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For some of us of a certain age, seeing Stevie Wonder perform several times this Inauguration Weekend brought out a huge rush of emotions.  He is just six years older than me, and been a force in music my entire life.  My very first boyfriend bought the Songs in the Key of Life double album and if prompted I can sing every word to every song.  I bet many of you can as well:

Songs in the Key of Life was released in October 1976, the Bicentennial Year.  It was hugely anticipated and debuted at number 1 on the music charts.  It stayed number one for 13 weeks and sold 10 million copies in the U.S. alone.  It won 2 Grammys and is listed at #56 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums.  Elton John says that he never travels without a copy of it because he believes it is the greatest album every made.

Think about the songs that everyone was listening to 32 years ago.  I was 19.  There were songs about growing up black and having the whole neighborhood watching you.  Songs about the beauty of Black women.  Songs about the achievements of African Americans, songs about love, songs about hope.  You could not listed to this music and not feel inspired and positive and friendly and hopeful.

We talk about how important and wonderful it is that our new First Family is a loving, whole African-American family.  But 32 years ago, Stevie Wonder sang a song about his baby daughter, who shares a name with a wife of the Prophet Muhammad.  Lots of baby girls were named Aisha after that!

Our President, Barack Obama, was 15 years old.  Can you imagine him owning this album and singing along?  How about we all just, sing along!

Isnt she lovely
Isnt she wonderfull
Isnt she precious
Less than one minute old
I never thought through love wed be
Making one as lovely as she
But isnt she lovely made from love

Isnt she pretty
Truly the angels best
Boy, Im so happy
We have been heaven blessed
I cant believe what God has done
Through us hes given life to one
But isnt she lovely made from love

Isnt she lovely
Life and love are the same
Life is aisha
The meaning of her name
Londie, it could have not been done
Without you who conceived the one
Thats so very lovely made from love

Originally posted to Im nonpartisan on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:48 AM PST.


Songs in the Key of Life

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