Song Review – Taylor Swift’s “Wonderland” Hints at ‘Alice in Wonderland’?


Taylor Swift pays homage 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 demonstrated during her performance at the 2013 Grammy Awards when she sang her single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Taylor was dressed in white and portrayed a mad hatter, complete with a glittering top hat. The performers of the show were all dressed in red and white and even included a white rabbit.

The Green-Eyed Man in Wonderland?

The song “Wonderland” is about a relationship with a green-eyed man (Harry Styles?) who wasn’t quite what he seemed. The two jumped into a relationship too quickly and “fell down a rabbit hole” where “nothing is as it seems.” She sings about how the relationship got out of control and how they both went crazy.

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 you think of “Alice in Wonderland”, you remember all the madness Alice went through. It was all so mysterious and backward and weird and confusing. This song completely captures that same feeling with the shift between the “lullaby-like” sound at the beginning of the song, and then the tempo picking up during the pre-chorus. The chorus itself returns to a calmer sound with a keyboard melody, then explodes into awesomeness. It’s brilliant. The best moment was during the bridge when the music slowed down and Taylor sang “I reached you but you were gone. I know I had to go 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 crazy.

Buy Taylor Swift’s “1989” album on iTunes / Amazon

There are so many lyrics in this song that seem to come straight out of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story. His song begins with “Flashing lights and we took a wrong turn and fell down a rabbit hole. You held me tight because nothing is 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 “Didn’t you hear that what happens to inquisitive minds?” Alice herself quoted in the story that “curiosity often leads to trouble”, which seems to be what Taylor found out about this relationship.

The chorus itself says, “We found wonderland. You and I got lost in it and life was never worse, but never better. It was Taylor’s clever way of playing to Carroll’s mystery lines throughout his story. He was popular for saying weird things that made you think.

Taylor even gives a shout out to one of Carroll’s favorite characters, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, in the lyrics “Haven’t you calmed my fears with a Cheshire Cat smile?” This verse goes on to say, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses their mind.”

The Mad Hatter: “Have I gone mad?
Alice: “I’m afraid so. You are completely crazy. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are. – Alice in Wonderland

I really like the cleverness of Taylor’s lyrics in this song. She works hard to make a song exactly how she imagined the situation and the emotion and wants to make sure the listener can understand it. You can feel the madness and chaos and confusion of Taylor’s relationship through the music and lyrics of this song and I REALLY love that she used Lewis Carroll’s book to help capture it. This song gets bonus points for creativity.

Listen to Taylor Swift’s “Wonderland”

What’s your opinion on Taylor Swift’s ‘Wonderland’? Do you have the same essence of the song as us? Let us know.

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