For Once In My Life

Songwriters: Ron Miller, Orlando Murden
Performer: Stevie Wonder, others
Category: Golden Oldies

This song has passed through a lot of hands in its life! It was originally written in 1967 by Motown writers Miller & Murden for a couple of different women (Barbara McNair and Jean DuShon), who each recorded a slow version of it.

Later that year, Stevie Wonder requested permission to record it at a faster tempo. Interestingly, Motown CEO Berry Gordy didn't particularly like it done that way and had its release cancelled. He was later convinced to allow Wonder to release it in 1968 and, much to Gordy's surprise, it was a hit. It ranked second on the Billboard Pop Singles and Billboard R&B Singles charts, beat out only by (ironically) another song Gordy had originally shot down - Marvin Gaye's I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

A variety of other artists recorded this over the years, some with the faster tempo, others with slow - The Temptations, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Vonda Shepard (singer on Ally McBeal TV show), Glen Campbell, Bobby Darrin, and a host of others, down through Michael Buble, Michael Bolton and Harry Connick Jr.

Sheet music - Stevie Wonder version 1 (piano/vocal, can be piano solo)
Sheet music - Stevie Wonder version 2 (piano/vocal)
Sheet music - Michael Buble version (piano/vocal)


Goodbye, old friend,
This is the end of the man I used to be,
'Cause there's been a strange and
Welcome change in me

For once in my life I have someone who needs me
Someone I've needed so long
For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me
And somehow I know I'll be strong

For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of
Long before I knew
Someone warm like you
Would make my dreams come true

For once in my life I won't let sorrow hurt me
Not like it's hurt me before
For once, I have something I know won't desert me
I'm not alone anymore

For once, I can say, this is mine, you can't take it
As long as I know I have love, I can make it
For once in my life, I have someone who needs me

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