I Wish chords by Stevie Wonder


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I Wish | Chords + Lyrics (Em and E)


Intro (0:00)

||: Em7 A :|| x8

Verse 1 (0:25)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy.
Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy.

Bridge 1 (0:45)

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Even though we sometimes would not get a thing,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
we were happy with the joy the day would bring.

Verse 2 (0:55)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Sneaking out the back door to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine.
Greeted at the back door with boy thought I told you not to go outside.

Bridge 2 (1:14)

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
thinking it might stop her from woopin’ your behind.

Chorus 1 (1:23)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go, ’cause I love them so.

Instrumental (1:43)

||: Em7 A :|| x4
Do do do…

Verse 3 (1:53)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Brother says he’s telling ’bout you playing doctor with that girl.
Just don’t tell I’ll give you anything you want in this whole wide world.

Bridge 3 (2:12)

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
Mama gives you money for Sunday school,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
you trade yours for candy after church is through.

Verse 4 (2:21)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy).
Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the hall.

Bridge 4 (2:40)

| B7 C#7 | F#m7 Am6 |
You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right,
| B7 C#7 | F#m7 B7 |
but while you were doing it, it sure felt outta sight.

Chorus 2 (2:50)

||: Em7 A | Em7 A :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.

Outro (3:10)

||: Em7 A :|| x8 (chords)
||: Em7 A :|| x8 (horn line)
||: Em7 A :|| x8 (Bass line)


Arranging I Wish for one acoustic guitar (Em and E)

The two most important parts to fit into your acoustic guitar arrangement for I Wish are:

  1. The bass line
  2. The syncopated chords

The bass line simply has to be played exactly like the record, it’s perfect as it is and should not be messed with.

In between the bass line, you can move between different shapes of an Em7 and A chord. Having these instead of Ebm and Ab makes complete sense as you can use those open strings, also, the horn line for the end section can use open strings.

When it comes to I Wish chord shapes, I mainly use the Am shape for the Em7 chord, then move either down to an E-shaped, or, up to a C-shaped A chord.

Let’s take a look at the entire arrangement again, now in the original key of Ebm and Eb as this is what you’d play if you play I Wish with a band.


I Wish | Chords + Lyrics (original key)


Intro

||: Ebm7 Ab :|| x8

Verse 1

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Looking back on when I was a little nappy-headed boy.
Then my only worry was for Christmas what would be my toy.

Bridge 1

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Even though we sometimes would not get a thing,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
we were happy with the joy the day would bring.

Verse 2

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Sneaking out the back door to hang out with those hoodlum friends of mine.
Greeted at the back door with boy thought I told you not to go outside.

Bridge 2

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Trying your best to bring the water to your eyes,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
thinking it might stop her from woopin’ your behind.

Chorus 1

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go, ’cause I love them so.

Instrumental 1

||: Ebm7 Ab :|| x4
Do do do…

Verse 3

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Brother says he’s telling ’bout you playing doctor with that girl.
Just don’t tell I’ll give you anything you want in this whole wide world.

Bridge 3

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
Mama gives you money for Sunday school,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
you trade yours for candy after church is through.

Verse 4

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
Smoking cigarettes and writing something nasty on the wall (you nasty boy).
Teacher sends you to the principal’s office down the hall.

Bridge 4

| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Abm6 |
You grow up and learn that kinda thing ain’t right,
| Bb7 C7 | Fm7 Bb7 |
but while you were doing it, it sure felt outta sight.

Chorus 2

||: Emb7 Ab | Ebm7 Ab :||
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.
I wish those days could come back once more, why did those days ever have to go.

Outro

||: Emb7 Ab :|| x4
||: Emb7 Ab :|| x32 (horn line)


I Wish’s chords and progressions

Let’s analyze Stevie Wonder‘s masterpiece I Wish. The progression of the verse is, just like the intro, a II – V, #4 on my top 10 chord progression list. This movement paints the harmonic landscape of Dorian.

The bridge is the adventurous part. I would describe this progression as being in the key of Eb (not Eb Dorian as the verse), with two variations; VIx and IVm.

This would make the Bb7 chord V7, The C7 chord VIx7, the Fm7 would be chord IIm7 and the Abm6 would be a IVm chord. The final chord, the Bb7, could also be extended to a Bb7#9.

I Wish’ chorus has the same chords as the intro and verse.

If you play this song with a band, it would definitely be in the original key, but then you’d have bass and keyboards so playing in Ebm won’t be as hard as it is when playing I Wish on just one acoustic guitar.


I Wish | Related pages


I Wish – 8 guitar lessons

I Wish, guitar lessons in the course.

I Wish by Stevie Wonder will soon be available as eight step-by-step guitar lessons.

Until then, TAB for what I play in the video is available.

Go to I Wish – 8 guitar lessons.


Advanced Acoustic Songs

When you can play I Wish chords, discover more advanced acoustic songs.

These songs use big chord extensions and sometimes, unique and complex chords that incorporate open strings.

Study these in-depth and you will gain a complete understanding of the fretboard, including how to build any scale, arpeggio, and chord, anywhere on the guitar.

Go to Advanced Acoustic Songs.


I Wish – 5 similar tunes

When you can play I Wish chords, try these five tunes from the song book.

Stevie Wonder

Find out more about Stevie Wonder, the ma who wrote I Wish chords.

Stevie Wonder is the legend whom most practicing musicians come across that has a life-changing impact on them.

Stevie’s natural groove and ability to purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting are second to none.

Go to Stevie Wonder.


Stevie Wonder on the web

Listen to Stevie Wonder on Spotify.