Stevie Wonder – Superstition | Lyrics Meaning & Song Explained


22-year-old Stevie Wonder has written, played instruments and produced one of the most revered songs in musical history. Stevie Wonder’s song “Superstition” has become iconic for its lyrics, what it represents and Wonder’s incredible skill in handling multiple instruments. In this article, we dive into that classic hit from 50 years ago.

“Superstition” was released as the first single from Stevie Wonder’s fifteenth studio album “Talking Book” in 1972. The song became an instant hit, climbing to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts, to sixth in Canada and in 11th place. UK. The song has also sold over 3 million copies worldwide.

“Superstition” won two Grammy Awards for Stevie Wonder in the categories “Best Rhythm and Blues Song” and “Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male”. The song is also ranked 74th on the Rolling Stone list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

What instruments does Stevie Wonder play in “Superstition”?

“Superstition” brings together several different instruments to produce its iconic sound. Stevie Wonder plays instruments such as the Clavinet, Moog bass and drums, while Steve Madaio plays the trumpet and Trevor Laurence adds the saxophone.

Listen to “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder

Buy the album ‘Stevie Wonder Definitive Collection’ on Apple Music and Amazon

Stevie Wonder “Superstition” Lyrics Song Meaning And Review

In an interview with NPR magazine, Stevie Wonder explained what the song means; “I think the reason I spoke of being superstitious was because I really didn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe the different things people say about breaking glasses where the number 13 is bad luck, and all those various things. And to them, I said, “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer. “

The song is indeed about different superstitions that people choose to believe. Fans and critics alike debated the song’s applicability to religion, as religion is the greatest belief in societies past and present. Although the song is not about religion directly, we feel like the song specifically highlights “bad” or “negative” beliefs. So religion doesn’t really fit into this space. However, if someone has blind faith in religion and spreads hatred and crime in the name of religion, it will still count as superstition.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a superstition is “A widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.” “

Verse 1

In the song’s first verse, Stevie Wonder lists some of the most famous superstitions that exist; walking under a ladder erected against a wall is a sin, number 13 is considered extremely unlucky, and breaking a mirror is said to bring seven years of bad luck to the person who broke it.

Very superstitious
The ladder is about to fall
Thirteen month old baby
Broken the mirror
Seven years of bad luck

If you want to know more about these superstitions, you can find articles on unlucky number 13, how to walk under a ladder is defamation of God Himself and breaking a mirror.

All of these are superstitions by the definition of the word and should be left as such. Making decisions and acting on these irrational beliefs could delay your life and even cause pain to others.


In the song hook, Stevie Wonder sings about how when you blindly succumb to these superstitions, your life will make a lot less sense. If you can’t work out something through logic and rational thought, it’s probably superstition.

If a superstition you believe in is good for society, stick to it by all means. But if they are preventing you from living the best life, hurting you, or hurting others, you should really consider those choices.

Verse 2

In the song’s second verse, Stevie Wonder brings another superstition; wash their face and hands to wash away their sins. Some ancient religions believe in washing away sins with holy water. Stevie might suggest that instead of washing away our sins, we could try not to sin at all.

Verse 3

In the third verse, Stevie goes so far as to say that the devil is behind these superstitions. Sometimes it is. Events such as “Friday the 13th” are almost always associated with death, torture and hauntings.

Historically, there are instances where these superstitions have caused blind believers to plunder, rape, and murder other human beings. He’s the real devil in the works. For example, in certain periods of the ancient Roman Empire, if a child was born deformed, families would let it die, believing that these deformed children carried bad omens. Dating further back, female newborns have been left to die on male newborns, believing that male children bring good fortune, luck and prosperity to the family.

Education is now accessible to more and more people and with all the scientific advances made, superstitions take their last breath in the 21st century. However, as we said, not all superstitions are bad.

Let us know what you think of this song in the comments below. Do you believe in superstitions?

Check out the song’s full lyrics on Genius.

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