This song tells the story of a man who comes to Africa and must make a decision about the girl who comes to see him. He is enamored with the country, but must leave if...

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



Lyrics submitted by numb

"Africa" as written by Stone

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Africa song meanings
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98 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment:WOW!!! Many of you scholars are deeply and profoundly RETARDED!!

    This song is about a guy finding his love in Africa. Due to this, he blesses the rains in Africa, based on the fact that 'Africa' had brought them together to begin with.

    You little juvenile fuckers need to lay off of the board and catch up with MTV.com or something. Leave Toto to people who know and give a shit about what life is, instead of worrying about where you're gonna spread your ignorance to next. RACISM RACISM RACISM!!! Go buy another rap record that you don't QUITE appreciate people!!!!

    I SAID GOOD DAY!!!
    Scottboy79on February 16, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:i really love africa
    sindy_maurinaon March 08, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:how does loving Africa make anybody racist?
    roger wilcoon June 14, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:The words are "I bless the rains down in Africa" Trust me, i had to sing this song in concert.

    As for racism, I don´t really think this song has anything to do with it. I think its more about a guy that loves this woman, and he´s trying to find some way to tell her that. There´s more, but it will have to wait for another time.
    TaddyTeddyon April 20, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:To me this song has nothing to do with slavery, I can't pick it out at all. What I do think it's about is a boy who's heart is deeply fond of Africa, with deep rooted respect for it "I bless the rains down in Africa" and "As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serangetti" who is being asked to leave it.

    His lover, in my opinion, is flying in to meet him and then he will leave with her, hence stopping to ask the old man "some long forgotten words or ancient melodies" in hope of quickly deepening his knowledge of Africa or gaining knowledge that would otherwise be lost to him when/if he leaves, it is like a memoir to take with him, possibly his last memory of encountering a respected elder african.

    I think the "hurry boy it's waiting there for you" is not in reference to a physical object, but a decision that has to be made by the boy, whether he should leave with his lover, or stay where his roots are, yet the “Hurry boy she’s waiting there for you” is making it clear that his mind is already made up that he is leaving, even if his heart is against it.

    "It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you"
    That line I think is supposed to be ambiguous, and give the impression that he doesn't want to be separated from his lover. I am of the impression though, that as he doesn't mention a human, he is talking about how hard it will be for him to leave Africa, not the lover.

    Throughout the song there are references to the boy taking in the sights and sounds, maybe knowing that he will never hear/see them again “I hear the drums echoing tonight” and “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” and “Gonna take some time to do the things we never had” are, imho, speaking of his impending departure and the oppertunities that lie ahead of him in a richer country. The oppertunities that are now open to him, that may not be there for generations after him in Africa.

    “I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become”
    I’m not entirely sure what this line means and I would greatly appreciate if somebody could explain this in better detail to me. My only guess is that the boy is turning into his ancestors, and by going away he hopes that he can fight that and avoid becoming his forfathers by bettering himself, although possibly he knows that he may fail, demonstrated my saying that it’s deep inside, ie, something almost unchangable and inherent in everything that he is.

    Also note: It’s not “I passed the rains down in Africa”, it’s “I blessed the rains down in Africa”
    Doberman Pharoahon July 15, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:all i know is, you guys need to youtube Andy Mckee's version of this song. it is BEYOND INCREDIBLE
    lilryonfire69on May 13, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:I don't think this song is about a girl at all. I think this song is about starting over and returning to nature and human origins... Look here... notice that he does not say "she's coming in on a 12:30 flight"... He says "she's coming in, 12:30 flight" I think "she" is the plane.

    This song is about self cleansing and starting over. The rains in africa are washing away his present life. He wants to get away from the modern world and technology and politics and return to the place of human origins, Africa, which throughout history was also known as an undiscovered place. He wants to leave all the bullshit in his life and find the meaning.

    This is my theory... I think it is more interesting than a love story. Also if this song is a love song then the whole Africa motif is really stupid and irrelevant... Who in their right mind would write a love song and try to incorporate a safari or a tourist trip into the lyrics...That doesn't make sense.
    Dumbdumbon November 02, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:... these comments are disturbing. I love this amazing 80's song. The record is faboo. Listen to it. i am. :)
    blisson May 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:don't jump at people screaming racism....the music to this is beautiful. But I think the racism thing came up because it sounds like it's about slavery....they were coming to take him away from her and he says he won't go. Even still it is a song about love and liking it doesn't make u racist at all unless u like it simply for the reason that it's about slavery, which would just be stupid.
    thinkitbeiton July 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Holy cow! I love Africa too - in fact I'm a born and bred South Africa. Whether I am black or white is totally irrelevant. No matter where I am in the world, when I hear this song tears well up in my eyes. So, if the Nerdy whatever the heck he calls himself wants to call me racist too - go ahead.
    blackballoon11on October 15, 2004   Link

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