Stevie Wonder: Superstition

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Friday the thirteenth reminds me of the first record I ever bought, Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book. It was 1973, I was 11 and had just started babysitting, charging 50 cents an hour. I really liked children, playing puppet theater, “let’s pretend” games and going places with them, and learned early on that it’s relatively easy to earn money doing what you’re good at. So I became one of the major operators in my neighborhood, Capitol Hill, earning enough through babysitting to amass a record collection of about 250 albums by the time I was 16 and got a “real” job. I went through the parents’ record collections, so I was pretty well informed about what was worth listening to. My parents hated popular music, especially my dad, so I learned to listen to my great records at low volume to keep the peace at home, or to turn it up when I wanted to drive them crazy.

Stevie Wonder has always been a huge favorite of mine. When I’m feeling weak or tired, I just have to think of how a blind boy singing on a street corner was discovered and then started down the road to becoming a unique and deeply inspiring artist. Here he’s singing his song on Sesame Street, which you surely know (unless you’ve been living on Mars this week) has just celebrated its 40th birthday.

  • Did you have a lucrative job when you were a teen?
  • What was the first record you ever bought?
  • Are you superstitious about anything?

Superstition, by Stevie Wonder

Very superstitious,
Writing’s on the wall,
Very superstitious,
Ladders ’bout to fall,
Thirteen month old baby,
Broke the lookin’ glass
Seven years of bad luck,
The good things in your past

When you believe in things
That you don’t understand,
Then you suffer,
Superstition aint the way

Very superstitious,
Wash your face and hands,
Rid me of the problem,
Do all that you can,
Keep me in a daydream,
Keep me goin’ strong,
You don’t wanna save me,
Sad is the soul


Very superstitious,
Nothin’ more to say,
Very superstitious,
The devil’s on his way,
Thirteen month old baby,
Broke the lookin’ glass,
Seven years of bad luck,
Good things in your past


song of the week 🙂 englisch lernen mit liedern


5 Responses

  1. Great, thanks Anne, super guy and I hadn’t been aware of how he started out.
    That extra piece of info. should certainly motivate one to make more of life’s opportunities.
    Have a good day,

  2. Thanks for the link Anne.
    Superstitious me? – never walk under ladders, always wish on the new moon, and on the first star, and if you catch a fairy before it touches the ground, always catch a leaf in the Autumn as it’s falling before it touches ground – good luck for the next year, always kiss under the mistletoe (fun), salute the single magpie and spit three times or mark a cross in spit on the sole of your shoe and don’t look behind until it’s dry, lucky underwear, if you accidently kick a stone as you are walking kick another one before any giant spider falling you can devour you, pass the christmas pudding around as you are making it – stir and get a wish, if i sing Tobacco Road out loud the chorus must be sung outside, monday morning son the way to teach at the engineering school always chant the first 20 km, start the guardian weekly newspaper from the back, always wish on the first fruit eaten of the season (all fruit), put your hand on your head if the pompier siren goes off, salt over shoulder if i spill it, horseshoes must hang open side up, never say……….
    But i’m ok about cracks on the pavement (luckily).
    And you?

  3. Tobacco Road chorus sung outdoors? What’s the story?

    Superstitions, me?
    Dreams are portentous, especially on the night you move into a new house, on New Years’ Eve and when you have a birthday.
    Always wish on a lucky star.
    Never sing into the wind on a sailboat – I did, went overboard, so this is practically proven and doesn’t count as a superstition!
    Most basically: The whole universe is connected and listening. Be good. Be wise. Be smart. Be friendly.

  4. Dream on friday, tell on Saturday it will come true be it ever so old.
    Tobacco road – no real story, it just started – i had to go out to sing those words (still do) (though the situation comes up less) – irrational but then if superstitions were rational would they still be superstitions?
    In fact we can only have them if we accept they are irrational in which case why have them……. weird.

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