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They're Rioting In Africa Lyrics

Artist: The Kingston Trio

Intro: Time limits us right now, and this actual number that we're going to play now will be featured on our nex album, The Kingston Trio plays John Foster Dulles (come fly with me).

They're rioting in Africa, they're starving in Spain.
There's hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles.
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch.
And I don't like anybody very much!

But we can be tranquil, and thankful, and proud,
For mans' been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud.
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off, and we will all be blown away.

They're rioting in Africa, there's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us, will be done by our fellow man.


by velvel in decatur ga on 6/23/2008 4:22pm
this was written by sheldon harnick in 1953 and later (much later) recorded by the kingston trio and then by harry belefonte
by james l. pinette on 3/24/2011 9:22am
I loved the trio when i first heard their stuff still do. I'm 73
by james l. pinette on 2/12/2012 7:51pm
Their stuff is still current isn't it
by Pat Farrell on 3/6/2012 12:10am
Just listening to the news (which I never do for obvious reasons) and thought of this song. Nope, nothing has changed.
by Barbara on 7/10/2012 6:39am
2 girls sang this song for our 9th grade program in mid 1960. It started running through my mind and had too look it up. Still relevant after 53 years.
by Mary on 8/29/2012 5:32pm
Barbara, I agree totally. Same thing happened to me after watching the news one night. And we are considered an "advanced" species?????
by Bill on 9/15/2012 9:29am
History repeats itself. The song is still pertinent today. Refer to George Santana for more.
by sunshine on 9/22/2012 6:46pm
Those that do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.Its really a shame we have come full circle.
by Ken on 11/23/2012 7:34pm
These lyrics have always been pertinent.
by Robert on 12/24/2012 12:57am
At the top of this page is an ad in Spic. As you are quite the un-American site, I will eliminate you from all further use. As I am retired, I also have the time to contact all of your advertisers and let them know that you are actively encouraging illegal beaners to come and remain here.
by Stuart on 12/29/2012 7:50pm
This song was written with 'Robert' in mind. What a troll!.
by Sandra on 5/20/2013 7:09am
"Robert" is clearly one who doesn't like anybody very much. What a sad way to live your life!
by Brad on 8/29/2013 1:40pm
Merry Christmas, Robert. What a wonderful way you found to spread joy on Christmas Eve!
by Jettie on 9/13/2013 10:55pm
Likewise, the lyrics rang through my mind as I listen to the news. Had to be reminded of the entire lyric.
by tom b on 1/24/2014 12:22pm
A song from the distant past. It still resonates. Hope my English is good enough for poor Robert.
by Lee on 5/10/2014 7:05am
I first heard the Kingston Trio do this song in the late 1950's. At the time I thought it was simply amusing. Reflecting back now at age 69, I more fully comprehend the sadly ironic way it portrays humanity. Yes, the decades have rolled by, but we, as humans, still wallow in our collective inability to live in reasonable harmony with one another. It's an unfortunate tarnish to our many shining accomplishments as Homo sapiens.
by MARON M. 6/14!!!!! on 6/14/2014 11:44am
by Ed A. on 11/24/2014 5:25pm
Was listening to the news today. The last stanza should be posted on something more permanent then the WWW. :-(
Age = 65
by d.d. on 3/9/2015 7:56pm
I guess Robert from 2012 doesn't understand how ads are served on sites like this. Plus he needs to learn about how he can get an ad blocker for his computer. Sheesh.
by GrouchMeister on 7/20/2015 10:46am
In light of the current state of the Iranian negotiations, this song is STILL particularly appropriate. Amazing, that we've gone through the Cold War, Viet Nam, and various conflicts in the M.E., and nothing has changed - Only the actors.
I'd say it is time to grieve for humankind.
by Susan Davis on 8/4/2015 12:55am
This song has been going through my head for weeks! Things haven't changed in the world - they have just deteriorated! I love the discord at the end of the song!
by Richard Shagrin on 9/18/2015 6:18pm
Actually nuclear war is far less likely now than in the past. Of course that makes conventional and non-symetrical (terrorists versus infantry) warfare more likely. Every silver lining has a cloud wrapped arround it.
by D. Ryan on 8/28/2016 3:49pm
Hey? How about good humor with a twist of irony. The Kingston Trio were tops.
by Richard Weeks on 2/9/2017 8:59pm
As others have stated, things don't change much. So very sad. But, the Kingston Trio still put a smile on my face.
by Fred on 5/12/2017 11:13am
I am surprised more folks have not been thinking about this song with Trump as President. May most of them were not around in the sixties.
by Linda on 6/10/2017 8:34am
Things haven't changed much since this song came out in the 60's.
by Roger on 8/9/2017 11:44pm
We would sing this song during breaks in army basic training for fun. That was in 1966. We trained for CBR but never thought much about it. Best review that manual and clean my mask.
by T. David Jones, Jr. on 11/10/2017 3:53pm
I first heard this song in the 1950s just gets more relevant especially the strife in Iran!
by Beartooth on 7/2/2018 7:37am
I'm pretty sure the songwriter credits list Tom Lehrer as the author.
by Bobwegotababy on 8/7/2018 9:35pm
I was blessed to be introduced to the Kingston Trio and other groups by my father. This song holds so many truths now as it did in 80's when my father introduced it to me. BEAUTIFUL SONG!!!

