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Was Taylor Swift’s “Wonderland” A Response to John Mayer

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kent State chapter.

When “1989” first came out in 2014, my favorite song from the album was “Wonderland.” It is clear the song is meant to not only be a metaphor of relationship but also an allusion to Lewis Carrol’s book, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

After growing up a Swiftie and learning about the complicated relationship between Swift and John Mayer, I have reason to believe the song is about their relationship and in particular a response to a few of his songs.

In 2001, Mayer released a song titled “Your Body Is a Wonderland,” in which Mayer compares his partner’s body to that of a “Wonderland.”

Interestingly enough in May of 2009 when Swift was on tour for her album “Fearless,” Mayer would go onto perform this song as well as “White Horse” during her performance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The pair released “Half of My Heart” a month later which focuses on a person torn between remaining with their partner or leaving them. 

In regards to lyrics, there are a few similar themes and words between “Half of My Heart” and “Wonderland” which can be a result of Swift having a hand in writing both. 


wonderland tonight in houston 💫 #erastour #taylorswift #erastourhouston @taylorswift

♬ original sound – car

In “Half of My Heart,” Mayer sings the following, “Free to roam, made a home out of everywhere I’ve been/ Then you come on crashing in.” Similarly, Swift’s lyrics in “Wonderland” refers to an idea of home and an individual who can not remain in one place, “I knew I had to go back home/ You searched the world somethin’ else/ To make you feel like what we had.”

Swift’s lyrics almost seem to be a response from the partner of the person at the center of Mayer’s lyrics. This is because the individual from Swift’s song is commenting on how they do not like the wandering nature of their partner and they think it is best to return home, something their partner lacks.

Interestingly, there are lyrics further into the song in which Mayer’s focal point individual confesses how his shortcomings will harm their relationship, “Down the road later on/ You will hate that I never gave more to you.”

I was unable to find lyrics from “Wonderland” that expand more upon this idea; however, the song seems to be told from a person who ended up heartbroken after a relationship implying said relationship did not end on their terms. This idea of how the relationship ended could further be a response to Mayer’s lyrics; however, it is important to note that it would be mere speculation.

It is also important to note the pair were rumored to have started dating each other in December of 2009, only a few months after the release of “Half of My Heart.”

Another potential piece of evidence which supports how “Wonderland” could be a response to Swift and Mayer’s relationship is the age difference between the two when they initially started.

At the time of their relationship, Swift was 19 years old and Mayer was 32 years old. Since “Wonderland” is an allusion to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” it is possible for the song to allude to the challenges of being in a relationship when young.


John Mayer shades Taylor Swift

♬ original sound – Danny

Continuing with the idea of youth, there is a possibility Mayer makes note of Swift’s age and youthfulness by titling his 2013 song “Paper Doll” which people have pointed out lyrics in the song making reference to Swift.

Since “1989” initially came out when Swift was rumored to be dating Harry Styles, people have also theorized the song to be about their relationship. In addition, many have also made a strong case as to how the song could be referring to a relationship between Swift and Dianna Agron.

Regardless of who the song may be about or if the song is a response to Mayer’s past songs, I am just glad to be able to listen to Taylor’s version of “Wonderland.”

Adriana Gasiewski

Kent State '26

Adriana Gasiewski is sophomore Journalism major with a minors in Italian and English. Besides being the Philanthropy and Community Events Coordinator and on the editorial team for Her Campus, she is also a cultural and diversity beat reporter for KentWired. Some of her favorite things to do besides writing include reading, drawing and listening to music.