Africa Polka

Ogg Vorbis

Africa Polka is a song I got from Turner’s Banjo Journal #10, a British magazine of sheet music from the 1880s or 1890s. I think it was a yankophile thing populated mainly with American music. There was a banjo fad going on in England, an early example of American folk culture crossing over to the top of the pops. It was similar to the way that Howling Wolf’s shows in Britain in the 1960s influenced the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton.

Africa Polka sheet music

I was playing with live dancing in mind. The part with just chords and no melody might be fun to jam over — the chords are C-G-G-C and G-D-D-G.

The guitar has a couple rattles. There’s a blooper note near the end that I am hoping doesn’t really affect anything. YouTube reencodes the original video to sound and look really bad.

This recording is hereby in the public domain.

3 replies on “Africa Polka”

Hey, Lucas, I haven’t been here for awhile, but very nice recording of Africa Polka. Thanks! I like the vamp in the middle, gives it a nice character. If you haven’t already, check out for more about upper-class banjo in the late 19th. c.
Best, and keep playing,

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