer Alanis Morissette
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"You Learn" is a pop rock song written by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard, and produced by Ballard for Morissette's third album Jagged Little Pill (1995).

In the song the first glimpse of Morissette's insightful, new-age guru appears, speaking of the importance of poor decision making in life and explaining that every decision that people make will teach a valuable lesson. A line from "You Learn" is the source of the title of Jagged Little Pill. It refers not to drug use, but rather to the lessons of life being hard to accept ("Swallow it down, what a jagged little pill/ It feels so good swimming in your stomach"). The phrase is often mistaken for the title of the song, which Morissette has performed at nearly all her concerts. The arrangement of the song has changed repeatedly (particularly parts of the chorus melody), but the lyrics have remained the same.

In the United States the track was number one on Billboard's Hot 100 Airplay chart for five weeks. After its radio airplay had started to decline, "You Learn" was released as a retail single and debuted and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Because the CD single includes a live version of "You Oughta Know" from the 1996 Grammy Awards as an A-side, Billboard credited the chart position to "You Learn"/"You Oughta Know". An acoustic version of the song from Morissette's live album Alanis Unplugged (1999) was released as a single in some countries in 2000. Another acoustic version was recorded for the album Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (2005).

Music videoEdit

There are two music videos for this single. The original music video, which features a dread-locked Morissette cart-wheeling, back-flipping, and wearing five different warm-up jackets. The video was directed by Liz Friedlander. The second video was clips of Morissette and her band on and off stage including live performances. A live version of the single was used instead of the album version.

Track listingsEdit

U.S. singleEdit

  1. "You Learn" (album version) – 4:00
  2. "You Oughta Know" (live Grammy version) – 3:48

MTV Unplugged versionEdit

  1. You Learn
  2. Thank U

All from Alanis Morissette MTV Unplugged


Peak positionsEdit

Chart (1996) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[1] 20
New Zealand (RIANZ)[2] 13
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[3] 24
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 6
US Pop Songs (Billboard)[5] 1
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[6] 23
US Alternative Songs (Billboard)[7] 7


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it:You Learn pt:You Learn