Gimme Hope Jo'anna
|"Gimme Hope Jo'anna"|
|Single by Eddy Grant|
|from the album File Under Rock|
|B-side||"Say Hello to Fidel"|
|Recorded||Blue Wave Studios, Saint Philip, Barbados|
|Eddy Grant singles chronology|
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"Gimme Hope Jo'anna" is an anti-apartheid song written and originally released by Eddy Grant in 1988, during the apartheid era in South Africa. The song was banned by the South African government when it was released, but was widely played in South Africa nonetheless. It reached #7 in the UK Singles Chart, becoming Grant's first Top 10 hit for more than five years.
The "Jo'anna" of the lyrics represents not only the city of Johannesburg, but also the South African Government and its apartheid policy. Soweto is a black township near Johannesburg, known for its role in the resistance to the apartheid laws. The South African army during the apartheid era was well known for "sneaking across the neighbours' borders" to fight in other neighbouring countries, most notably in the Angolan Civil War. The archbishop is Desmond Tutu, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his opposition to apartheid.
"She's got supporters in high up places, Who turn their heads to the city sun" represents the unwillingness of the international community, at first, to take action against the South African government and its apartheid system. It is also a reference to a South African luxury resort by the name of Sun City. "She even knows how to swing opinion, In every magazine and the journals" represents propaganda in the media and the Muldergate Scandal, which involved secret government subsidization of pro-apartheid media.
Eddy Grant performed a version of this song at the closing ceremony of the Indian Premier League T-20 cricket tournament on 25 May 2009. The song included a short reprise with the lyrics "...Jo'anna still runs this country" and the rest of the reprise in present tense.
A cover was recorded by the South African Band, Dr. Victor and the Rasta Rebels.
Argentine comedian Yayo Guridi in his 'Cantante Enmascarado' (The Masked Singer) persona sang a literal Spanish translation of this song on the Argentine humorous TV show 'Sin Codificar' on the episode that preceded the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Johannesburg is the city where the Argentine National Football Team played its opening match against Nigeria. German a cappella band Basta also covered this song, dedicated to Germany's manager Joachim Löw. The song was also versioned by another two German punk bands, JBO in 1995 and Not Available in 1998.
Lou Bega also recorded a cover of this song for his album A Little Bit of 80's.
- 7" single
- "Gimme Hope Jo'Anna" — 3:47
- "Say Hello to Fidel" — 4:41
- 12" maxi
- "Gimme Hope Jo'Anna"
- "Say Hello to Fidel"
- "Living on the Frontline" (live version)
"Tell It to My Heart" by Taylor Dayne
|Dutch Top 40 number-one single
9 April 1988 - 7 May 1988 (5 weeks)
"Yé ké yé ké" by Mory Kanté
- "How Eddy Grant gave hope to South Africa". The Telegraph. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
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- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "Gimme Hope Jo'anna", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved 17 June 2008)
- 1988 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine. (Retrieved 17 June 2008)
- "1988 Belgian Flanders Singles Chart" (in Dutch). ultratop.be. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
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- Elia Habib, Muz hit. tubes, p. 142 (ISBN 2-9518832-0-X)
- "Les certifications depuis 1973, database" (in French). Infodisc. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- South Campfire Song Book - includes lyrics
- Sin Codificar. "El Cantante Enmascarado singing a literal Spanish translation of Gimme Hope Jo'anna", America TV, Buenos Aires, 6 June 2009.