Stevie Wonder’s birthday was yesterday.
I’ve always loved Stevie, even when I was a kid. I remember seeing him on Sesame Street and nearly losing it – I was FOUR – because I was so excited that someone I listened to on the radio (and with whom I sang gustily along) was on my favorite t.v. show (I was also geeked out when the Doobie Brothers were on, too, but that’s a story for another time).
Here, then, are ten Stevie songs that I love and still sing gustily every time they come up on my iPod rotation:
1. Superstition. Of course. This is kind of his signature, and with good reason (and how excited am I that the Sesame Street gig is on youtube?! – check out the kid on the fire escape!)
2. You Haven’t Done Nothin‘. Sing it loud for your people!
3. Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing. This one’s been remade a few times, I think, and it’s getting some contemporary air play because it’s on the soundtrack for Silver Linings Playbook. That’s a good thing.
4. Livin’ for the City. It’s not a happy song, but it’s an important one.
5. Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I’ve always loved this song. “Ooooh, Baby, here I am.”
6. I was Made to Love Her. The harmonica opening gives me goosebumps every time.
7. For Once in My Life. I love peppy love songs.
8. Higher Ground. This, to me, feels like inspiration. It’s hard to keep fighting sometimes, and this song always gives me strength. “It won’t be too long.”
9. Uptight. “Everything is all right… clear outta sight.” This is a great “widows down, too loud” song.
10. Sir Duke. “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.” Yes, it is.
Thank you, Stevie, for your life’s work. You have contributed a significant part of my life’s soundtrack, and I’m very, very grateful.