♫ I Just Called To Say ‘I Love You’ ♫ (Redux)

I have only played this one once — remarkable restraint, considering what a huge fan I am of Stevie Wonder and his music — and that was back in 2018, shortly after I started doing the music posts.  Tonight I have been in a grumpy mood, so I am treating myself to the guy who can make me smile on the darkest of days!

Stevie Wonder wrote, produced, and performed this one.  For a man who has been blind since birth, his talents constantly amaze me.  This song, I Just Called To Say I Love You, has topped a record on 19 charts, and remains his best-selling single to date.

There was a dispute among Wonder, his former writing partner Lee Garrett, and Lloyd Chiate as to who actually wrote the song. Chiate claimed in a lawsuit that he and Garrett wrote the song years before its 1984 release; however, a jury ultimately sided with Wonder.  In his testimony, Wonder said …

“I had the melody and the lyric that I had for the chorus, and I imagined in my mind when hearing the chords that The Beatles were singing with me. And that idea and feeling is what inspired me to use the vocoder, when I heard about the vocoder. And I always imagined myself and The Beatles singing that. It was in 1980 I believe, or ’81 when John Lennon was killed, that I knew that the dream would never be fulfilled.”

When the song won the Academy Award in 1984, Wonder said in his speech, “I would like to accept this award in the name of Nelson Mandela.” The next day, the South African government banned his music, as Mandela was considered an enemy of the state, imprisoned since 1962. This drew a lot of attention to Mandela and his fight against apartheid in that country; later in 1985, a collective of musicians called Artists United Against Apartheid released the song Sun City, taking a stand against entertainers who performed at the popular resort in South Africa. Wonder, energized by the ban, spoke out in interviews and included the song “It’s Wrong (Apartheid)” on his next album, In Square Circle.

The movement culminated in the 1988 Free Nelson Mandela Concert at Wembley Stadium in London, where Sting, Peter Gabriel, Whitney Houston and a host of other stars performed on his behalf. Wonder opened his set with I Just Called To Say I Love You.

I could watch and listen to this guy all night … he has something special …

I Just Called To Say I Love You

Stevie Wonder

No New Year’s Day to celebrate
No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away
No first of spring
No song to sing
In fact here’s just another ordinary day

No April rain
No flowers bloom
No wedding Saturday within the month of June
But what it is, is something true
Made up of these three words that I must say to you

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

No summer’s high
No warm July
No harvest moon to light one tender August night
No autumn breeze
No falling leaves
Not even time for birds to fly to southern skies

No Libra sun
No Halloween
No giving thanks to all the Christmas joy you bring
But what it is, though old so new
To fill your heart like no three words could ever do

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart,
of my heart

I just called to say I love you
I just called to say how much I care, I do
I just called to say I love you
And I mean it from the bottom of my heart, of my heart,
baby of my heart

Writer/s: STEVIE WONDER
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

22 thoughts on “♫ I Just Called To Say ‘I Love You’ ♫ (Redux)

    • Yes, I think you’re probably right! It isn’t my favourite, though I do like it, but I think it played well everywhere. Actually, I don’t think that Stevie ever did anything I didn’t like 😉 xx

      Like

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