Saturday Night Music, February 11, 2012: “You Met Your Match,” Stevie Wonder, 1968

One of my favorite singles from Stevie, before he really hit the big time in the Seventies.  This song came from his tenth studio album, For Once in My Life.   For Once in My My Life also includes the album-titled hit song as well as another favorite, “Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day.”

Lula Mae Hardaway (1930-2006) who made her life and that of her son possible (Courtesy: Find A Grave)

Of course, Stevie is backed up by the Funk Brothers, particularly by James Jamerson‘s intro on bass and on throughout the song.

“You Met Your Match” was co-written by Stevie’s mother, Lula Mae Hardaway, and Don Hunter (at left).  Amazed? Stevie’s mom co-wrote many of her son’s songs in his minority.  Those songs always captured a tinge of the confusion of the high school-aged (or socialized) suitor, trying to negotiate how a girl could fall in love with him one day, and then break up with the boy three days later for a rival (or two).   This, however, was exactly the audience Motown aimed for.

Stevie Wonder sending his mom home at her funeral in 2006 (Courtesy:

My favorite lines from this song?  That’s when your grape fell from the vine/yeah, yeah, yeah.  And, ‘Cause my love light’s burning/My whole life’s yearning for you.

Notably, Hardaway co-wrote the hit singles “I Was Made to Love Her” and “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.”  She, as well as Stevie, was nominated for a Grammy for “Signed, Sealed” in 1970.  It was Stevie’s first Grammy nomination.

Stevie’s Mama Lula passed away in 2006 at the young age of 76.  Her life story was the subject of a book, Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder‘s Mother, which was published in 2002.

Here are the lyrics below.

Hey, you were good at playing the fox, girl
When I was good you threw me a bone
But I ain’t playing hot for nobody
Girl, just you wait ’til I get you home
I’ll show you the way to love somebody
Like you’ve never ever been shown

‘Cause my love light’s burning
My whole life’s yearning for you
Hey baby

You were playing the part with Jimmy and Freddie
You tried to make me look like a fool
But I took care of Cindy and Susie
Just to show you I can be twice as cool, baby
If you want to learn how to love me
I’ll teach you in my own private school

‘Cause my love light’s burning
My whole life’s yearning for you

You met your match
When you played with my affections
You met your match
When you tried to make me walk the line
You met your match
When you decided you would hurt me
That’s when your grape fell from the vine

Your mama told me that I better be mellow
She said, you’re just a baby, maybe too green
I told her Jimmy, Freddie, Teddy and Victor
They know better
Mama, shake off that dream
I told her that you were really cooking
My love is burning for a turn at the steam

Hey, ’cause
My love light’s burning
My whole life’s yearning for you

You met your match
When you told me you loved me
You met your match
When you told me that you wouldn’t let go
You met your match [X7]
You met your match [X7]

You met your match in me…

~ by blksista on February 11, 2012.

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