Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke

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Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke

Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life

Funk

Stevie Wonder wrote, arranged, performed, and produced “Sir Duke” for his 1976 album Songs in the Key of Life. He also released it as a singled, backed with “He’s Misstra Know-It-All”  in 1977. “Sir Duke” is a tribute the jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader Duke Ellington, who died in 1974. Wonder said that he had the title from the beginning “but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us” as “so soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation.” Besides Ellington, the song mentions Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, and Sodarisa Miller.

“Sir Duke” went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and R&B chart. It went to #2 in the U.K. and Canada.

On the track are Stevie Wonder (vocals, electric piano, and percussion), Raymond Maldonado and Steve Madaio (trumpets), Raymond Pounds (drums), Nathan Watts (bass), Michael Sembello (lead guitar), Ben Bridges (rhythm guitar), Hank Redd (alto sax), and Trevor Lawrence (tenor sax).

Here are the lyrics to “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder:

Music is a world within itself
With a language we all understand
With an equal opportunity
For all to sing, dance and clap their hands
But just because a record has a groove
Don’t make it in the groove
But you can tell right away at letter A
When the people start to move

They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people
They can feel it all over
They can feel it all over people

Music knows it is and always will
Be one of the things that life just won’t quit
But here are some of music’s pioneers
That time will not allow us to forget now
For there’s Basie, Miller, Sachmo
And the king of all Sir Duke
And with a voice like Ella’s ringing out
There’s no way the band can lose

You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
You can feel it all over people
You can feel it all over

I can feel it all over-all over now people
Can’t you feel it all over
Come on let’s feel it all over people
You can feel it all over
Everybody-all over people

For other songs by Stevie Wonder: “Superstition” and “Uptight (Everything’s Alright).”

For More 70s Tunes

The System has daily featured music from all sorts of genres of 1970s music. You’re welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections in The System. Thank you for stopping by. Hope you enjoyed “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder.

1 Comment

  1. P. Larson says:

    The Miller in this song is Glenn Miller, not Sodarisa Miller.

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