If you choose, it’s not difficult to find things to worry about in the world at the moment. A quick trawl of social media should surface more than enough to keep you worrying about something or other for days on end.
And while denial isn’t good for us, worrying too much about things we can’t do anything about isn’t that great either. Maybe less time on social media and more time listening to Stevie Wonder would help us all.
Specifically, more time listening to “Don’t You Worry ‘bout A Thing”, from his Grammy award-winning 1973 album “Innervisions”…although since that album also contains classic songs such as “He’s Misstra Know-It-All”, “Living For The City” and “Higher Ground”, frankly you might as well listen to the whole album. Every track is a masterpiece in its own right.
However, today we’re focusing on the worrying…or, rather, the “not worrying”. So maybe start with “Don’t You Worry ‘bout A Thing” and then branch out from there after you’ve internalised the message from that track.
“Innervisions” was such an interesting album because the tracks, while still part of an overall whole, were all so different.
“He’s Misstra Know-It-All” is a gentle, almost rueful, reflection on life. “Living For The City” is more of a social commentary on America’s deprived inner cities. “Higher Ground” is one of the funkiest songs ever written (and astonishingly, if somewhat surprisingly, well-covered by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers).
“Don’t You Worry ‘bout A Thing” is more of a late-night Latin jazz track. It’s smooth, sensuous and comforting…a song you can relax into and genuinely feel your worries gently ebb away as you listen to it.
That’s a measure of Stevie Wonder’s brilliance — his song makes you feel what the lyrics are telling you, so listening to it becomes an almost hypnotic experience, rather than feeling like someone is lecturing you about chilling out a bit more. It’s so well done, you hardly notice it happening…
Everybody’s got a thing
But some don’t know how to handle it
Always reaching out in vain
Just taking the things not worth having, but
Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing
Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, Mama
’Cause I’ll be standing on the side…