The 1974 fight between Mohammed Ali and George Forman in Zaire is widely considered to be the most memorable in the history of boxing. Johnny Wakelin’s 1976 hit, ‘In Zaire’ wonderfully captures the excitement, the mood and the location of the fight, almost as an everlasting memento of this great event.

Mixing footage of the band’s 1976 performance on the BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’ with excerpts from Leon Gast’s award winning, 1996 documentary ‘When We Were Kings’, we tried to match the rhythmic intensity of Wakelin’s classic in this music video, which is part of our musical series, ‘All That Music™’.

Unfortunately, the footage that was available of ‘When We Were Kings’ had a recurring frame-drop error, which we couldn’t resolve, but we sincerely hope that you would still enjoy this first cut.

Audio

In Zaire | Johnny Wakelin | © Pye Records | 1976 [The Original Vinyl Release]

Video

Daesun Hwang [Night Moon Films] | Muhammad Ali, Rumble in the Jungle: Ali Bomaye! | Edited from ‘When We Were Kings’ [Leon Gast | USA | 1996 | © PolyGram Filmed Entertainment]

Johnny Wakelin | In Zaire | Top of the Pops | © BBC Music & BBC 4 | 1976 - 2011

Song Lyrics

Once there was a battle there
In Zaire, in Zaire
Hundred thousand people there
In Zaire, in Zaire
All those people gathered there
In Zaire, in Zaire
To see the rumble in the jungle there
In Zaire.

Came a man called Elijah
In Zaire, in Zaire
With him came the superstar
In Zaire, in Zaire
All those people came from far
In Zaire, in Zaire
To see the rumble in the jungle there
In Zaire.

And who was the victor in the night?
Elijah Mohammed's boy, Ali won the fight.

All those people chanted there
In Zaire, in Zaire
Seven rounds of torture there
In Zaire, in Zaire
One more round and Ali's there
In Zaire, in Zaire
There was great excitement everywhere
In Zaire.

Came a man called Elijah
In Zaire, in Zaire
With him came the superstar
In Zaire, in Zaire
All those people came from far
In Zaire, in Zaire
To see the rumble in the jungle there
In Zaire.

And who was the victor in the night?
Elijah Mohammed's boy, Ali won the fight

The lightning struck twice in the night
First in the ring and then after the fight

In Zaire, in Zaire; in Zaire, in Zaire ….

BrownPolar
For IsuruFoundation™
‘love is the cure’

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