Song of the Day #1,572: ‘Africa’ – Toto

It’s taken me a long time to realize that there is no shame in liking something you really have no good reason to like.

I guess you can call that embracing a guilty pleasure, but I don’t see it that way exactly. It’s more a matter of deciding once and for all that taste is subjective and if some cheesy soft-rock ballad works for you — against all logic — well, then it works for you. No need to second guess it.

Toto’s ‘Africa’ works for me. I love the opening synth line, the gentle verses, the pleasing chorus.

Do I understand where YouTube commenter gildamx is coming from when she posts “Pure mainstream and fm Rock shit; awfull” under a clip of this song? Sure I do. And I also appreciate that she made proper use of a semicolon despite misspelling the word ‘awful.’

But that doesn’t change the fact that I think ‘Africa’ kicks some FM rock ass.

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
Shes 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, its waiting there for you

Chorus:
Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres 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 whats right
Sure as kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti
I seek to cure whats deep inside, frightened of this thing that Ive become

Chorus

(instrumental break)

Hurry boy, shes waiting there for you

Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres 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 rains down in africa, I bless the rains down in africa
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had

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4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,572: ‘Africa’ – Toto

  1. Dana says:

    I always loved this song as well. Just the kind of synth I like, coupled with nice harmonies in the chorus. Guilty pleasure? Maybe. Guilty as charged.

  2. Shawn says:

    Uh..well…the 80’s were rough if you didn’t look underground. But listening to “Africa” again I do have to respect the singer who fits in a melody line such as “Sure as kilimanjaro rises like olympus above the serengeti.” If it were my song I would’ve crossed the line out in a minute. I didn’t understand the meaning of the song back in its time and I still don’t looking over the lyrics. Is the singer planning to break up with someone?

  3. Clay says:

    I agree, Shawn, that Serengeti line is spectacularly wrong but somehow he pulls it off.

  4. Amy says:

    Yes, you captured my feelings about this song completely. So pleasant to listen to, though I don’t own it and would never seek it out. One of the things I love most about Song Pop is remembering some of these songs I’d forgotten even existed.

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