Fun Fact:
Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" is often referred to as "Go Ask Alice" and served as the inspiration for a controversial 1971 novel of that name which follows a teenage girl's struggle with a drug addiction.



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Alice in Popular Music

" Alice in Wonderland" (1963)

Neil Sedaka (1939-present) is an American pop singer, pianist and songwriter.  His 1963 hit “Alice in Wonderland” hit number 17 on the Billboard chart, is a bouncing and charming love song, mentioning many characters from the books. In the song Sedaka asks Alice (hopefully not the seven year old Alice of the books) to lead him to her “wonderland of love.”







"White Rabbit" (1967)

“White Rabbit” (1967) was written by Grace Slick (1939-present), the lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, and reach number 8 on the Billboard Chart. The song’s popularity may have been due to its drug references, the first to sneak past censors on the radio.  It includes comparisons of the hallucinatory effects of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin mushrooms, with the imagery found in Alice. The song almost single-handedly managed to inspire the “Psychedelic” readings of Alice, and to associate the Alice myth with an hallucinogenic experience in the popular imagination for the next few generations.

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"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"/"I am the Walrus" (1967)

According to John Lennon (1940-1980), both Beatles' songs "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (1967) and "I am the Walrus" (1967) were inspired by the Alice books. John Lennon once admitted “I always wanted to write Alice in Wonderland—I was determined to be Lewis Carroll with a hint of Ronald Searle” (The Beatles Anthology).  The two songs seem to have been attempts on Lennon’s part to enter the intellectual realm and to contribute to the genre of nonsense.  But, of course, although Lennon may have meant them to be literary, the persistent association of “Lucy in the Sky” with LSD and the psychedelic nature of “I am the Walrus” only served to bring Carroll and his books further into the drug culture of the late sixties.

Read more about "Lucy" on Wikipedia

Read more about "Walrus" on Wikipedia

See a video of "I am the Walrus" on YouTube.


"Don't Come Around Here No More" (1985)

According to Wikipedia, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985), written by Dave Stewart and Tom Petty, is based on one of Stewart’s encounters with Stevie Nicks which to him was very much reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.  The music video is entirely Alice themed, with Tom Petty appearing as the Mad Hatter, and seems to be drug-influenced.

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"Sunshine" (2001)

Aerosmith’s “Sunshine” (2001) was written by Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Marti Frederiksen is heavily influenced by Alice. Many of the lyrics reference characters such as the “Hatter,” the “Caterpillar,” and the “Queen.”  The music video also features Alice characters in a trippy and bizarre Wonderland. "Sunshine" could also be a reference to the street name of LSD, in keeping with usual Alice and Drugs motif.

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"Alice" (2002)

Tom Waits, an American singer-songwriter and composer, produced the album “Alice” in 2002 with songs written for a play of the same title (1992) which deals with the “forbidden love” between Carroll and Alice Liddell. The jazzy, though brooding melodies highlight the darkness and perceived sexual tension of the Alice books.

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"Alice in Wonder Underground" (2007)

Buck Tick is a Japanese rock band which has been active since 1983.  In 2007, the group released a single “Alice in Wonder Underground” which is heavily influenced by Alice.  This song is especially interesting as it highlights the importance of Alice internationally in the genre of rock music.








"Alice (Underground)” (2010)

Avril Lavigne (1984-present) is a Canadian singer-songwriter whose song “Alice” was written for and featured in Tim Burton’s 2010 film version of Alice in Wonderland (2010).  The song emphasizes the importance of perseverance through adversity in several lines of the chorus “I’ll get by,” “I’ll survive,” and “I won’t cry.” The song represents a shift in Alice music, a reclaiming of sorts of Alice for female adolescent angst, rather than a male psychedelic fantasy. That said, the first lines of the song are “trippin’ out” which perhaps blurs the line between psychedelic and feminist.

Click here to watch the music video on YouTube.

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Almost Alice (2010)

Almost Alice Album CoverAlmost Alice is a collection of various artists' music inspired by Tim Burton's film, Alice in Wonderland (2010). The album is also notable for featuring songs that were either inspired from quotes directly from Alice. For example, both "The Lobster Quadrille" (by Franz Ferdinand) and "You Are Old, Father William" (by They Might Be Giants) are both word-for-word performances of poems from Carroll’s original.  Furthermore, "Very Good Advice" by Robert Smith is a cover of Kathryn Beaumont's "Very Good Advice" from Disney's original animated version of Alice in Wonderland. It debuted at number 5 on Billboard 200’s List of US Albums. Click here to hear samples of the songs on Disney’s Official Alice In Wonderland site.

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