Mand​(​e​)​la

from by Tom Smith

/

about

This song was inspired by a moment of cosmic serendipity (or Serengheti, or something): thanks to a tape-delay feed, the local NPR station, WUOM-FM, broadcast Nelson Mandela's inaugural celebration (in May 1994) at the same time a near-total eclipse was painting a circle in the sky: Mandela's mandala. It fell into place after I saw the fine film version of the musical Sarafina! starring Whoopi Goldberg

lyrics

I saw a circle turning, shining in the sun.
The moon had got in front of it, and light and dark were one.
I had not seen it earlier, the time, it had not come,
But now I see that circle, surrounding everyone.
And the beauty of that circle was something to behold,
As if God made a wedding band of newly minted gold.

(chorus)
Life to the circle (Life to the circle),
Love to the circle (Love to the circle),
Shine, South Africa, shine.
Life to the circle (Life to the circle),
Love to the circle (Love to the circle),
Shine, South Africa, shine.
And the people say,
Viva! (Viva!)
Viva! (Viva!)
Shine, South Africa, shine.

I saw a diamond gleaming, shining in the sun,
With thirty million faces, a smile on everyone.
I hadn't seen it earlier, for blood had dried on dark,
But now the blood has flaked away, and now I see the spark.
And the beauty of that diamond was something fine and warm,
The colors of the rainbow, together past the storm.

(chorus)
Life to the diamond....

I heard a people singing, shining in the sun,
Thirty million voices that sounded all as one.
I hadn't heard them earlier, the guns were all too loud,
But now the guns are broken, and everyone is proud.
And the beauty of those people is calling out to me.
Now hear the joy inside them, for all of them are free.

(chorus)
Life to the people....

I saw an old man smiling, shining in the sun.
The circle shone above him, the two of them were one.
I hadn't seen it coming, I wish I had his eyes,
For they can see tomorrow with every new sunrise.

(chorus)
Life to the people....

credits

from Plugged, released May 24, 1997
Backing vocals: Mark Bernstein, Sharon Brevoort, Karen Foran Underwood, Anne Schneider, Tom Underwood

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about

Tom Smith Ann Arbor

Weird Al with more books, JoCo with more jokes, Carlin with more Cthulhu. Since 1985, Tom Smith has been breaking hearts, minds, and laws of propriety and physics with his insane blend of sf/fantasy, Life With Computers, pop culture, politics, and puns. More than twenty albums later, he maintains the best is yet to come. ... more

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