The Heart Of Africa (Is Beating) – The Last Born
The Heart Of Africa (Is Beating) – The Last Born 
Every now and then a song surprises me. When I’m browsing through the second hand singles bins in records shops I always keep an eye out for local songs that I had never heard of. Usually it’s the band’s name or a songwriter or producer that gives me a clue that the song is local. So when I spotted a single which Dennis East was one of the songwriters of and Julian Laxton was the producer, I thought it was worth a punt. And this one blindsided me.
From the moment my stylus hit the vinyl, I knew I had found something special. The song falls into a cyclical rhythm very quickly, so it has that Zulu feel to it, but the instrumentation gives it a bigger John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’ type of sound. Then thread within this is a little bit of accordion which could be Zulu or boer.
The lyrics tell of a day in Africa, of people doing daily chores on the banks of the Umfolozi while buffalo roam. But when ‘the work is done for another day’ that’s when ‘the heart of Africa is beating.’
Quite why this didn’t get more airplay, I don’t know. I can’t recall ever hearing it on the radio, but to my mind, it should have been a massive hit.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – Music out of Africa, Vol. 2, Sonet, SNTF 1014