Explained at Netflix in 1899: All the songs and their hidden clues to the series' big twists

1899, just like the spiritual Netflix predecessor Dark from the same series team, has a very precise song selection to show. You can already find it in the song lyrics and titles hidden clues for Season 1 (and beyond), which is why we want to take a closer look at the music choices here.

After all, a NENA hit in Dark revealed the end of the series in episode 1. Does 1899 repeat this feat?

These are the songs from 1899 at a glance:

  • White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane (Episode 1) or as a cover by Eliot Sumner (intro song)
  • Thoughts are freeGerman folk song (eps. 2)
  • Child in Time by Deep Purple (eps. 2)
  • The Killing Moon from Echo and the Bunnymen (eps. 3)
  • (Don’t Fear) The Reaper by Blue Öyster Cult (eps. 4)
  • TheWizard from Black Sabbath (eps. 5)
  • All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix (eps. 6)

  • The Wind (Of My Soul) by Cat Stevens (eps. 7)
  • Starman by David Bowie (eps. 8)

In the following, we want to break down why the songs were chosen for 1899 and what allusions they contain. It is necessary for that massive spoilers for season 1.

The meaning of the songs explained in 1899: White Rabbit

The song White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane was released in 1967 and can be heard at the end of the 1st episode of 1899 on Netflix. The lyrics are heavily by Lewis Carrolls Alice in Wonderlandnarrative * influenced. A story that metaphorically runs throughout the series from the first 1899 poster (featuring a Maura falling “down the rabbit hole”): a foray into the unknown and the questioning of reality (or the simulation in the series twist). Main character Maura is Alice in this equation.

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A line of text in White Rabbit significant for 1899 alludes to a mother who can do nothing (“And the ones that mother gives you, don’t do anything at all”), which may refer to Maura’s loss of her (dead) son Elliot. At the same time world of thoughts ranked high in the song because it needs to be penetrated (“And your mind is moving low” / “Feed your head.”)

This message is so significant for 1899 that the White Rabbit series even becomes its own intro song raised: The cover version, which was interpreted by soundtrack composer Ben Frost and sung by Sting offspring Eliot Sumner, sounds in the opening credits of each episode.

Song Meanings Explained in 1899: Thoughts are free

A German folk song, linked to the tragic story of the loss of the Kerberos captain Eyk (Andreas Pietschmann), has also made it into the international series by the German creators: The piece The thoughts are free, which was probably written around 1800. In times of political repression and surveillance (in National Socialism and in the GDR) it partly functioned as a resistance song.

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Knowing from the end of Season 1 in 1899 that all passengers trapped in truth are in a simulation receives the statement that you alone Thinking self-determined is an additional level of meaning. (“And if I’m locked up in a dark dungeon, all of that is purely futile work; for my thoughts are tearing the barriers and walls in two, thoughts are free.”)

Song Meanings Explained in 1899: Child in Time

Episode 2 of 1899 closes with Deep Purple’s Child in Time. Released in 1969 by the British rock band, the track was a Vietnam Warprotest song and was also later taken up by freedom movements. In the Netflix series, the song, with its thematically appropriate title, accompanies the discovery of Ada’s child’s body at the end of the episode.

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When immersing ourselves in the meaningful lyrics of the song, we discover: Darin is also written by a invisible line/border spoken (“You’ll see the line
[…] that’s drawn between good and bad”)
and of turning a blind eye (willfully) to something (“You’d better close your eyes”).

Music Meanings Explained in 1899: The Killing Moon

The musical conclusion of the 3rd episode from 1899 is the song The Killing Moon by the English band Echo and the Bunnymen. The 1984 song reflects that rebellion of the passengers mutiny on the Kerberos, which at the same time accounts for the progressive collapse of order and reality on the ship.

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Lyrically, The Killing Moon is primarily concerned with that fate (“Fate” / “too late to beg you or cancel it”), your own will (“Up against your will”) and a personal one Give up (“He will wait until you give yourself to him”). At the same time, the first ones are already flowing (with a view to the end of the season). astronomical allusions when the talk is of the moon, sky and starry nights.

