Music Friday: Stevie Wonder Sings About Girl With ‘Diamonds in Her Shoes’

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Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, R&B legend Stevie Wonder teams up with pop princess Ariana Grande in the high-energy, gospel-tinged showstopper, “Faith,” from the soundtrack of the 2016 animated family flick, Sing.

In the first line of the song, Wonder describes a young woman with unusual footwear and a spring in her step: “See the girl with the diamonds in her shoes? Yeah / She walks around like she’s got nothin’ to lose / Yes she’s a go-getter, she’s everybody’s type / She’s a queen of the city but she don’t believe the hype.”

The meaning behind gem-embellished footwear has been hotly debated since Paul Simon first performed “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes” on Saturday Night Live in 1986. In reviewing Simon’s song about the unlikely romance between a poor boy and a rich girl in New York City, critics wondered if the diamond/shoe reference symbolized conspicuous consumption or something more positive and upbeat?

One contributor to songmeanings.com compared wearing diamonds on the soles of one’s shoes to looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.

“Everywhere you go, your interaction is done through the diamonds on your shoes,” he wrote, “and diamonds as a symbol of wealth, happiness and love mean you are interacting with your world through a constant ‘happy’ filter, you have a skip to your step, you are happy.”

We believe this is exactly what Wonder and his co-writers are conveying in “Faith,” which can be heard during the opening credits of Sing, which featured an all-star voice cast (Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson) and grossed $634 million worldwide. It even spawned a sequel, Sing 2, in 2021.

Grande was only 23 years old when she was invited to join Wonder (then 66) in a sound booth to record “Faith” in 2016. The spellbound singer recounted the experience during an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

“Not only did I get to sing with him, but we were in the same booth,” Grande said. “So it was like me and Stevie Wonder, arm in arm, holding hands in the booth, singing together, laughing, having a good time. I was like, ‘Whoa.’

“Every time I got comfortable with the fact that I was in a booth arm-in-arm with Stevie Wonder, then he would hit a Stevie run and I’d be like ‘Oh [bleep]’ Stevie Wonder. It was surreal.”

“Faith” charted in seven countries and was nominated for Best Original Song at the 74th Golden Globe Awards.

Please check out the video of Wonder and Grande performing “Faith.” We also have the lyrics, below, if you’d like to sing along…

“Faith”
Written by Ryan Tedder, Stevie Wonder and Francis Farewell Starlite. Performed by Stevie Wonder, featuring Ariana Grande.

[Stevie Wonder:]
See the girl with the diamonds in her shoes? Yeah
She walks around like she’s got nothin’ to lose
Yes she’s a go-getter, she’s everybody’s type
She’s a queen of the city but she don’t believe the hype
She’s got her own elevation, holy motivation
‘Til I wrote some letters on big bold signs

[Together:]
I got faith in you baby, I got faith in you now
And you’ve been such a, such a good friend of me
Know that I gotta love you somehow
I met you, hallelujah, I got faith

[Ariana Grande]
See the boy with the Stevie Wonder swag?
Ain’t gotta clue all the magic that he has
He’s a go-getter, he’s everybody’s type
I’ma make it my mission, make him feel alright
He’s a twelve on a ten point, rockin’ out to his joint
Just say the word ’cause I can sing all night

[Together:]
I got faith in you baby, I got faith in you now
And you’ve been such a, such a good friend of me
Know that I love you somehow (love you somehow)
I met you, hallelujah, I got faith

[Wonder:]
Faith, yeah
Yes I do, mmm
I get it runnin’ and my mind goes crazy
I think about you mornin’, noon, night and day

[Together:]
I get it runnin’ and my mind goes crazy
I think about you mornin’, noon, night and day
I get it runnin’ and my mind goes crazy
I think about you mornin’, noon, night and day
I got faith in you honey, I got faith in you girl
I met you, hallelujah

I got faith in you baby, I got faith in you now
And you’ve been such a, such a good friend of me
Know that I love you somehow (love you somehow)
I met you, hallelujah, I got faith
(Faith, faith, baby)

I got faith in you baby, I got faith in you now
And you’ve been such a, such a good friend of me
Know that I gotta love you somehow (love you somehow)
I met you, hallelujah, I met you, hallelujah
I met you, hallelujah, I got faith

Faith

Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com / Stevie Wonder.



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