♫ White Rabbit ♫ (Redux)

Well, last night I played ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ and most of you liked it, but Clive was not among the cheerleaders for the song!  So, tonight’s song is of a different bent and I have it on good word that Clive likes this one, so …

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

45 thoughts on “♫ White Rabbit ♫ (Redux)

  1. How did I miss this 🎵 song. A great song from my childhood. Laughing for I had told Clive he had missed this song when he did a post about songs with the word magic in them. How kind of you to play it for him. 😄

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  2. That’s more like it! I’ve always loved the feeling of growing menace in this song, and Grace Slick was really something back in those days. The version of the Concerto de Aranjuez I’m most familiar with is the classical Spanish guitar one by Rodrigo but I sought out Miles Davis. I can see why that would have influenced Grace in writing this. Fantastic!

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  3. Jill, definitely a different kind of song than Puff. Something about the pills mother gives you not doing “anything at all.” Grace Slick’s powerful voice on this and “Don’t you want somebody to love” are captivating, not unlike Ann Wilson’s in the 1970s and Annie Lennox’ in the 1980s. Keith

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    • Oh yeah … there’s one I hadn’t thought about in a while … “Don’t You Want Somebody to Love”! Funny that you mention Ann Wilson tonight … you’ll see why when you see tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) music post, for I mentioned her in it since you brought her to my attention last time I played that song!


  4. Another paean to the Sixties drug culture. Where would we be today if Acid had never been invented, if Grass had only been something to walk on? This song did not influence anyone to take drugs, as far as I know, but it certainly gave those of us taking the drugs an anthem to sing while high, or stoned, or tripping. I just wish it had been longer. No trip ever lasted just 2 minutes and 28 seconds. (Actually, as I remember it, the single said 2:34.)

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    • Hmmmm … well, if I wanted to wane philosophical, I’d say that some people would still be alive today were it not for acid and other drugs. However, it’s a moot point. I’m just glad you liked the song!


      • There are many swords to die from. Street drugs are definitely one of them. But times were different in the mid to late 60s. We were young, fearless, and we were mostly survivors. I don’t know this about anyone else, but I would not be the person I am today without LSD. It opened my eyes, it opened my mind, and it opened my spirit. I could never have made the changes to myself I made without it opening doors closed to most humans.
        I am not saying I am special, just that I had special experiences.

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  5. White Rabbit is one of the best rock songs ever written. Could’ve been longer, much longer, as the bolero rythm is so hypnotic it’d be the perfect piece to go on a trip to. Alas it’s so fuxn short. 😦

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