The newest trailer for Marvel’s WandaVision is here, and just like the last one, it’s full of classic TV homages punctuated with psychedelic imagery, and increasingly disturbing themes. And this one is set to a familiar tune, one that’s perfectly appropriate for the golden age of sitcoms that WandaVision seems to explore/lampoon…and just like this show’s relationship to that legacy, the tune is twisted for new meaning. The song, in question barely recognizable under increasing layers of psychedelic weirdness, is The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer.”
Check it out here…
The song’s title and lyrics would appear to hold up a mirror to the increasingly fractured state that Wanda finds herself in with each new frame of the trailer. And it lends further credence to all the theories that whatever Wanda is experiencing, including/especially the return of her android lover, Vision, aren’t what they seem…and may be her powers manifesting the reality she wants, regardless of the cost to actual reality.
“Daydream Believer” is Davey Jones’ favorite Monkees’ song, and not just because it’s one which he sings lead on. It was the band’s last No. 1 song in America and it stayed at the top of the charts for four weeks from late 1967 to early 1968. The song was knocked out of the top slot by The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye.” When the Monkees were formed, they were derisively known as “the Prefab Four,” manufactured artists based on a TV mold of The Beatles’ feature motion pictures A Hard Day’s Night and Help!.
“Daydream Believer” was written by John Stewart, a folk musician who played with the legendary Kingston Trio, an urban folk band which had been lambasted by folk purists as watered-down and inauthentic. Stewart wrote the song shortly after leaving the group and teaming up with John Denver. The song had been passed by folk-pop groups We Five and Spanky & Our Gang. The Monkees’ producer Chip Douglas asked Stewart about new material during a party in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon.
Stewart has said “Daydream Believer” was part of a suburban trilogy, and was a reflection on the slow end of his marriage. The pairing was a materialistic one between “a daydream believer and a homecoming queen.” The original lyrics confessed “You once thought of me as a white knight on his steed, now you know how funky life can be.”
That’s not how it went out, however. “As we sing it, there’s a line, ‘Now, you know how happy I can be,’” drummer Micky Dolenz told EW in 2016. “John wrote, ‘Now, you know how funky I can be.’ “But the music department said, ‘The Monkees are not singing the word ‘funky.’ Funky meant oily, and greasy, and sexy – and they weren’t going to have us say it.”
But it does indeed appear that something “funky” is going on in the world of WandaVision, and we’ll find out exactly what when the show premieres on Disney+ on January 15.