♫ Africa ♫ (Redux)

For some reason unbeknownst to me, this song has been bouncing around in my head all day!  I haven’t played it in over two years, so perhaps you’ve forgotten by now, yes? 


If you say, “Toto” to me, I will immediately think of the little doggie in the movie, The Wizard of Oz.  If you remind me that you mean the band, Toto, only one song will come to mind … Africa.  It is, to me, their signature song, the only one I can name of theirs.

‘Twasn’t always so, though, and the song almost didn’t even get recorded.  In an article in Time magazine, one of the group members said they were looking for a song just to close off the album and did not think Africa would do as well as it did. They also mentioned that if you listen close enough during the lyrics “catch some waves,” some group members were singing “catch some rays.”

Toto keyboard player David Paich wrote the song …

“At the beginning of the ’80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn’t leave my head. I tried to imagine how I’d feel about if I was there and what I’d do.

There’s a little metaphor involved here, because I was at the age where I was so immersed in my work, 24/7, that at times I felt like I was becoming just a victim of my work. There was a little bit of autobiographical information in there: being consumed by my work, not having time to go out and pursue getting married and raising a family and doing all the things that other people do that were my age at the time.”

This is probably Toto’s most famous song, but per guitarist Steve Lukather …

“A lot of people categorize us as ‘that ‘Africa’ or ‘Rosanna’ band,’ and I hate that s–t. We have a lot more substance than that. Don’t get me wrong – those songs have been great to us, but you really don’t understand the depth of the band if that’s all you know.

According to an article in Rolling Stone in October 2018 …

“Nothing sums up 2018 like the fact that Toto’s “Africa” has become our unofficial anthem. It’s a song that’s ridiculous by definition — an Eighties ode to Africa by a bunch of L.A. rock dudes who’d never set foot in the place. But something about this song speaks to our moment. It’s the new “Don’t Stop Believin’” — a mega-cheese classic of Eighties sentiment that’s gotten bizarrely popular in recent years, beloved by hipsters and moms and tone-deaf karaoke singers screaming “I bless the rains down in Africa!” Love it or hate it, you’ve probably heard it today. You’ll hear it tomorrow. This damn song follows you everywhere, like the sound of wild dogs crying out in the night.”

Africa
Toto

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She’s coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some long forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, “Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you”

It’s gonna take a lot to take me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Hurry boy, she’s waiting there for you

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(Ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

Songwriters: David Paich / Jeff Porcaro
Africa lyrics © Spirit Music Group

34 thoughts on “♫ Africa ♫ (Redux)

  1. I’ve heard this one so much over the years, and it and Toto IV, the album it is on, were both big hits here. I think Rolling Stone summed it up rather well! Did you know that Jeff Porcaro, their drummer and co-writer of this, was in great demand as a session musician until his untimely death. If you look him up on Wikipedia, prepare to be impressed by the list of artists he worked with!

    Liked by 3 people

    • No, I had no idea that Jeff Porcaro had worked with so many! I checked out the Wikipedia entry and was amazed by the artists he worked with … and also saddened by his untimely death! Thanks for that added info, Clive!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Fascinating! Thank you for sharing with us! I must admit that my favourite was the ‘folk’, and when the ‘power metal’ came on, I had to jerk my headphones off, for it hurt my ears! I hope your relative can resume touring sometime this year! Thanks again!

      Like

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