They Won't Go When I Go

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
"They Won't Go When I Go"
Song by Stevie Wonder
from the album Fulfillingness' First Finale
ReleasedJuly 22, 1974
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Yvonne Wright
"They Won't Go When I Go"
Song by George Michael
from the album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Yvonne Wright
Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 track listing
10 tracks

"They Won't Go When I Go" is a song co-written and performed by Stevie Wonder from his 1974 album Fulfillingness' First Finale.

This song is the only one on the album that Wonder did not write by himself. His co-writer was Yvonne Lowrene Wright, who co-wrote songs with Wonder for other albums.[1] Wright's sister, Syreeta Wright, was Wonder's first wife.

Wonder performed this song, along with "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer", at Michael Jackson's memorial service on July 7, 2009.


The song has been considered a "retro composition" comparing the piano to that of Beethoven and Chopin. The song is also noted to have a "funeral march" like tone.[2] There is clear allusion to the 1850 German chorale tune "O mein Jesu," the setting of Thomas Kelly's 1805 Protestant hymn "Stricken, smitten, and afflicted." Critics noted that the song takes a more dramatic tone than most of Wonder's other compositions. The fact that the song specifically says "They won't go when I go" was said to imply the friends Wonder is talking about may get to heaven eventually, just not before he does.[3] Many consider this song to be a dark consequence of Stevie's 1973 car accident. The harmonic progression is very similar to Chopin's Etude Opus 10 number 4, measures 5 and 6, although at a much slower pace.



  1. ^ James E. Perone, The Sound of Stevie Wonder, p 61
  2. ^ James E. Perone (2006). The Sound of Stevie Wonder: His Words and Music. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-275-98723-7.
  3. ^ Steve Lodder (2005). Stevie Wonder: A Musical Guide to the Classic Albums. Backbeat. pp. 136–. ISBN 978-0-87930-821-6.
  4. ^ "George Michael's They Won't Go When I Go - Discover the Original Song". WhoSampled. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  5. ^ "14th Annual Independent Music Awards: Tribute Album". Music Resource Group LLC. Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. Retrieved May 2015. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "Chance The Rapper: Tiny Desk Concert". Retrieved 2017-07-18.

External links[edit]