Album: Zombie (1977)
Play Video


  • The full version of this track runs to around twelve and a half minutes. According to the Tejumola Olaniyan biography Arrest the Music! Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics, "Zombie" gave the youth of Africa "a handy concept that dramatized the intellectual shallowness of the military dictatorships rampaging the continent."

    It is clear to anyone who knows anything about the man and his music what inspired this song. On February 18, 1977, Fela's residence was sacked by nearly a thousand soldiers. "Residents - including Fela - and guests were brutally beaten and bayoneted and scores ended up with broken heads, legs, backs, shoulders, arms, and ribs; women were sexually assaulted; Fela's ailing mother... was tossed from a second-floor window; and the house itself was razed."

    When Fela performed this song the following year in Accra, the capital of neighboring Ghana, riots broke out, and he was deported and banned from the country. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England

Comments: 1

  • Seminal from NigeriaI love this song sooo much, it mist be tough for soldiers too. Doing anything you are told without questioning
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"

Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"They're Playing My Song

Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.

Gary Numan

Gary NumanSongwriter Interviews

An Electronic music pioneer with Asperger's Syndrome. This could be interesting.

Eagles Lyrics Quiz

Eagles Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Lots of life lessons in these Eagles lyrics - can you match them to the correct song?

Wedding Bell Blues

Wedding Bell BluesSong Writing

When a song describes a wedding, it's rarely something to celebrate - with one big exception.