The song that started it all! Released in 1967, Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" is one of the most psychedelic tunes that drifts you far, far away from your mind. Frontwoman Grace Slick's haunting vocals telling the tale of Alice ("And if you go chasing rabbits/ And you know you're going to fall/ Tell 'em a hookah-smoking caterpillar/ Has given you the call") will undoubtedly give you a hallucinatory trip upon first listen.
Sure Stevie Nicks' 1989 album The Other Side Of The Mirror (which had a loose Alice in Wonderland theme) had hits like "Rooms" and "Long Way To Go," but the true hidden gem belongs to track nine. Simply titled "Alice," the dreamy mid-tempo finds the singer comparing herself to the film's main character while also retelling the classic story in her own romanticized way.
Aerosmith's 2001 album Sunshine received mixed reviews due to the band experimenting with a more modern and younger sound, but at least we got "Sunshine" out of it! Like many Alice-referencing songs, this track paints a sonic story. "I sold my soul for a one night stand/ I followed Alice into wonderland/ I ate the mushroom and I dance with the queen," Steven Tyler croons.
The music video also draws inspiration from the film, featuring a scared-looking Alice, the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit and Tyler playing the Mad Hatter. If that wasn't enough, the song's title is reportedly a reference to "Orange Sunshine," a strain of LSD that was popular in the late '60s.
If The Beatles 1967 classic Magical Mystery Tour wasn't fantastical enough (the same album with "Strawberry Fields Forever"), their "I Am The Walrus" single is the band's musical take on Lewis Carrol's The Walrus And The Carpenter narrative poem. It is a nearly nonsensical, child-like and strangely awesome adventure. There's even a line about sitting on a cornflake. Like, what?
The distorted, Auto-tune heavy sounds of Radiohead's "Pulk/Pull Revolving Doors" (from their 2001 album Amnesiac) was apparently inspired by the Alice scene where she's in a hall of locked doors. Frontman Thom Yorke stated,
"Revolving Doors for example, is something that happened in my brain where... Like, Alice in Wonderland. Where she walks down the corridor and there are lots of different doors. I was sort of in that corridor, mentally for 6 months. And that was an extremely central part, for me, what I was writing. 'Cos every door I opened, it was like, dreading opening it. 'Cos I didn't know what was gonna happen next. See, that makes perfect sense!"
Rocker friends Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco and Fun.'s Nate Ruess teamed up for "C'Mon" in 2011, one of the rare lighthearted Alice-themed tracks on this list—well, sonically anyway). "Feels like I am falling down a rabbit hole / Falling for forever, wonderfully wandering alone," Urie broods over the bombastic orchestral production.
Also released in 2011, Natalia Kills "Wonderland" single from her debut album Perfectionist is a bold declaration of her not believing in fairytales. She said in an interview,
"I really wanted to reject the ideologies of perfection and fairytales that we're conditioned to aspire to from a young age. If you believe in the 'happy ending' and count roses while you wait for a prince to save you its only going to leading to extreme disappointment and pain when you get your heart broken and realize life is not always like that."
While I do love the synth-pop track, which reminds me of an early Lady Gaga, it will not stop me from marathon-watching Alice In Wonderland.
Jewel's 2006 album came after she tried her hand at dance-pop with 2003's 0304, so what better way to return to her darling pop/folk roots than with an album called Goodbye Alice in Wonderland? The title track is almost as magical as the film itself, and the lyric "Growing up is not an absence of dreaming" is surely advice an older Alice would take herself.
If you couldn't tell by the title, Taylor Swift's 1989 bonus track "Wonderland" alludes to the Disney classic. Lyrics like "Flashing lights and we took a wrong turn/ And we fell down a rabbit hole" and "Didn't you flash your green eyes at me?/ Didn't you calm my fears with a Cheshire cat smile?" further drive the borderline-cheesy inspiration.
Jhene Aiko sings about finding herself deep into the crevices of the rabbit hole with Sail Out's "WTH," which appropriately stands for "Way Too High." Alice In Wonderland may be a children's film, but its absurd characters and odd storylines definitely leans itself toward a drug-fueled trip for adults.
Pete Doherty's one-off 2009 track he wrote for Babyshambles may be called "Through The Looking Glass," but there is nothing child-like about it. The glass is actually a metaphor for a lady's nether regions, with the U.K. laden crooning: "And between your thighs/ And it's written no small surprise/ Let's straight down the rabbit hole/ There we go."
Yea, this little rock ditty will ruin your innocent thoughts on the Disney film. Sorry!
Get your Alice in Wonderland fix even more with our list of the 18 trippiest children's films of all time!
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