Wednesday, July 6, 2011

30 Songs in 30 Days, Day 20: A Song That You Listen to When You're Angry

Song: "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)"
Writers: Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright
Performer: Stevie Wonder
Album: Talking Book

When I lose my way emotionally, I feel the best thing to do is to go back to the well - to return to the things that nourish me, remind me of my priorities and provide perspective. Musically, the well takes the form of soul music. I love the classics: Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, etc. My favorite soul album, though, is Talking Book, a record teeming with genius. Wonder made the album when he was all of 22 years old and trying to shed himself of Berry Gordy's overbearing influence.

Talking Book reminds me of a dear friend, one I haven't seen for many years now. We hung out first in college as musicians and later in Japan as English teachers. He was a great companion for exploring Japan. He was a religious studies major in college so when we went to visit temples and shrines, he knew his stuff regarding the symbolism of the art and architecture. I have a very nice memory of hanging out with him in my Yokohama apartment listening to this album together, marveling at the artistry. This song was our favorite. While the whole track is outstanding, the end is particularly glorious.

How could I stay angry with all of that to think about?


I hope you'll join us for the "30 Songs in 30 Days" challenge, inspired by the tumblr list. Our 30 Songs roster:

Stay on target...
Marc Whitman's Blog
Haley says "Hello" To You

It's never too late to post your own. Tomorrow is...

Day 21: A Song That You Listen to When You're Happy


  1. I had not approached this one with the thought of NOT being angry anymore. Clever....

  2. It's interesting to read these posts -- I'm going backwards -- now as opposed to when I skimmed them last year, and I did merely skim them as I felt strange peering into the life of a stranger. Now, I am reading them and am a little amazed at the very detailed picture of you that is emerging. An intimate portrait through, so far, just ten (posts on) songs.

    I particularly love this one. It's wrenched emotions through tears at a very pivotal point in my life, only I've listened to the Art Garfunkel rendition, never the Stevie Wonder. I wanted to listen to Wonder, now, but the video embedded in this post is no longer cooperating. So I shall track it down on my own in a bit.

    A part of me has wanted to comment on the posts I have read individually, but a part of me has appreciated reading them in silence until now. I'm probably speaking (writing) too soon. Writers tend to do that. Some writers, anyway.

    Beautiful posts, A. And honestly I can't believe you're still being so gd stingy with your first name. :)

    1. "still being so gd stingy with your first name."

      Hahahha! My wife (who knows our Squid in real life), became a bit upset when she inadvertently thanked him by name in a comment thread!

    2. Sorry, Lady. Them's the rules.

      Thank you for your thoughtful response. My name is a minor detail. Quite a lot of what's actually important is in these 30 posts.

      Mock - she was so sweet about it, though!

    3. :) Hi, Mock. You know about a gadzillion years ago, I commented on a buncha yer posts but you never responded so I quit following you because I blog like a neuron. My favorite one of yours was the Batman and Robin running, tho. I liked that one a lot.

      I'm gonna go check out your movie for J in a bit.

    4. Oh, dear! Blogger shame!!!

      Yes, you should go see his J post. I like it.

    5. Suze....way back when I may not have had this down yet...or it may have been a tough time....I'm trying to get better!! ;)

    6. Kids, go listen to this song and you'll both feel better...

  3. I like this song, too...Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Solomon Burke, have always been my guys, but not so much Stevie Wonder. This is another case where Dwayne's influence came in to play over the years, because he is a HUGE Stevie Wonder fan.

    1. Stevie has had weaker periods but his work from the early-to-mid '70s is just crazy good. He had such a major influence on those who came after him, too. The most obvious disciple is Prince, of course, but the whole path of R&B and hip-hop would have been very different without Stevie.