We don't learn the true identity of the biggest character in Jessica Jones Season 2 until halfway through the season, but once that bombshell drops, new twists and turns just start pouring out. When Jessica first comes face to face with IGH's Dr. Karl and Alisa, he mentions that Alisa like to hum when she thinks nobody is listening. That quirk comes up shortly after Jessica brings Alisa back to her apartment, and her song choice is very interesting. So, what song does Alisa sing in Jessica Jones, and what deeper meaning does it reflect about her relationship with Jessica? Well, you'll have to listen closely, because Alisa hums the lyrics very quietly, but they clearly say a lot about what is going on in the show.
Spoiler alert: This post will discuss plot points from Jessica Jones Season 2 Episode 8 "AKA Ain't We Got Fun," so don't read on if you haven't reached that point yet. For the first half of the new season of Jessica Jones, Jessica is trying to figure out who the mysterious, superpowered woman that keeps killing other powered people is. That answer finally comes at the very end of the sixth episode, when she tracks the woman down to IGH's headquarters and finds out that the woman is actually Alisa Jones, Jessica's mother whom she thought had died along with the rest of her family in a car crash.
Obviously, it is an incredibly jarring discovery, and one that Jessica is not exactly happy about. Dr. Karl explains that he was able to save Alisa's life in the same way that he saved Jessica's after the car crash, but Alisa's treatment was much more intense and left her with some dangerous side effects. Specifically, if she get mad she loses control and destroys everything in sight. Initially, Jessica tries to turn her mom into the police to have her pay for her crimes, but after being forced to talk to each other some more, Jessica agrees to help her mom escape the police, and she takes her back to her apartment.
It is here that we really see Jessica and Alisa start to bond a little bit, relating to one another over their shared powers and passion for alcohol. Jessica also hears her mom quietly hum a song from the kitchen: the popular 1920s vaudeville tune "Ain't We Got Fun." Jessica can hear Alisa softly sing the song's optimistic lyrics:
Not much money, oh, but, honey / Ain't we got fun? / The rent's unpaid, dear / We haven't a car / We'll stay as we are / Every morning, every evening / Ain't we got fun?
And the meaning behind the song is also a pretty apt description of what Alisa and Jessica are attempting to do in that very moment: find a moment of joy while the world falls apart around them. "Ain't We Got Fun" is entirely about people with heaps of misfortunes nevertheless looking on the bright side. Obviously, Jessica and Alisa have very unappealing lives, but amid the murder and deceit, they actually found a warm mother-daughter moment where it never seemed like they would.
Of course, the jaunty tune is also used for heartbreaking positional irony, since right after Alisa stops humming the song, a bullet whizzes through the window and strikes Jessica as she leaps to save her mom. I guess the fun can't last all that long when your a Jones. Still, before the gunfire, there was a genuine moment of connection there, and it is those small moments of joy among life's horrors that Alisa's song is all about.