Riff: Stevie Wonder – “Higher Ground”

Jan 4, 2018

I’m so glad he let me try it again/Because my last time on earth I lived a whole world of sin/I’m so glad that I know more than I knew then/Going to keep on trying/Until I reach my highest ground

from Higher Ground lyrics by Stevie Wonder

Arguably the biggest hit on his classic album Innervisons. The opening riff is a firestorm of funk, a loop that could go on forever and still never get old. Stevie rides in on a potent drum break, and announces to the congregation his intent on reaching the highest ground. He’s talking to people of all walks of life: teachers, soldiers, men and women of god; all are invited to seek refuge. It’s not all peaches and cream either, he also takes a moment to remind folks that time is running short; that there isn’t a minute to spare. The message is beyond race, religion and economics. It’s a call to action that anybody can partake in. A declaration for each and every to be the best they can be.


Riff by Jeff Min

Jeff Min is a Chicago-based writer at SONGLYRICS. His work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Hi-Fructose, Wax Poetics, SLAM, and HOOP.

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