David Paich

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The internet’s finest Africa* reference™
*That’s the song, “Africa”, not the continent, of course
I Must Do What I Know Is Right, (von Sachsen-Rampton, 1983)
Kilimanjaro rising like itself above the Tsavo.
Olympus, rising like Olympus, above — I don’t know — Thessaloniki or something.
Kili from Meru.jpg
Kilimanjaro rising about 70km from Mt Meru, in the Arusha National Park, which is itself still 230km away from the Serengeti.
Click the ᐅ to expand:

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Writer, in toto[1], of the worst rock lyric in history, but a gnarly dude all the same. This is the chap who confected this magnificent beast of a pop lyric:

I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti[2]

Where to start?

For one thing, Kilimanjaro doesn’t rise above the Serengeti. (It rises above the Tsavo National Park. Why, you might wonder, didn’t he put “Tsavo”? It would have scanned better.) You can’t even see it from the Serengeti, unless you get in a hot air balloon and take a telescope: they’re about 250 kilometres from each other. A correspondent writes with photographic evidence, in the panel: you can barely see Kilimanjaro from Mount Meru, 70 km away in the Arusha National Park, let alone from Serengeti, three times further away.

And not just because it is a long way away. It is literally over the horizon. Let’s be fully scientific about this. From the ground, all but the top 900 metres of a 6,000 metre mountain would be over the horizon.[3] 900 metres at 250km would appear about 4mm high, if you could even see it through nearby trees (with or without napping leopresses), haze, atmospheric perspective etc. This is not really rising at all, let alone majestically, like Olympus might (if it weren’t already rising above a national park in Greece, of course).

And Mount Olympus definitely doesn’t rise above the Serengeti. It’s in Greece.

To the extent you could say that something that has just sat there for millions of years does anything as energetic as “rising”, then Kilimanjaro doesn’t rise like Olympus, either. It rises like Kilimanjaro. They don’t look anything like each other. I mean, look.

And we haven’t even got onto the fact that THE LINE DOESN’T SCAN FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

  2. Written, allegedly by David Paich (well: no one else in Toto seems prepared to claim responsibility for it).
  3. Check it out for yourself at this earth curvature calculator.