Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Please Don't Send Me to Africa

When I was a kid, I participated in several "musicals" (or something) and other singing events at my church. Over the last couple of years, a song of old has surfaced in my mind for some reason. As of recent - it (annoyingly) enters my head almost every day. The song is called "Please Don't Send Me To Africa". Today I kept trying to remember the rest of the song (other than the chorus - which is all I remembered). I've been wondering why as a child, I would have learned such a song in the church. I thought for sure that the verses had to have said something redeeming ..... so I Googled it. Aaahhh, good ol' Google. I found it ! And .... I was wrong. Nothing redeeming whatsoever. I saw a couple of clips on youtube that showed it performed (one involving a bunch of white kids with less rythym than I have - which is bad). I also saw an interview of sorts with the writer of the song - Scott Wesley Brown. His words stated what I hoped to be true.

I've been thinking that surely that song was written and taught with a sarcasm in it. Surely I must have been taught that these are not really the things to pray ("these" being the words of the song). I was right - the song was written to show what so many Americans truly feel. The writer, however, inteded the song to be a mockery (for lack of a better word) of such emotions. Problem is, as a child - I didn't catch that. I vaguely remember thinking (as I sat listening to Mary Block - a missionary from Africa in full African dress) that I meant every word of it .... I was NEVER going to Africa. I'm a little saddened that either 1) the point of the song was never made clear, or 2) I just didn't hear it. Regardless .... my prayer now as an adult ???

"Please send me to Africa !!!!"

I just can't stop thinking about it.

Sadly, I feel like this song may still resonate as closer to truth than closer to spoof for many Amercians. Who knows if I will get to go again, and if so - for how long .... but that is still my prayer for today. Tomorrow ??? Maybe Haiti.

In case you've never heard it ... here's the words to that stellar song :


Please Don't Send Me To Africa, by Scott Wesley Brown

Oh Lord I am your willing servant
You know that I have been for years
I'm here in this pew every Sunday and Wednesday
I've stained it with many a tear
I've given You years of my service
I've always given my best
And I've never asked you for anything much
So, Lord I deserve this request

Chorus:
Please don't send me to Africa
I don't think I've got what it takes
I'm just a man,I'm not a Tarzan
Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes
I'll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle class life
But please don't send me out into the bush
Where the natives are restless at night


I'll see that the money is gathered
I'll see that the money is sent
I'll wash and stack the communion cups
I'll tithe eleven percent
I'll volunteer for the nursery
I'll go on the youth group retreat
I'll usher, I'll deacon , I'll go door to door
Just let me keep warming this seat

(Chorus)

Please don't send me to Africa
I don't think I've got what it takes
I'm just a man I'm not a Tarzan
Don't like lions, gorillas or snakes
I'll serve you here in suburbia
In my comfortable middle class life
But please don't send me to the ends of the earth
Where the natives are restless at night

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I grew up listening to SWB (and Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Phil Keagy, 2nd Chapter of Acts, et al).

SWB was a local favorite in N. Virginia and went to a church in the area.