Homeless (3:48)

Cover of Graceland

From Graceland and 8 other releases

In 1985, Paul Simon traveled to South Africa in the hope of collaborating with African musicians for his Graceland album. Simon contacted Joseph Shabalala, the lead singer of South-African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon and Shabalala conversed in person - after much discussion and excitement, the group traveled to London to record with Simon.

The first recording was “Homeless” - the music and chorus were composed by Simon, with Shabalala composing the Zulu introduction and main (non-English) body of the song. Graceland was released in late 1986, and although both Joseph Shabalala and Paul Simon were accused of breaking the cultural boycott of South Africa, the album became a huge success and sold 16 million copies and further boosted Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s international image.


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Albums featuring this track (9)

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo - Homeless 3:54 14,120

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  • Dylanisgod2

    such an eloquent and beautifully composed song.

    25 Nov 2011 Reply
  • markdeacon2

    How does this only have c. 250k plays?! Tragic!

    4 Jun 2011 Reply
  • Knifymoloko


    20 Jul 2010 Reply
  • Nibbs996

    beautiful and important - intoxicating

    9 May 2010 Reply
  • poisonofthemind

    Wow, gives me goosebumps.. What amazing sounds the human voice can produce.. (and I'm a singer! lol) This is so relaxing..

    26 Apr 2010 Reply
  • oldandbold

    I feel like I'm watching the Muppet Show, but I love this song.

    6 Mar 2010 Reply
  • sourgrrrl

    Sad song but sung beautifully. Love the gentle soul.

    5 Mar 2010 Reply
  • scarletfaery

    Very cool

    6 Jan 2010 Reply
  • GrizzlyMike

    Great Backing vocals to a weak Paul Simon.

    18 Nov 2009 Reply
  • nsauce1

    This album was controversial at the time. South Africa was suffering from Apartheid at the time and there was a general boycott. Paul Simon "sort of" broke the boycott to do this album. However, what a damn beautiful group of songs and this particular one was my first introduction to the Ladysmith Black Mamabazo singing group and raised my awareness of the talent trodden down by the Whites. Sometimes bans need to be broken.

    11 Oct 2009 Reply
  • ouweasel


    26 Sep 2009 Reply
  • InvoiceGuy

    This is an amazing work of art! I am jealous!

    25 Sep 2009 Reply
  • aaroswarski

    this is a GREAT album... warped my dads cassette tape playing it so much.

    1 Sep 2009 Reply
  • bpohanka

    What an amazing blending of music and culture..

    9 Jun 2009 Reply
  • jessbrett

    why are there no pictures of ladysmith black mombaza here?

    23 May 2009 Reply
  • starfloka

    I like the clickings in their language.

    7 May 2009 Reply
  • LondonLouis

    This was one of those albums like Ry Cooder's Buena Vista which opened a lot of our ears to superb music which was totally unknown to us at that point. All credit to Paul Simon for pulling this album off. Ladysmith are superb.

    30 Apr 2009 Reply
  • lincolnadmirer

    The entire album is outstanding. From beginning to end. This track stands out as a tribute to Simon's ongoing ability to mesh harmony and the lyrical impact of words.

    17 Apr 2009 Reply
  • Rob_Hessey

    This is amazing

    21 Feb 2009 Reply
  • suelo601


    11 Feb 2009 Reply
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