"He's Misstra Know It All" as written by and Stevie Wonder....
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He's Misstra Know-It-All song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentThe song was meant as a scathing attack on Nixon, but comes through as a statement of the US money culture in general.
    ASigIAm213on January 17, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm surprised there's only one comment on this good song. It's one of my favorite among stevie's song.

    He's misstra know it all~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Although I understand just little about this song, it is just a perfect sound.
    king1475on November 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI'd say it's about some kind of a gambler. A guy who maybe cheats ("with a counterfeit dollar in his hand") or tricks people just to get his money ("playin' hard, talkin' fast, makin' sure that he won't be the last"). A gambler could at least be a possibility ("any place, he will play") because it's a normal thing to do if you like taking risks, know that you're good and so on. "His only concern is how much you'll pay" could mean that he knows he'll win, and he's very self confident and acts cool etc. "He'll tell you he knows he's living right", "If you had my kind of cash you'd have more than one place to go". He's cold and lonely, maybe, but lifts himself up in his mind because he's winning all the time.

    So it seems to me like Stevie Wonder describes a hustler of some kind, maybe a seller ("makes a deal with a smile") that lures people to pay too much, or just a guy that has found a way to beat the system. "Must be seen, there's no doubt, he's the coolest one with the biggest smile", maybe points out the ego in him, giving me the impression that he's either having a lot of secrets or just enjoying it all. And tricking others to "believe" his smile and friendliness.

    "If we had less of him, we'd had a better land" proves to me, at least, that this is about a character who's personality can be found in every population. And not about Nixon, but about a man that started off with nothing and worked his way up to get rich with dirty money. Though, of course, this is pointed at the United States, and maybe the US money culture in general (like ASigIAm213 said).

    As for "He's misstra know it all", I know what it means, but what about "His misstra know(s) it all"? Like if it's his woman, or God, or any other person knowing that "his lie's a mile". At least that's a feeling I get: Somebody knows all the wrong he's done. But on the other hand, it pretty obviously means "He is Mr. Know-It-All", right?


    One of my favorite songs of all time, too. Doesn't mean I'm correct at all, though. :) Maybe it actually is about Nixon.
    TommyVFon May 03, 2012   Link
  • +1
    Song FactThe answer can be found at 3:50 & 4:02 where Stevie tells you his name. Listen carefully at these points he says rather clearly John Lennon at 3:50 and later 12 seconds later. However, note that this is OMITTED from the songs lyrics.

    "Don't you know John Lennon has the super plan."
    peter11010on March 12, 2017   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the Song is about Nixon! thats a very good first post @ASigIAm213 thank you
    kepnerson June 02, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs someone who thinks she knows it all (but who is shown time and time again that she knows LITTLE), I couldn't find anything that states conclusively that Wonder wrote this song about President Nixon (who happened to give the very best speeches ever written, which he didn't write himself). Sorry, my ADD causes easy distraction. Anyway, according to articles on the Internet, some believe the song was about Nixon; others about the steel industry; others about drug dealers; etc. Unless it comes from Wonder's mouth (the explanation that is), I'm not buying the Nixon angle. As for Wonder, he's obviously talented, but I've never liked his music (or his voice).
    SweetCheeks2on February 18, 2012   Link

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