Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

They Won't Go When I Go


Composer * Stevie Wonder & Yvonne Wright
Produced & Arranged * Stevie Wonder
Musicians * Stevie Wonder all instruments


"They Won't Go When I Go" was composed by Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright for the album "Fulfillingness First Finale" from the year 1974. The song -with a tone similar to a funeral march- has a clear allusion to the 1850 German chorale tune "O mein Jesu", the scene of the protestant hymn of Thomas Kelly of 1805 "Stricken, smitten, and afflicted". Considered a composition "retro" by the sound of the piano compared to classics like Chopin or Beethoven, many consider the song as a sad reflection of the car accident that Stevie had a year before and that was about to lose his life. The harmonic progression is very similar to Chopin's Etude Opus 10 number 4, measures 5 and 6, although at a much slower pace.

Stevie Wonder performed a version of the song at Michael Jackson's memorial service on July 7, 2009.

They Won't Go When I Go


No more lying friends
Wanting tragic ends
Though they do pretend
They won't go when I go
All those bleeding hearts
With sorrows to impart
Were right here from the start
And they won't go when I go
And I'll go where I've longed
To go so long
Away from tears
Gone from painful cries
Away from saddened eyes
Along with him I'll bide
Because they won't go when I go
Big men feeling small
Weak ones standing tall
I will watch them fall
They won't go when I go
And I'll go where I've longed
To go so long
Away from tears
Unclean minds mislead the pure
The innocent will leave for sure
For them there is a resting place
People sinning just for fun
They will never see the sun
For they can never show their faces
There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner
Who will take more than he will give
He ain't hardly gonna give
The greed of man will be
Far away from me
And my soul will be free
They won't go when I go
Since my soul conceived
All that I believe
The kingdom I will see
'Cause they won't go when I go
When I go
Where I'll go
No one can keep me
From my destiny.
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