Did You Know?

The psychedelic rock anthem “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane is a trippy journey down the rabbit hole, filled with cryptic lyrics and social commentary. Here’s a deeper look into this classic song:

Origins and Release:

  • Written by Grace Slick (with some contributions from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)
  • Released in 1967 on Jefferson Airplane’s landmark album “Surrealistic Pillow.”
  • The song quickly became a counterculture anthem, capturing the psychedelic rock movement and the social anxieties of the time.

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Lyrical Themes and Interpretations:

  • The lyrics are open to interpretation, filled with symbolic imagery and references to drugs, counterculture movements, and societal pressures.
  • The song explores themes of rebellion, questioning authority (“Go ask Alice when she’s back in town / Who painted what with colors so fine?”) and escaping reality (“Feed your head, feed your head”).
  • The title character, the White Rabbit, symbolizes a guide or a temptation leading down an unconventional path.
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Musical Style:

  • The song features a distinctive guitar riff and a driving rhythm section.
  • Grace Slick’s powerful vocals take center stage, delivering the cryptic lyrics with urgency and emotion.
  • The use of studio effects and sound manipulation contributes to the song’s psychedelic atmosphere.

Legacy and Impact:

  • “White Rabbit” became a signature song for Jefferson Airplane.
  • It defined the psychedelic rock genre and became an anthem for a generation questioning social norms.
  • The song’s cultural impact extends beyond music, appearing in numerous movies and TV shows.
  • It remains a fascinating and thought-provoking piece of music even today.

Interesting Tidbits:

  • There are many theories about the song’s meaning, with interpretations ranging from drug use to social commentary.
  • Grace Slick has remained tight-lipped about the exact meaning, leaving listeners to form their own conclusions.
  • The song was almost left off the album due to its length (over two minutes was considered long for a rock song in 1967).

Want to hear the song?

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You can find “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane on most streaming platforms. There’s also the official music video available on YouTube: you can search for “Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (Official Music Video)”.

Let me know if you’d like to explore other psychedelic rock songs, learn more about the counterculture movement of the 1960s, or hear different interpretations of “White Rabbit’s” lyrics.

Video

 

Lyrics

“White Rabbit”

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all
Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tallAnd if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice
When she was just smallWhen the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice
I think she’ll knowWhen logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head
Feed your head

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