People talk about the power of prayer. Singers sing about prayer. Madonna has been like one, Bon Jovi have been living on one, Duran Duran saved one and Aretha Franklin said a little one. Prayer can be to ask for something or to be thankful. Sometimes we prayer for others and their wellbeing. Usually it is a reflective time when one looks at one’s life, one’s hopes and needs and one’s blessings.
In Vusi Mahlasela’s hands, prayer becomes a beautiful thing as he celebrates the ‘new dawning’ of South Africa post apartheid. A time where ‘we will drink with joy/with no fear of evil amongst us’. There is an uplifting feel to this. But he doesn’t just leave it there. There is a challenge in his prayer as the words go on ‘And we will lead our children into the path of positive direction/where we will clothe them with respect, love, freedom and strength/where life can be blessed accordingly and be trustworthy.’
‘A Prayer For Our Time’ mixes beautiful words with Vusi’s amazingly beautiful voice alongside some gentle guitars that give one a real sense of being at one with God (if that is your belief) or just a sense of communion with the world. Yes, this fits perfectly with that ‘golden time’ when apartheid was falling and we were emerging into the New South Africa, the rainbow nation. But these words are timeless. We are always in need of a better world, always in need of a time when people live with respect, love and freedom.
So, you can be like one, live on one, save one, say a little one, but you can also just sit back, put on Vusi’s song and listen to one and maybe life won’t be quite so bad for a short while.
I should probably follow this up with Peanut Butter Conspiracy’s ‘Amen’, but I’ll leave that for another time.
Where to find it:
Miyela Afrika – Vusi Mahlasela (2000), Colossal, CDCLL7040