"Food For Thought" as written by Jim Brown, Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers, Michael Virtue and Terrence Oswald Wilson....
Ivory Madonna dying in the dust,
Waiting for the manna coming from the west.
Barren is her bosom, empty as her eyes,
Death a certain harvest scattered from the skies.

Skin and bones is creeping, doesn't know he's dead.
Ancient eyes are peeping, from his infant head.
Politician's argue sharpening their knives.
Drawing up their Bargains, trading baby lives.

Ivory Madonna dying in the dust,
Waiting for the manna coming from the west.

Hear the bells are ringing, Christmas on it's way.
Hear the angels singing, what is that they say?
Eat and drink rejoicing, joy is here to stay.
Jesus son of Mary is born again today.

Ivory Madonna dying in the dust,
Waiting for the manna coming from the west.
Ivory Madonna dying in the dust,
Waiting for the manna coming from the west.


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae

"Food For Thought" as written by Ali Campbell Jim Brown

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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Food For Thought song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentHow could this song be about the famine in Ethiopia in 1984 when it was released in 1979. Was Nostradamus on sax?
    myspaceon January 30, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about the famine in Ethiopia in about 1984. Manna is the food that miraculously appeared in the desert to feed the Israelites, now Western aircraft promise miracles, but death is the certain harvest. Politicians sharpening their knives - at the time of famine, there was also war within Ethiopia, in which foreign countries (US, USSR as was) also played a role.

    Ethiopians usually have a very beautiful dark and fine skin. So we might consider them "ebony" rather than "ivory". But maybe the unfortunate woman appears white through the paleness of near-death, or maybe from the dust. Many Ethiopians are Christians, belonging to one of the oldest Christian churches in the world, and are very religious.

    Food for thought at Christmastime of 1984, and now too. Even now, there is near starvation in parts of Ethiopia and Somalia - while the US encourages Ethiopia to invade Somalia.

    For me this song is heart-breaking.
    jimqukon December 10, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat does Ivory Madonna mean?
    kdowntonon September 21, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentReply to myspace above - I said "in about 1984". Ok so I was five years out. You know more about the history of music, but do you know anything about Ethiopia? The great famine was in 1984-5, but similar conditions were in existance from the late 70's.
    jimqukon May 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry, jimquk. Prior to 1984, the previous major famine in Ethiopia was in 1973 and news of conditions in Ethiopia were not well known until they were documented by Mohammed Amin in 1983. While you have a sense of the spirit of the song, you are wrong about Ethiopia. The song seems to be about starvation in the third world and the presence of western missionaries - hence the ivory Madonna that is white as representative of the religion of the white first world. Rather than bring aid or food, the western world exports its religion.
    JeanArpon December 24, 2011   Link

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