Song Review – Taylor Swift’s “Wonderland” Hints at ‘Alice in Wonderland’?
Taylor Swift gives a huge shout-out to Lewis Carroll’s most popular fairy tale, “Alice in Wonderland”, in one of her bonus songs from her new album, “1989”. Taylor’s interest in the “Alice in Wonderland” story was shown during her performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards when she sang her hit single, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Taylor was dressed all in white and portrayed a mad hatter, complete with a glittery top hat. The performers in the show were all dressed in red and white and even included a white rabbit.
Green-Eyed Man in Wonderland?
The song, “Wonderland”, tells of a relationship with a green-eyed man (Harry Styles?) that wasn’t quite as it seems. The two jumped into a relationship too quickly and “fell down a rabbit hole” where “nothing’s as it seems”. She sings of how the relationship spiraled out of control and how they both went mad.
In true Taylor fashion, she managed to make this song fully embrace the essence of the story and the emotion and chaos of the relationship. When we think of ”Alice in Wonderland”, we remember all the madness that Alice went through. Everything was so mysterious and backwards and strange and confusing. This song completely represents that same feeling with the switch between the “lullaby-like” sound at the beginning of the song and then the beat picking up during the pre-chorus. The chorus itself switches back to a calmer sound with a keyboard melody and then explodes into awesomeness. It’s brilliant. The best moment was during the bridge when the music slowed down and Taylor sang “I reached for you but you were gone. I know I had to go back home. You searched the world for something else to make you feel like what we had, but in the end in Wonderland, we both went mad.”
There are so many lyrics in this song that feel like they came straight out of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story. Her song starts off with “Flashing lights and we took a wrong turn and we fell down a rabbit hole. You held on tight to me cause nothing’s as it seems. Spinning out of control…” Alice’s adventure begins with the same turn of events, falling down the rabbit hole and ending up in a place where nothing is quite as it seems. The song goes on to say “Haven’t you heard what becomes of curious minds?” Alice herself quoted in the story that “Curiosity often leads to trouble.” which seems to be what Taylor discovered from this relationship.
The chorus itself goes, “We found Wonderland. You and I got lost in it and life was never worse, but never better.” This was Taylor’s clever way of playing off of Carroll’s mysterious lines throughout his story. He was popular for saying odd things that made you think.
Taylor even makes a shout-out to one of Carroll’s favorite characters, the mysterious Cheshire cat, in the lyric “Didn’t you calm my fears with a Cheshire cat smile?” That verse then goes on to say, “It’s all fun and games ‘til somebody loses their minds”.
The Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?”
Alice: “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” – Alice in Wonderland
I really love the cleverness of Taylor’s lyrics in this song. She works hard to make a song exactly as she imagined the situation and emotion and wants to make sure that the listener can understand it. You can feel the madness, chaos, and confusion of Taylor’s relationship through the music and the lyrics of this song and I REALLY love the fact that she used Lewis Carroll’s book to help capture it. This song gets bonus points for creativity.
Take Listen to “Wonderland” by Taylor Swift
What is your opinion on “Wonderland” by Taylor Swift? Do you get the same essence of the song as we did? Do let us know.