The Top Five Stevie Wonder Songs


Authored by Samantha Greaves in Music 
Published on 10-16-2009

Stevie Wonder is undoubtedly one of the best singer/songwriters in the genre of R&B. His limited ocular vision gives rise to the vivid musical pictures of both love and life illustrated through his classic lyrics. Though Wonder’s entire discography is one that deserves to be painted Platinum for its illustrious contribution to music, there are 5 songs in particular from his catalog that stands above the rest.

5. “Living for the City” (1973)

“Living for the City” made its debut in 1973 and appeared on Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions album. The song is based on a narration about a family that goes through tough times, which includes working jobs that pay close to pennies and being denied employment because of the color of their skin. Though “Living for the City” touches on events in the characters lives that is less than perfect, it depicts an all too familiar story about the struggles minorities faced living in America; a story that many may not have known existed before the popularity of the single. Stevie makes it a priority to end the song on a positive note pointing out that “if we don’t change, the world will soon be over.”

4. “Never Dream’d You’d Leave in Summer” (1971)

“Never Dream’d You’d Leave in Summer” appeared on Stevie’s Where I’m Coming From and is one of Stevie Wonder’s most popular ballads from his collection. The song speaks of a failed relationship and uses metaphors of the changing seasons to describe the demise of the love. The single was co-written by singer/songwriter and Stevie’s ex-wife, Syreeta Wright. The larger than life instrumentation can be credited for giving the song its notoriety and signature sound. Stevie Wonder performed this song at Michael Jackson’s memorial service on July 7, 2009.

3. “Overjoyed” (1985)

“Overjoyed” is a single that appears on Stevie Wonder’s In Square Circle album. Stevie Wonder uses environmental percussion–which include the sounds of crickets, birds, and pebble’s brushing against pond water to name a few–to bring out the natural beauty of the piece. The song is about an individual that has found themselves so helplessly in love with a person that they have already begun building their future with their potential love in their minds. All the narrator is asking, is for their prospective love to be open to possibly loving them just as much as they love them declaring “And though the odds say improbable/What do they know/For in romance/All true love needs is a chance/And maybe with a chance you will find/You too like I/Overjoyed, over loved, over you, over you.”

2. “Ribbon in the Sky” (1982)

“Ribbon in the Sky” first appeared on Stevie Wonder’s greatest-hits compilation titled Original Musiquarium. Like the rest of Stevie’s songs, this one also spoke of love. Describing love as a gift, Stevie sings of a love that did not come about because of chance or a mistake – but a love that was meant to be and because of that, there is a ribbon in the sky to show that their love is real. The single charted #10 on Billboards R&B charts.

1. “My Cheri Amour” (1969)

“My Cheri Amour” appeared on Stevie Wonder’s album that shares the same title and is hailed as one of Wonder’s best songs to date. “My Cheri Amour” combines the unison of melodies and lyricism and follows Stevie’s formula of declaring his love to the one he wants to be with. What gives “My Cheri Amour” its luster is the repetitive singsongy melody that rides throughout the song like a surf board on a tidal wave. This song has earned Stevie Wonder critical acclaim and the title as one of the greatest musical artists of all time.

Stevie Wonder is the epitome of a compelling and memorable artist that will continue to be considered an amazing contributor to the genre of R&B. Through his music, future generations will be exposed to the craft of superb lyricism and the sound of great music. Stevie’s single’s and albums are more than a collection of songs, they are stories narrated through the eyes of the past as well as the future.


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