Africa Optimism Recalled…

Having never been one of those ‘back to Africa’ types, I’m not really sure why these two songs have been playing in my head for the last few days. Maybe I heard one of them in a commercial, or perhaps one was playing behind something I saw on the news. Either way, they are a reflection of a time when many of us hoped Africa had a brighter future than the one that actually came to pass…

Through the night…through the dawn,
Behind you another runner is born.
Don’t look back, you’ve been there.
Feel the mist as your breath hits the air.
And it’s underneath the moonlight, passing some;
Still your heart beats in the moonlight like a drum.

And you will run your time, a shooting star across the sky.
And you will surely cross the line, to pass on the flame…

Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – “Runner”
from 1983’s “Somewhere in Afrika”

I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She’s coming in twelve-thirty flight
Her moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old 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 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 have…

Toto – “Africa”
from 1982’s “Toto IV”

I want ice water.

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