Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Bless the Rains

As I was riding through the back roads that lead to my house this morning, a song came on the radio and I realized that it is quite possibly my favorite song. I have approximately a thousand that have earned that distinction throughout my life but few songs have the effect on me that "Africa" by Toto does.

As I rounded a curve it came on the radio and a smile instantly crawled across my face. The opening chords so familiar and comforting, I sang along as the cool, refreshingly fall-like breeze whipped through my hair. So many of the lyrics are favorites...
"her moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation..." 
Maybe it's the poetry of the words and the way they dance on the beat of the song. I have always felt something when listening to "Africa" though I've never been quite sure I've known exactly what that something is. Other lyrics simply strike a chord with me:
"I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become..."
And then, of course, there is the comedic relief I feel each time I listen to the main chorus:
"It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you. There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do..." 
For some reason, I had this vision of a slave ship steaming toward Africa and all these strong men rowing as the lyrics sang "there's nothing that a hundred men ON BOARD could ever do..." Why a slave ship? Heck if I know. It just seemed to fit the cadence of the song and, well, I still giggle each time I think about how I have belted out the wrong lyrics since I was in elementary school.

Of course, there are many other contenders for this top title. "Fields of Gold" by Eva Cassidy moves me with its subtle, almost angel-like melody. Sugarland's "Fall Into Me" is one of those songs that is both soothing and soaring and there are others by rock bands and country singers and even a few rap artists that I crank up whenever they're on evoking a range of emotions. But few have matched the timeless "feel good feeling" that I have by listening to "Africa."

And here is one of my favorite covers:

"There's nothing that a hundred men OR MORE could ever do."

Not quite as funny but still an amazing lyric all the same.

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