♫ White Rabbit ♫

I frequently make reference to being “down in the rabbit hole”, meaning my mood, mind and psyche are in a dark place, usually from the topics I write about, sometimes for more personal reasons.  But this song, written by Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane, is about another sort of rabbit hole altogether.

Slick got the idea for this song after taking LSD and spending hours listening to the Miles Davis album Sketches Of Spain, especially the opening track, “Concierto de Aranjuez.”

Slick based the lyrics on Lewis Carroll’s book Alice In Wonderland. Like many young musicians in San Francisco, Slick did a lot of drugs, and she saw a surfeit of drug references in Carroll’s book, including the pills, the smoking caterpillar, the mushroom, and lots of other images that are pretty trippy. She noticed that many children’s stories involve a substance of some kind that alters reality, and felt it was time to write a song about it.

This is not necessarily one of my favourite songs of the 60s, but it is one of those songs that can get stuck in your head and just won’t leave.  And I do love the Spanish beat and the guitar sequence at the beginning.  Anyway, it got stuck in my head today as I was cleaning the bathroom, and as of this writing, at 11:00 p.m., it is still stuck there.  So, I thought it best to transfer it to your heads!  No thanks are necessary  😏

White Rabbit
Jefferson Airplane

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 tall

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

And call Alice, when she was just small

When 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 know

When 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

Songwriters: Grace Wing Slick
White Rabbit lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

22 thoughts on “♫ White Rabbit ♫

      • Oh back in the day I had the Jefferson Airplane albums right up until ‘Bark’- though they had passed their best after ‘Crown of Creation’ and the live album ‘Bless Its Pointy Little Head’
        ‘Jefferson Airplane Takes Off’ the first one is interesting, they are more folk orientated and its pre- Grace Slick- Signe Toly Anderson was the singer, a bit of an unsung hero who suffered ill-health for much of her life…..
        And while I am in nerd mode…
        There’s albums by ‘The Great Society’ which featured Grace Slick pre-Airplane and have less dramatic versions of some of her songs….
        OK I’m nerded out…..😌

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Of course none of that was popular culture of the day … ? That she came up with it, is commendable, Yet not too much out of step with what was happening in London UK in mid-sixties. Timothy Leary Richard Alpert, etc. We had Owlsley product and connections. Lewis Carroll was an underground hit even then.

    The time has come the Walrus said, “to speak of many things. Shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings. Whether the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings”.
    Good song …. yet there were so many. Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah but you know who Owlsley was though … hehe

        I don’t think you had to be “into” it per sec back then. It was just part of the fabric. Then the persecutions began of things like Hurricane Smith and what was that place that the FBI attacked with native encampment, then stitched up? Wounded Knee? Waco and on. We could likely get into a whole lot of reminiscing? Cheers Jamie

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dangit Jill, thanks??? for the transfer from your brain to mine. This is one of my favorites from those days of good drugs, plenteous booze and great music. Clean and sober today, I need to remember the insanity that filled my head in the 60s and 70s. But I can still enjoy the music.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Dangit Jill, thanks??? for the transfer from your brain to mine. This was one of my favorites from the days of good drugs and good booze. I sometimes look back fondly on the “drop-out” days. Sober and clean today, I also need to remember the insanity that saturated my brain.

    Liked by 1 person

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