History obviously repeats but its the nature of humans to be pessimistic about what is to come. Rarely does our hope and optimism outweigh the events of the day.
by Gary S. Johnson on 12/8/2018 7:02am
I was reading this morning about how the rioting in France had spread to Belgium and this song came immediately to mind. Despite all the efforts to achieve peace in the world, the people of the world just don't seem to want it. If we have evolved, why does it always seem out of reach? I can't speak for The Trio, but I think the answer lies in Genesis 3. May God forgive us for turning our backs on Him.
by maddi on 12/18/2018 8:04am
texas still needs rain...
by Tom Dooley on 12/31/2018 12:34pm
We're fighting out in Syria
Afghanistan too
Immigrants on our border
Oh what shall we do
Trump is our President
I still don't know why
Think I'll buy me some whiskey
Get drunk and cry
by Gordy Hampton on 6/6/2019 12:41pm
This song is as relevant today as it was in the 60s, Kingston Trio were great, I really miss their kind of music
by chris ob on 7/16/2019 3:51pm
I agree with the tweet by Gordy. It seems the more things change the more they remain the same just check out the tweet by "tom dooley on 12/31/2018
by l.k.wilson on 5/28/2020 7:09pm
Isn't it ironic that this marvelous trio was broken up by POLITICAL disagreement... among THEMSELVES... they are missed but not forgotten.
by PAUL on 6/8/2020 11:29pm
by crloftin on 8/3/2020 11:30pm
Still hanging in there despite Covid-19 and Donald Trump... does the nightmare ever end?
by donna c. on 7/9/21 on 7/9/2021 2:26pm
don't know why "rioting in africa" popped into my head. decided to search for the words. what a wonderful surprise to find them. saw the lads live in cleveland when i was 12 in '56!? i thought i was the only one still keeping the faith. i'm 77 and just had some faith restored. thx all!!
by Bob from NOLA on 7/12/2021 6:19pm
I've been thinking about this song for months. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.
by Sylvia H on 10/15/2021 6:58pm
How Prophetic! I remember every word!!!
by Joan on 11/13/2022 8:10am
I first heard this song when I was about 5years old. A catchy tune that a kid could keep in their brain for 65 years. Sadly to say still relevant.
Love the Kingston Trio.
by Alpine Scout on 2/4/2023 10:13am
Memorized the song as a senior in High School. Thanks for the refresher.
by Brooke on 7/11/2023 8:41am
I’m 80 and have had this refrain running through my mind all these years. My kids and grandkids don’t appreciate the irony. I guess you had to be there. Thanks for the confirmation
by Carol on 10/2/2023 11:47am
I'm 86. Change the words a little and the song's still pertinent. Sad. Loved The Kingston Trio.
by Skip on 11/15/2023 3:50am
The more things change the more they stay the same.....
The Mayans must have been right--history is not linear--it is cyclical.
by Sally on 6/26/2024 3:44pm
wonderful song but sad that it is still true' Agree that the Mayans are correct.

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