The sudden and tragic of passing of John Hughes has sparked a renewed interest in his films and the decade that he immortalized - the 1980s.
"The initial idea for the song came from David Paich, playing on his piano. Jeff explains the idea behind the song: "... a white boy is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he's never been there, he can only tell what he's seen on TV or remembers in the past."
"Its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
Theres nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had"
The lyrics to this classic song discuss Africa, but not in the disingenuous white liberal manner in which Black people would like to have a song named after their home continent should. Take "We are the World", another 1980s song that discusses Africa in the only way Black people want the continent discussed: with pity and white paternalistic hope of saving everyone:
"We Are the World" is a song and charity single recorded by the supergroup USA for Africa. It was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, and co-produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Omartian for the 1985 album of the same name. The idea for the creation of a benefit single for African famine relief had initially come from activist Harry Belafonte, who, along with fundraiser Ken Kragen, was instrumental in bringing the vision to reality.
"Several musicians were contacted by the pair, before Jackson and Richie were assigned the task of writing the song. Following several months of working together, the duo completed the writing of "We Are the World" one night before the anthem's first recording session, in early 1985. The last recording session for the song was held on January 28, 1985. The historic event brought together some of the biggest artists in the music industry at the time.""We are the World" deals with Black suffering, poverty, starvation and famine in Africa, all byproducts of Black people and peculiar characteristics that follow Black people to wherever they migrate or are found around the world, whether it be in Europe, the United States or in South America. Crusading white pedagogues use this song as their anthem when trying to show how much they care about Black people.
It's a happy song about Africa and in Africa, only misery can be glamorized.