Stevie Wonder, ‘Happy Birthday’

A short postscript. Played this last Tuesday for Junior’s half-birthday, but shelved any review. Today, of course, it’s Martin Luther King Day, the result of Stevie’s schmaltzy yet warming musical campaign. Was the day inaugurated purely on the strength of this song’s message? Or is that apocryphal?

I remember Junior kicking her legs along to this, still buoyed by the superlative Scritti Politti tune. She wasn’t rolling over from back to front – because she did that for The First Time this morning – but she was happy. Her mother just rolled her eyes. My record selection can be a touch literal.

A worthwhile song, then, but one that accelerated Stevie’s wholehearted embrace of gloopy sentiment. It means most to me as a play-out to a sweet episode of Northern Exposure, no stranger itself to the gloop.

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