Song meanings explained in 1899: (Don’t Fear) The Reaper

Episode 4 of 1899 ends with (Don’t Fear) The Reaper from the Blue Öyster Cult unpacks the literal (not to be feared) Grim Reaper: After the mutineers kill the strange boy, he reappears in his closet with a glow, so he has seemingly conquered death. However, the song deals with the inevitability of death and the foolish fear of it.

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Knowing later that the boy is Maura and Daniel’s son Elliot, for whom they built their first simulation in the first place to preserve his consciousness after he became ill and died, text lines like “Come on, baby (don’t fear the reaper), Baby, take my hand (don’t fear the reaper), We’ll be able to fly a whole new meaning again.

Music Meanings Explained in 1899: The Wizard

The Wizard of Black Sabbath accompanies the final scenes of the 5th episode of 1899. It is the episode in which the time loops already gone through are first hinted at and Henry Singleton (Anton Lesser) as opponent is established. He seems to be the sung wizard, his own (digital) magic spread.

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In the song released in 1970 (influenced by Lord of the Rings wizard Gandalf) the magician is not the bad guy though. This can be read early on as an indication that the man on the surveillance screens not the real string puller is (“Evil power disappears”), but also just a cog in the machine (“Never talk, just keep walking”).

Song meanings explained in 1899: All Along the Watchtower

All Along the Watchtower was originally written by Bob Dylan (1967) but can be heard in episode 6 of 1899 on Netflix but in the famous version by Jimi Hendrix. Interpretations of the song’s meaning are numerous. For our purposes, both versions raise the question who rules the world and who has to submit. Are the people with the right perspective at the lever (in the watchtower) or is the earth threatened by them?

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Captivity and Escape are core themes of the text (“There must be some kind of way outta here”), which can be wonderfully transferred to the reality simulation of 1899 (“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke”). Not even them confusion of the ship passengers (as well as the Netflix audience?) does not miss out (“There’s too much confusion”).

Music Meanings Explained in 1899: The Wind (of my Soul)

What could be more appropriate than ending a series episode titled Der Sturm with a song called The Wind? The 1971 song by Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf) transports the Kerberos survivors to calmer waters (the Ship Graveyard) after much chaos in Episode 7, where Netflix’s 1899 gradually more clarity adjusts

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Like lines of text like “Where I’ll end up, well, I think only God really knows” make clear, the musical conclusion of the penultimate 1899 episode is a last breath before the season finale. But that the passengers have passed through Maelstrom Hell (“I’ve swam upon the devil’s lake”) should not distract from the fact that, as clearly indicated in the title, this is above all a Soul journey inward acts (“I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul”).

Song Meanings Explained in 1899: Starman

Only one person can sing about the last season 1 twist of 1899: David Bowie’s Starman catapults us into it spaceship, in which Maura wakes up from the simulation. Suddenly we find ourselves in space on an unknown survival mission.

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By the man who waits in the stars (“There’s a Starman waiting in the sky”) it must be about Maura’s brother Ciaran act that after their awakening in the new time of 2099 (“Didn’t know what time it was”) immediately writing to her to explode our heads with more twists in the potential Season 2 (“He’d like to come and meet us but he thinks he’d blow our minds”). So that everything will hopefully pay off in the end (“Cause he knows it’s all worthwhile”).

After 1899: The 20 best series starts in November with Wednesday and Teletubby horror

Need more fresh streaming tips? The most exciting series that you can stream in November on Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and more can be found here in the monthly preview:

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We have checked the long starting lists of the streaming services and present you the 20 big highlights of the month in the Moviepilot podcast stream trawl. Featuring fantasy highlights like Wednesday and Willow, as well as 1899, the highly anticipated new puzzle series from the Dark team.

*The links to the Amazon offer are so-called affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will receive a commission.

What was your favorite backing track on Netflix 1899?

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