1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

Just another music list

Slave – Lucky Dube

Slave – Lucky Dube

Ultimate Lucky Dube

Ultimate Lucky Dube

After Peter Tosh died, Lucky Dube became the biggest selling living reggae star in the world until his tragic death in 2007. Not bad for someone who didn’t start out as a reggae artist. Dube’s early musical efforts were in the Mbaqaga style and it was only about 3 years after his first release that he switched to reggae. His reggae career didn’t start well with the release, ‘Rasta Never Die’ being a flop, but the follow up, ‘Think About The Children’ went gold.

Released in 1987, ‘Slave’ was one of his most popular songs which, contrary to what one might think about a song called ‘Slave’ during the apartheid years, was actually about alcoholism. The influence of the likes of Peter Tosh can be clearly heard on this track, but there is also the distinctive township keyboard sound that shows its South African roots.

The album of the same name shifted over half a million copies and gained Dube recognition outside South Africa. He is still a huge star in large parts of Africa.

Where to find it:

The Ultimate – Lucky Dube (2010), Gallo, CDLUCKY 16
The Essential South African Trip – Various Artists (2007), African Cream


Ministers of religion
have visited me many times
to talk about it
They say to me
I gotta leave it I gotta leave it
It’s a bad habit
for a man
But when I try to leave it
my friends keep telling me
I’m a fool amongst fools

Now I’m a slave, a slave
I’m a slave
I’m a liquor slave
I’m a slave, a slave, slave
I’m a slave
Just a liquor slave

I have lost my dignity
I had before trying
to please everybody
Some say to me
yo yo
I look better when I’m drunk
Some say no no no
I look bad you know
Sometimes I cry
I cry but my crying
never helps me none

‘Cos now I am a slave, a slave
I’m a slave
I’m just a liquor slave
I am a slave, a prisoner
I’m a slave
Just a liquor slave

Every night when I’m
coming back home
My wife gets worried
‘cos she knows
Shes got double trouble
coming home
Sometimes I cry
I cry lord I cry
But my crying
never helps me

Chorus: (till fade)

(Written by Lucky Dube)


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2 thoughts on “Slave – Lucky Dube

  1. Pingback: Refugees: yesterday, today and tomorrow | Anne Samson - Historian

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