Africa is a 1930 Walter Lantz cartoon short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Oswald was riding through the Egyptian desert on his camel. The camel, though looking real on the exterior, is actually mechanical because of the two ball-shaped pistons inside which Oswald manipulates with his feet like bike pedals. One day, a lion was running toward them. To defend himself, Oswald brought out a rifle but it malfunctioned. As a final resort, Oswald fired the ball pistons from the camel like a cannon and aimed into the lion's mouth. Terrified by its lumpy back, the lion runs away in panic.
Nearby where he is, Oswald saw an oasis and a palace. Upon seeing the apes dance and play instruments, the curious rabbit decides to join the fun. As he entered the palace, Oswald was greeted by the queen. The queen asked him who he is, and Oswald introduced himself in a song as well as giving advice for a possibly better lifestyle. Pleased by his visit, the queen asked Oswald if he would like to be her king. Oswald was at first uncertain, knowing he never met a queen, but immediately accepted. It turns out momentarily that the queen still has a king who shows up then throws Oswald out of the palace and into a pond full of crocodiles. Luckily, Oswald escapes unscathed and runs off into the desert.
Billings wrote "Africa" some time before 1770 and included it in his first published hymnbook, The New England Psalm Singer. Later he revised it, publishing a new version in his The Singing Master's Assistant (1778). He made additional revisions, publishing it again in Music in Miniature (1779). The latter two versions are performed today.
The name of the hymn is, as far as scholars can determine, completely arbitrary. It reflects the practice of the time to give names to the tunes (or melodies) of songs. Billings also wrote "Asia" and "America" tunes. More often, he applied the names of (arbitrarily chosen) New England towns to label his tunes.
Version of 1778.
Musically, the work is notable for the parallel descending thirds and sixths that shift from part to part. Some renditions of this hymn (for example, the practice of Sacred Harp singer) follow a practice recommended by Billings They include male singers on the treble, singing an octave down, as well as female singers on the tenor part, singing an octave higher.
Africa (Latin: Africa) was a Roman goddess worshipped in North Africa.
Pliny the Elder, in his book Natural Story, wrote that nobody in Africa (North Africa) embarked upon anything without first calling for funding from the goddess.
She is normally depicted with a skinned elephant on her head and a horn of fertility in her hands, while sitting in front of a modius of wheat. The totemic objects that are linked with her are scorpios, bows and arrow quivers.
She is portrayed on some coins, carved stones, and mosaics in Roman Africa; some are in the El Djem museum.
Paul Corbier, Marc Griesheimer, L’Afrique romaine 146 av. J.-C.- 439 ap. J.-C. (Ellipses, Paris, 2005)
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