Five Songs For Congo's Independence Day

Categories: Miles-tones

Rocks Off remains fascinated with obscure holidays like World Rabies Day. Usually we focus on either lesser-known American holidays, or international holidays endorsed by the United Nations. Today though, we decided to branch out to other countries and wish a happy Independence Day to the citizens of the Republic of the Congo.

Now there are two Congos. The big one is the "democracy" and the little one is a semi-communist dictatorship. We're talking about the Commie one, which declared independence from France on this day in 1960. French is still the main language of the region, and their education system is based on the French school model.

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It's not the greatest place to live. The government is still miles away from being what any of us would call fair, and malnourishment and HIV are significant problems.

On the plus side, though, this was the first African nation to pass a law ensuring protection for its indigenous people, in this case the pygmies. So there is some progress.

Whatever the real situation, the word "Congo" conjures up images of exotic adventure in the Western mind, and so we thought we'd put together a playlist for you as you dream of being an explorer.

5. Guadalcanal Diary, "Watusi Rodeo"


Rocks Off loves everything Murray Attaway does or will ever do, and one of his band Guadalcanal Diary's best upbeat tunes is "Watusi Rodeo" from the 1984 album Walking In the Shadows of the Big Man. How the tune has not become a staple cover of cowpunk bands is beyond us. Who wouldn't want to hold a rodeo in the Congo?

4. Jerry Goldsmith, "The Spirit of Africa"

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It's cheesy, but Michael Crichton's Congo is one of our favorite books. We've read it dozen's of times. The film featuring the one and only Tim Curry? Not so much, but it did have a battle involving gorillas and that will always get you points in our book. Jerry Goldsmith did the soundtrack, and it's fairly pretty if somewhat stereotypically "African."

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Gary Packwood
Gary Packwood

Nice spin on an old subject but I doubt any spin can transform the Congo into anything other than the truth spelled out in Joseph Conrad's Western canon, Heart of Darkness.


Uh, you know that was about the darkness within man, and not just within Congolese, right? Am I missing something in your comment?

Jef With One F
Jef With One F

I too was confused, but I barely remember readin HoD in high school so I stayed quiet..

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