I’ve written about this before, but my big sister is my Beatles hero. Maybe you have one, too — that person who led you to the Liverpudlian water for the first time. When I was in middle school, my sister’s room was covered wall-to-wall with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Posters. Books. My sister draws beautifully and she did these awesome, larger-than-life charcoal illustrations of their faces. I wish I could show you pictures of the whole scene; it was amazing. She led by example, and I’ll never be able to thank her enough for it.
When my sister went to college, my mom/writing hero wrote a book about what it’s like to shepherd a child off to college for the first time. She called it She’s Leaving Home, and the Beatles song it borrowed its name from has held a special place in my heart ever since. (You can, ahem, buy said book here.) So I got really excited yesterday when I was doing some mild Spotify stalking (a certain long-hared, long-bearded Richmond musician listens to THE BEST music, just FYI) and found my new favorite version of “She’s Leaving Home.”
Stevie Wonder’s funkification of the song borders on the ridiculous — or maybe the sacrilegious, I can’t tell which — with talk-boxy backing vocal tracks that harmonize with each other like two mournful robot parents who wake up to find that their robot daughter has flown the robot coop. (Seriously — you have to listen. It’s crazy.) But with Syreeta’s stirring lead performance lighting the way, the whole thing comes together to form a strangely touching take on the song, and I love it a little more every time I listen. See what you think below.