Our journey into the world of misheard lyrics continues this week with Toto’s biggest hit “Africa” from 1982. It topped the Billboard chart in February 1983, the first and only time the band reached the pinnacle of the pop music. “Africa” has been covered (most recently by Weezer,) sampled, and used in movies for years. It’s one of the songs that pop culture seems to use as a representation of the ’80s nowadays. It’s also one that I’ve screwed up the lyrics ever since I can remember.
I’ve always misinterpreted the lyrics I bless the rains down in Africa as I guess the rain’s down in Africa? Seems kinda stupid because it’s not like Africa is known for its lush rain forests. I mean think about it; can you picture two farmers during the middle of summer drought having a conversation like:
Where is all the rain, Joe? My crops are all gonna dry up!
Not sure, Sam. It’s been over a month since my crops have seen a drop too. Matter of fact, the whole southern United States is in a drought.
(Shrugging shoulders) Hmm, I guess the rain’s down in Africa?
Well, whether you sing the correct lyrics or continue to screw them up as I do, “Africa” is still a great song. According to AmIRight, I’m not the only one who has butchered the lyrics. Some of the examples seem a little too creative to be real but made me laugh nonetheless. See if any of these interpretations might sound familiar:
“I miss the rains down in Africa” (bless)
“Ain’t nothin’ that a hundred men on Mars could ever do.” (or more)
“Ain’t nothin’ that a man named Mark could ever do.” (hundred men or more)
“As long as Kilimanjaro rises like an empress above Estelle Getty” (like Olympus above the Serengeti)
“It’s gonna take a life to drag me away from you” (a lot)
Have you heard any of these over the years? Leave a comment with any other lyrics that you want to throw into the mix…