I've always loved this song. The lyrics (which I've since googled) are so biting and accusatory:
But we are sick and tired of hearing your songI'd always imagined that his accusation was leveled at people like me: well-intentioned liberals who pay lip service to defeating social injustice, then flip open the TV Guide to see if there's anything good on. Hearing it this time around, though, I began to wonder if Mr. Stevie had another target in mind:
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing
We are amazed but not amusedYeah, seems likely that he's talking about the powers that be rather than our lethargic citizenry. Probably it was guilt over my own tendency toward inaction that made me misinterpret the lyrics when I first started paying attention to them. Possibly it was my current frustration over the state of health care in this country that got me to listen more closely.
By all the things you say that you'll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you
In any case, it's funny how much of our own baggage we bring to the songs we hear.
When was the song written? I'm too lazy to look it up. I'd find it hard to believe that Stevie Wonder would take aim at his fellow liberals, though I remember the fiery sarcasm that was "Ebony and Ivory"...
"You Haven't Done Nothing" came out in 1974. I believe it was Paul McCartney who wrote "Ebony and Ivory," and I'm going to assume you're kidding about the fiery sarcasm. It's about as bad as "You Haven't Done Nothing" is good. *shudder*
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