Wonder wrote this to celebrate the birth of his daughter, Aisha. In 2005, Aisha (last name: Morris, which is Wonder's real name) sang a duet with her dad on his song "How Will I Know."
The song opens with the crying of a just-born baby. That's not the song's subject, Aisha, but at the end of the song when Stevie says, "Come on, Aisha. Get out of the water, baby," the splashing and protests (familiar to many parents at bathtime) are really her, recorded during a memorable moment between Stevie and his daughter.
Wonder had Aisha with Yolanda Simmons, whom he mentions near the end of the song: "Londi it could have not been done, without you who conceived the one."
Wonder played all of instruments on this track except some of the keyboards, which were done by Greg Phillinganes. Wonder improvised the harmonica part, which came out sounding very good.
The song runs 6:34 with a long fadeout where Wonder interacts with his daughter. Wonder, who had control of such matter thanks to a comprehensive contract he signed with Motown, would let the song be edited down and released as a single in America, which kept it off the Hot 100 despite being one of his most popular songs. The song was released as a single in the UK, where it was cut down to 3:26.
Much of the album was recorded at The Hit Factory, a legendary recording studio in New York City where John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Paul Simon also recorded. Wonder was the first client at The Hit Factory, which closed in 2005.
In 2015, Wonder was honored with the TV special Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life - An All-Star Grammy Salute. This was performed at the ceremony by Ne-Yo, who was joined midway through the song by Aisha Morris, surprising Wonder, who didn't expect to hear his daughter's voice.
finalist Clay Aiken performed this on the TV show Scrubs
in the Episode "My Life in Four Cameras."
This appears in the 2003 Cuba Gooding Jr. film The Fighting Temptations. Other movies to use the song include Sea of Roses (1978) and Juwanna Mann (2002). TV series to use it include Designing Women, Doogie Howser, M.D., and Desperate Housewives.
A cover version by singer-songwriter and producer David Parton was a #4 hit in the UK in early 1977. Parton is best known for writing and co-producing Sweet Sensation's 1974 hit "Sad Sweet Dreamer
" in 1974.
Livingston Taylor (younger brother of James), released his version on his 1997 album, Ink
The song entered the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in May 2011 when a cover by The Glee Cast debuted at #65.