Toto: Africa Meaning
Song Released: 1982
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
Shes 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...
he's in africa. and the woman he loves is going to arrive on the 12:30 flight. he's going to the airport. he stops an old man for advice(wisdom) on his relationship with the woman. he loves her so much that there is little anybody could do to cause him to give up on the woman he loves. he's hoping that once she does arrive that it rains so they will stay inside to spend more time together. when he hears the wild dogs cry out, he's thinking about how lonely he is and he thinks that is why the wild dogs are crying out. by blessing the rains, i believe that to mean that he is hoping it rains after she arrives so they can stay in to spend more time together. "doing what's right" may mean that she has found out she is pregnant and she's coming to africa to marry him. he's frightened by how much his love for her has changed his life. he want's to cure the loneliness he feels by being with her.
it really sounds like he had a one night stand with this woman and ended up falling deeply in love with her and now she's returning to africa to marry him.
anonymous Jul 3rd, 2012 7:53am report
Why doesnt he just marry an african chick
anonymous Mar 14th, 2012 3:05pm report
I think tht every song has a common base of love but in this song i think tht there is a troubled man in africa away from his girlfriend during a fight but while in africa he realizes the utter beauty of africa and the harmony between human and animal so he tries to change his old ways because of luv for the girl
anonymous Feb 1st, 2012 2:06pm report
I think its a love song as well and thats reflected in several of the lyrics. I think the song is referring to a long distance relationship. Either he, or his loved one is in Africa or perhaps they met on a vacation to Africa. I've heard it said many times in movies and quotes about long distance relationships that one person would "kiss the rain" and then when it rains in the other persons location all they have to do is stand in the rain to feel the blessing/ kisses of their love. maybe thats what he means by blessing the rain. Or maybe he did a rain dance ritual while he was in Africa with her. In any case its definitly a love song.
anonymous Jul 13th, 2011 7:32am report
Well the Africa song by Toto is about how this guy lives in Africa and he is in love with this girl from America and she is coming into Africa on the 12:30 flight to have the guy come with her back to America but he can't decide if he is in love with the girl or if he want's to stay in Africa.
anonymous May 3rd, 2011 5:13pm report
I think that when he hears the drums echoing, he's somewhere in Africa. When she hears quiet conversations, that's when she's on the plane. He's looking for the airplane's wings because that gives him salvation and that a hundred men could never drag him away from her because he's in soo much love with her.
anonymous Apr 20th, 2011 4:14pm report
judging from the music video, i think it's about a guy who went down to africa, had some mysterious, unexplicably magical experience with some african chick and fell in love with her, and brought her back to the usa. she completely adopted the american style of life and became a very practical historian. he's a hopeless romantic and can't let go of that experience in africa, and has to go back and find out what it all meant.
anonymous Apr 20th, 2011 4:05pm report
I personally think it's about a woman he met while in Africa and fell in love with. They didn't exactly see eye to eye, possibly because of something in his past, as mentioned later in the song. They were separated for years, then he came back to Africa, only to discover that she was gone. Somehow he got back into contact with her, and she came in on the 12:30 flight to see him. As he travels back to her home village, he sees an old man, hoping it's someone he knows with whom he can reminisce about his young romance with her. The old man silently tells him that she won't wait forever.
He loves her so much that he won't leave her, ever, and he blesses the rains in Africa that brought him to her. There were many things that they never got to do because of their separation, and as he's waiting for her, he hears the jackals and hyenas crying, and identifies with them because he's alone, without her. Something in his past it preventing him from being completely honest with her, so he knows he has to do what's right, without question (Kilimanjaro symbol). His past had created something bad within him, and he has to cure that before he can truly love her the way she deserves.
Anyway. That's just how I pictured their story going in my head the first time I heard this. It's a very poetic song, and can be interpreted many different ways. I think the drought speculation is very realistic and applies well.
anonymous Apr 8th, 2011 4:22pm report
Africa is AFRICA. Read something somewhere that mentions the liner notes (from the album) for the song. David Paich--Toto Keyboard player who wrote the song-- wrote:
"At the beginning of the '80s I watched a late night documentary on TV about all the terrible death and suffering of the people in Africa. It both moved and appalled me and the pictures just wouldn't leave my head. I tried to imagine how I'd feel about if I was there and what I'd do."
And there you have it, the meaning of the song from the person who wrote it!
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
AnOnYmOuS1691 Sep 13th, 2010 9:15pm report
I believe it's about the very long, relentless, horrible drought that was going on in Africa at the time of the writing of this song. "I bless the rain down in Africa" means that they are asking for the rain to come and end the drought. "Not even a hundred men" means that no matter how many people try, no one can force it to rain (the cloud seeding wasn't working). Drums beating and so on would be the African natives asking for rain in their own way. This is just my interpretation. :)
anonymous Mar 19th, 2010 3:14am report
well i think its pretty obvious..he's in africa doing missionary work..what hes talking about is not a female at all..its the storm coming.."i hear the drums echoing tonight" thats thunder..the 12:30 flight is the storm coming in.."it's gonna take alot to take me away from you" meaning he's there on a mission and he'll do whatever it takes to keep helping..thats where he's blessing the rains down in africa..God sent him on a mission and he's not gonna give up..you can pretty much compare it Haiti or New Orleans..or anyone in need for that matter..it just happens to be Africa in his lyrics..plain and simple!!!
anonymous Sep 1st, 2009 9:37pm report
It's rather obvious, a man from Africa fell in love with woman from, well, lets say US for example. He loves her very much, but as well he loves Africa, his culture and beliefs, things that she cannot understand. Then he decided to choose woman, but he still thinks about Africa, misses it, and is afraid of living in civilized world.
Sounds like that for me ;)
anonymous Jun 17th, 2009 6:59pm report
I agree with a few posts above me. This song is about someone who has fallen in love with a girl, but he wants to discover more about Africa before he can commit himself entirely to her.
He loves her, but his love for the continent is something he must pursue on his own. "Gonna take some time to do the things we never had"
She doesn't understand his attachment to Africa. He hears the 'drums echoing tonight', but she doesn't.
Africa is his solution, his personal way of purifying himself from his own culture. "I seek to cure what's deep inside..."
One line says "She's coming in the 12:30 flight, the moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me toward salvation." This means she's coming to see him, but in the reflection of the wings of her airplane, he can see the stars of the sky, the stars of Africa that seem to call so strongly to him.
Wow, I finally get it! What a great song
anonymous Apr 16th, 2009 4:10pm report
I think that the speaker is reflecting on who he has become because of the love of a woman. We see that in the beginning he is describing things he is hearing, which describes what one would hear in Africa. Therefore we can only assume that that is where he is, and his girlfriend is arriving on a 12:30 flight to be with him. Later he mentions how he fears what he has become, as though he is possessed with love to a point where he cannot function. The reason, therefore, he is in Africa, is to be cleansed of this obsession by the "rains" which he is blessing; in other words, he has gone to Africa to be cleansed so that he can move on with his life and in turn have a better relationship with his girlfriend.
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