Song Lyric Sunday – Wonder

Song Lyric Sunday prompts for this week are Amaze, Astonish, Curious, Shock, Surprise and Wonder suggested by Melanie B Cee, aka Sparky of Sparks From A Combustible Mind.

I have picked the Natalie Merchant song, “Wonder” that I have always liked. Hope you like it too!

The Song

When she was a teenager, Natalie Merchant worked at a day camp for special needs children, many of whom had been institutionalized since infancy and abandoned by their parents. This song was inspired by that experience.

She explained on a VH1 Storytellers appearance: “When I was 13 years old, we’re talking 1976, I spent my summer working as a volunteer for a bunch of hippies, basically, that got a seed grant from the Carter administration, which had a lot of really wonderful programs for the arts. These people started a day camp for handicapped children, and I worked for them the whole summer. A lot of these children were institutionalized – their parents had left the scene a long time ago. They didn’t function so well in a conventional sense, but it seems that a lot of the children had developed like a private language or new senses so they could navigate through the world, especially the blind and the deaf children that we worked with.

From an early age, I had that contact with children who had special needs. I had lost my fear of intimacy with them – especially with Down syndrome kids, they could be really unpredictable and up to that point I had been a little frightened of them. I maintained some of the friendships with those kids and I was always open to meeting children with special needs. So when I wrote the song ‘Wonder,’ I wrote the song about a woman who was born with handicaps that seemed insurmountable, but she did overcome them, greatly because she had a loving family, especially her adoptive mother – she had been given up to an institution at birth.”
This is a very meaningful song to many people who grew up with special needs and their caretakers. The song views these people as “wonders,” with doctors having no explanation for their condition, but seeing the work of God in the creation.

“I’ve met a lot of people through this song, and they’ve told me that they’ve taken it on as their song, that it describes them,” Merchant said. “It describes their strengths in spite of what others would see as deficiencies.”
Natalie Merchant performed this song, along with “Carnival,” on an episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by David Schwimmer in 1995.

The Lyrics

Doctors have come from distant cities, just to see me
Stand over my bed, disbelieving what they're seeing

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of God's own creation
And as far as they see, they can offer
No explanation

Newspapers ask intimate questions, want confessions
They reach into my head to steal, the glory of my story

They say I must be one of the wonders
Of God's own creation
And as far as they see, they can offer
No explanation

Ooo, I believe, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as you came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience, and with faith
She'll make her way, she'll make her way

People see me I'm a challenge to your balance
I'm over your heads how I confound you
And astound you
To know I must be one of the wonders
God's own creation
And as far as they see, they can offer
Me no explanation

Ooo, I believe, fate smiled
And destiny laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as she came to my mother
Know this child will not suffer
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She'll make her way, she'll make her way
She'll make her way, she'll make her way

Writer/s: NATALIE A MERCHANT 
Publisher: Downtown Music Publishing
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

  4 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Wonder

  1. June 22, 2022 at 10:41 am

    Had never heard this song. Very inspirational.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 22, 2022 at 8:50 pm

      Thank you! Yes I thought so too ☺️

  2. June 19, 2022 at 9:47 am

    I think it is wonderful that the world is finally making some advances understanding special needs children. This was really bad the way they were treated a long time agio, as I saw people teasing them when I was in High School, which I never liked, but I didn’t have the courage to stand up against them being bullied. I worked as a substitute teacher and had the special needs kids some times and I always found them to be very nice. Thanks for sharing this song today Christine.

    • Christine Bolton
      June 19, 2022 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks Jim. I grew up with a neighbor who had Downs Syndrome. We were around seven and eight years old and she was like 35 and she used to play with us. She was just like us really only bigger. It was a lot of fun. In fact much later in life I was on a committee for Special Olympics here locally in Florida for many years. The club I worked at used to hold a golf tournament fundraiser every year. What goes around comes around I guess.

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