Music Friday: Stevie Wonder Is Totally Devoted to ‘Pearl,’ the Sweetest Girl in the World

Welcome to Music Friday when we like to bring you throwback tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Stevie Wonder performs his funky rendition of “Pearl,” a 1969 song about the sweetest girl in the world.

Wonder tells us that no matter how far he travels or how far he roams, there’s no girl in the whole wide world as sweet as the girl he’s got waiting for him back at home.

He sings, “Let me tell you, I love that girl so / And I call that girl Pearl / Sweetest girl in the world.”

Written by Richard Morris, “Pearl” was the seventh track on Wonder’s memorable album My Cherie Amour, which spawned a number of hits, including the title track and “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday.”

Born Stevland Hardaway Morris in inner-city Detroit, Wonder was a child prodigy and musical genius — despite being blind since infancy. His first instrument was a harmonica and he was a skilled musician by the age of eight. (“Pearl” happens to feature an excellent harmonica solo by Wonder.)

He was discovered by Ronnie White of the Miracles at the age of 11 and was quickly signed to a five-year Motown contract by CEO Berry Gordy.

Billed at Little Stevie Wonder, the singer/songwriter/musician was an instant sensation. Wonder and his mother received a stipend to cover their expenses, and the young performer got $2.50 in spending money per week. The rest of his earnings were held in trust until he turned 21.

Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bongos, organ, melodica and Clavinet.

Now 65, Wonder has performed for more than five decades. Over that time, he has amassed 30 U.S. top 10 hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and Rolling Stone magazine named him the ninth greatest singer of all time. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters halls of fame.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of Wonder’s performance of “Pearl.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Pearl”
Written by Richard Morris. Performed by Stevie Wonder.

Oh, people let me tell you
No matter how far I travel
No matter how far I roam
There’s no other girl in the whole wide world
Sweet as the girl I, I got at home

Woah and I love that girl so
(Oh, I love that girl so)
Yeah, I need that girl, children
(Oh, I need that girl so)

Let me tell you, I love that girl so
(Oh, I love that girl so)
And I call that girl Pearl
Sweetest girl in the world
(Sweetest girl in the world, love that girl Pearl)

Sweet young thing
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Sweet sixteen
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Prize I can’t afford to lose
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)

She’s the only thing
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
That stands between
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
Me and
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)
The Twelfth Street Blues
(Yeah, yeah, yeah)

Woah and I love that girl so, have mercy
(Oh, I love that girl so)
I need that girl so
(Oh, I need that girl so)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

I love that girl so, have mercy
(Oh, I love that girl so)
I’m talkin’ ’bout Pearl
Sweetest girl in the world
(Sweetest girl in the world, love that girl Pearl)

Oh baby, baby, baby, baby
(Oh, I love that girl so)
Oh baby, baby, baby, baby
(Oh, I need that girl so)
Oh, I love that girl so
(Oh, I love that girl so)
Sweetest girl in the world
(Sweetest girl in the world, love that girl Pearl)

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, I love that girl
Love that, love that girl, love that girl, yeah
(Oh, I love that girl so)
I need that girl so
(Oh, I need that girl so)

Woah I love that girl, woah
(Oh, I love that girl so)
And I call that little girl Pearl
Sweetest girl in the world
Sweetest girl in the world, love that girl Pearl
Sweetest girl in the world, love that girl Pearl

Image: By Pete Souza, official White House photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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