a kiwi

(the legendary green album)


Of Africa Again

we drove the pick-up in the stony path
an immense unfamiliar sky over our heads
secret silent gas lamps smoked in red mud huts
and fire-eyed shadows peeped at us behind the foliage dens
we'd never been afraid of war
never been aware of death

and the girl who danced on embers said
the war's not in Byumba
the war is in our heads it's in our hearts it's in our feet
and every time I see the river I see bodies in the stream
and it's no use to search the landmines
for the mined land is in here
here are the tears we cannot cry
these are the wounds no-one will ever heal

and I couldn't sleep a wink that night
I thought I heard the battle drums approach
and the hills burned all around us like a pagan bonfire
no voices on the radio
and had you seen the fires
you wouldn't be surprised
I need to sing
of Africa again

and if I had words as sharp as blades
I'd use my songs as swords
and I would choose a cause without a rebel
and start to make the noise
and every time I start again and every time I stop
then on and on again then on and on it's like I had no choice
for it's getting very clear to me no-one will ever hear my voice

still all these crazy humans boxed
in metal cubes before the traffic lights
remind me of the queues before the burgomaster's house
and 1000 dwelling gowns for 1000 spouses
waiting for their men
and 1000 men who brought the bamboo canes
to build the alter fence
but there my mind fails
cause I can't believe the 1000 1000 dead

'cause Jesus must have played with these children
Jesus must have hoed with these men
he must have danced he must have sung
he must have taken all these women by their hands
so why then Lord
why then Lord
why have you forsaken this land?

and had you seen their eyes
you wouldn't ask me why
I need to sing of Africa again