I Wish
Stevie Wonder Lyrics


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Looking back on when I
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for Christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring
Sneaking out the back door
To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
Greeted at the back door
With, "Boy thought I told you not to go outside"
Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes
Thinking it might stop her from whooping your behind

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ever have to go?
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ever have to go?
'Cause I love them so

Brother says he's telling
About you playing doctor with that girl
Just don't tell I'll give you
Anything you want in this whole wide world
Mama gives you money for Sunday school
You trade yours for candy after church is through
Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy)
Teacher sends you to the principal's office down the hall
You grow up and learn that kind of thing isn't right
But while you were doing it-it sure felt out to sight

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ever have to go?




I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ever have to go?

Overall Meaning

The lyrics to Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" reflect both nostalgia for a simpler time in the singer's life, as well as a recognition that some of the behaviors he engaged in during that time were not always the best. In the first verse, he reflects on his childhood, where his biggest worry was what toy he might receive for Christmas. While he acknowledges that his family sometimes struggled financially ("even though we sometimes would not get a thing"), he emphasizes that they were still able to find joy in the holidays. However, he also describes sneaking out of the house to hang out with "hoodlum friends," only to be caught by his father, who warned him not to go outside. He tries to cry to avoid punishment, but it's clear that he knew he was doing something he shouldn't have been.


In the second verse, Wonder introduces a storyline in which he trades candy for his mother's Sunday school money and writes something inappropriate on the wall at school. He even references playing "doctor" with a girl, a potentially sexualized behavior that he recognizes may not have been acceptable. Despite this, he expresses a desire to return to those carefree days, wondering why they couldn't come back again.


Overall, the song suggests a complex mix of emotions - fondness for the simple joys of childhood, as well as recognition that some of the behaviors he engaged in were perhaps misguided. It's a relatable message, as many people have likely looked back on their own youthful indiscretions with a mix of nostalgia and regret.


Line by Line Meaning

Looking back on when I
Reflecting on my childhood and past experiences


Was a little nappy headed boy
When I was a young child with curly/kinky hair


Then my only worry
At that time, my only concern was


Was for Christmas what would be my toy
What present I would receive on Christmas day


Even though we sometimes
Despite the fact that at times


Would not get a thing
We did not receive any gifts


We were happy with the
We still found joy in


Joy the day would bring
The happiness that the holiday brought


Sneaking out the back door
When I would leave through the rear of the house


To hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine
To spend time with my mischievous/bad influence friends


Greeted at the back door
Met with disapproval upon my return


With, "Boy thought I told you not to go outside"
Reprimanded with a reminder of what I had been told


Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes
Attempting to cry to avoid punishment


Thinking it might stop her from whooping your behind
Believing that tears could prevent getting spanked


I wish those days could come back once more
Expressing a desire to relive the past


Why did those days ever have to go?
Questioning why the times changed and could not stay the same


Cause I love them so
Because those moments hold a special place in my heart


Brother says he's telling
My brother is saying


About you playing doctor with that girl
That you were playing a game of "doctor" with a girl


Just don't tell I'll give you
Asking for discretion and offering a bribe


Anything you want in this whole wide world
Any desire can be fulfilled for keeping the secret


Mama gives you money for Sunday school
My mother provides funds for me to attend religious education


You trade yours for candy after church is through
I exchange the money for sweets after the class concludes


Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy)
Engaging in misbehavior such as smoking and defacing property


Teacher sends you to the principal's office down the hall
I am reprimanded and sent to the principal's office


You grow up and learn that kind of thing isn't right
I mature and realize that such actions are inappropriate


But while you were doing it-it sure felt out to sight
Despite this, at the time it felt exciting and fun


I wish those days could come back once more
Expressing a desire to relive the past


Why did those days ever have to go?
Questioning why the times changed and could not stay the same


I wish those days could come back once more
Expressing a desire to relive the past


Why did those days ever have to go?
Questioning why the times changed and could not stay the same




Lyrics ยฉ BMG Rights Management, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Royalty Network, Peermusic Publishing, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Stevie Wonder

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Carlo Duncan

That opening bass riff is untouchable.

Andre Calhoun

Carlo Duncan Stevie was inspired to write that bassline after hearing EWF's shinning star. If you go back and listen they are very similar. Greatness inspiring more greatness

May K

But Will Smith did it... Wild Wide West

Renfield

It's what inspired Bjorn and Benny of ABBA to write The Name Of The Game.

Regina Springfield

SPOT ON!!!!

Peter Kroll

@Renfield They took a lot of inspiration from others, from anywhere.
Not that this is bad, it's also a skill to know what is worthwhile.

7 More Replies...

christopher theiss

This is one of those songs even if you're alone in an empty house you're still gonna dance your ass off.

Tony Montgomery

So right Christopher!!!

Virna Lisi Arije

Bless UPS!
Even if Your Sitt'n 'N' a Chair!;)PEACE

Norm Appleton

Especially when you get to to the do da dooh da doo do doo

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