Meaning of “He’s Been Wonderful” by James Blake

The lyrics of “He’s Been Wonderful” were in part sampled from an old gospel track. Within that context, of course the titular “He” would be a reference to the Most High. As such, one of the subgenres in which this song has been classified is gospel. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for James Blake's He’s Been Wonderful at

That would also suggest that the title of the album it is featured on, “Playing Robots Into Heaven”, may actually have some type of religious connotation. And primary thesis sentiment wise, “He’s Been Wonderful” would obviously allude to the concept of James Blake believing that there’s been a heavenly blessing over his life, or something of the sort.

“He’s really been (One, two, three)
He has really, really, really, really been (One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three)
(One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three)
He’s really been wonderful (One, two)”

Credits and Release Date of “He’s Been Wonderful”

James Blake has suggested that this is one of two songs on “Playing Robots Into Heaven”, his studio album which Republic and Polydor put out on 8 September 2023, that does not include any vocal contribution from himself personally.

The aforenoted track that’s sampled into “He’s Been Wonderful” is “Wonderful” (1971) by Pastor T. L. Barrett and the Youth for Christ Choir.  s such, besides James Blake, the other credited writer of this song is T. L. Barrett, with Blake producing the track himself.

Who is Pastor T.L. Barrett

Pastor T.L. Barrett was born on April 13, 1944, in Chicago. He is known as a pastor and a gospel singer. He made a famous album in 1971 called “Like a Ship… (Without a Sail).” It had songs like “Like a Ship” and “Wonderful”.

Many people liked this album because it used gospel, soul, and R&B music. It was full of strong and happy messages. He had a big choir sing with him in the album. Many other musicians used pieces of this album in their own music. But T.L. Barrett did not just make music. He also helped people in his community as a pastor. Some people did not like him because he had some problems with the law. But many others remember him for his powerful music and the help he gave to others.

He’s Been Wonderful

A Personal Opinion

It’s fascinating to think of this track in a religious context. I appreciate how Blake integrates spiritual elements in a subtle yet powerful way. This adds a whole new layer of depth to “He’s Been Wonderful”. Furthermore, to know that it alludes to a sense of divine blessing gives it a really uplifting and hopeful vibe.

It’s always incredible when artists can bridge different genres and themes to create something truly unique.

It’s remarkable to have a gospel touch on a contemporary album.

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