Supersition – Unraveling the Skeptical Soulful Anthem


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Stevie Wonder's Supersition at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Groovy Lament Against Irrational Beliefs
  5. Cracked Mirrors and Fallen Ladders: Decoding Symbolism
  6. A Haunting Refrain: ‘When You Believe in Things You Don’t Understand’
  7. The Hidden Meaning: Emancipating the Mind Through Melody
  8. Superstition’s Legacy: A Cultural Touchstone Beyond Its Years

Lyrics

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 ain’t the way, yeah yeah

Very superstitious, wash your face and hands

Rid me go the problem, do all that you can

Keep me in a daydream, keep me goin’ strong

You don’t wanna save me, sad is my song

When you believe in things you don’t understand

Then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way, yeah yeah

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

When you believe in things that you don’t understand

Then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way, no, no, no

Full Lyrics

Few songs manage to intertwine a groove that compels the body to sway with a message that provokes the mind to ponder like Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition.’ Released in 1972, this track became not just a chart-topping hit but an enduring classic, offering an infectious blend of funk and a lyrical exploration of the irrational fears that govern human behavior.

But beyond the irresistible clavinet riff and the dance-inducing beat, ‘Superstition’ delves into a deeper commentary on the consequences of allowing superstitions to dictate one’s life choices. Stevie Wonder, who penned the track at just 22 years of age, showcased not only his musical genius but also his capacity for insightful social observation.

The Groovy Lament Against Irrational Beliefs

It’s impossible to discuss ‘Superstition’ without acknowledging its foundation: a rhythm and melody that’s equal parts haunting and engaging. There’s a tension in the music that mirrors the conflict in the lyrics—a battle between the allure of superstition and the call to rationality.

Wonder’s vocal delivery, as soulful as it is commanding, turns what could have been a simple cautionary tale into a resonant cultural critique. With each verse, Wonder doesn’t just sing words; he challenges the listener to confront their own irrational beliefs and the consequences that come from indulging them.

Cracked Mirrors and Fallen Ladders: Decoding Symbolism

‘Very superstitious, writings on the wall, very superstitious, ladders ’bout to fall.’ These opening lines assault the listener with symbols of bad luck that are deeply ingrained in popular folklore. However, Wonder is not merely recounting these symbols; he’s spotlighting the absurdity of letting them control one’s actions.

The ‘thirteen-month-old baby’ who broke the looking glass becomes an embodiment of innocence ensnared by superstitions inherited from the past. It’s this generational passage of baseless fears that Wonder critiques, urging for a break from the cycle of credulity.

A Haunting Refrain: ‘When You Believe in Things You Don’t Understand’

This memorable line from the chorus encapsulates the song’s central thesis. Wonder isn’t condemning faith or belief but is instead cautioning against blind adherence to ideas without seeking understanding. It’s a message that resonates beyond superstition, touching upon politics, relationships, and personal growth.

The aftermath of such blind belief, as the song warns, is suffering—not because of some mystical retribution, but as a natural consequence of ignoring rationality and knowledge.

The Hidden Meaning: Emancipating the Mind Through Melody

At its core, ‘Superstition’ is a clarion call for intellectual liberation. Wonder is imploring his listeners to emancipate themselves from the mental shackles of superstition, suggesting that freedom lies in the pursuit of understanding.

By setting this message to a backdrop of funk that demands physical freedom—dance and movement—Wonder creates a powerful metaphor for the liberating potential of casting off the yoke of superstitious belief.

Superstition’s Legacy: A Cultural Touchstone Beyond Its Years

The legacy of ‘Superstition’ isn’t just its chart success or its musical innovation. It’s the way the song has been embedded in the cultural consciousness as an anthem of skepticism and critical thinking.

Artists and thinkers have frequently referenced it for decades, as it continues to serve as a soul-stirring reminder of the importance of questioning and understanding the irrational fears that can dominate human life. ‘Superstition’ remains as relevant today as it was upon its release, perhaps even more so in an age teeming with misinformation and unverified beliefs.

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