Running to exactly five minutes on the original cast recording, this is the opening number from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Stephen Ward. This was a rare flop from Lloyd Webber, and like the real Stephen Ward, it deserved a better fate.
Stephen Thomas Ward was the central character in the Profumo Affair, a scandal that led to the resignation of the Minister John Profumo, the downfall of the Conservative Government, and the suicide of Ward himself on August 3, 1963 at the age of 50.
It remains to be seen if osteopath and socialite Ward was a pimp in the proper sense of the word, but in the 21st Century, in the wake of the Clinton-Lewinsky affair and numerous other scandals, not to mention homosexuals openly holding high office in Western governments, the "crimes" of Stephen Ward - if any - would hardly warrant more than a paragraph or two in even a notorious tabloid newspaper.
"Human Sacrifice" sees his ghost lamenting his fate.
The song is performed in the original production by Alexander Hanson as Ward, and has lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton.
Suggestion credit: Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
A key line in "Africa" is "I seek to cure what's deep inside, frightened of this thing that I've become," which is about drifting away from what you really want in life. Toto keyboard player David Paich, who wrote the song, felt his work was consuming him.