Oasis: What Is ‘Wonderwall’ Actually About?

Oasis were one of the most popular British rock band of the 1990s. They had numerous hits. “Wonderwall” maybe their most well-known song and is often performed by people learning to play the guitar.

“Wonderwall” is as popular as it is oblique. Its lyrics are very hard to understand. Has the writer of the song ever opened up about its meaning?

Noel Gallagher of Oasis | Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

What is a ‘wonderwall?’

Oasis are often seen as the Beatles’ 1990s heirs. They never made a secret of their desire to emulate the Fab Four. Some of their songs even include direct lyrical references to Beatles hits. Since the Beatles wrote some songs with no real meaning, it’s tempting to write off “Wonderwall” as a meaningless song — especially since it has its roots in Georg Harrison’s solo work.

You might wonder what a “wonderwall” is. The word is a reference to one of George’s solo releases: Wonderwall Music. Wonderwall Music was the soundtrack to a film called Wonderwall. Wonderwall is about a Peeping Tom who looks at a woman through holes in her wall — the “wonderwall” of the title.

“Wonderwall” by Oasis

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Oasis used the word “wonderwall” as a reference to George’s album but they weren’t using it to mean any particular thing. According to Rolling Stone, Oasis member Liam Gallagher, said “A wonderwall can be anything. It’s just a beautiful word.”

In addition, he added “It’s like looking for that bus ticket, and you’re trying to f*cking find it, that bastard, and you finally find it and you pull it out, ‘F*cking mega, that is me wonderwall.’” Confusion over the meaning of the word persists. This confusion was famously discussed in Travis’ song “Writing to Reach You,” which includes the line “What’s a wonderwall anyway?”

Oasis’ Noel Gallagher’s different explanations of the song’s meaning

So the song’s title has some significance. Does the song as a whole mean anything? Some people see it as a love song because it includes the line “Maybe you’re gonna be the one that saves me.”

Noel Gallagher | Patrick Ford/Redferns

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At one point, Oasis member Noel Gallagher revealed the song was about his girlfriend, Meg Matthews. According to the book Oasis: Supersonic Supernova, Gallagher explained “[Matthews] had a company which folded and she was feeling a bit sorry for herself. The sentiment is that there was no point in her feeling down, she has to sort my life out for me because I’m in bits half the time.”

Later, Gallagher put forth a totally different version of the song. American Songwriter reports he said “The meaning of that song was taken away from me by the media who jumped on it. And how do you tell your missus it’s not about her once she’s read it is? It’s a song about an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself.” Regardless of the song’s meaning, it remains a 1990s classic.

Also see: The John Lennon Song That’s ‘the Grown-Up Version’ of a Beatles Classic