Band Aid | Do They Know It's Christmas?
Family Average: 6/7
Welcome one and all to our merry little extravaganza. A little late but thats no problem. It is never to late to wish everybody a happy holidays. Taking it way back with this classic 80s pop explosion. It’s Bob Geldof’s classic song “Do They Know It’s Christmas”. Was the family dazzled by the pop royalty, or did they get hung up on the implications of the lyrics?
Listen along on Spotify and read on to find out:
You ever feel like you are spinning around at a rapid pace in a crowded mall? You ever want to feel that way? I think the closest thing we have come to a synthesized version is this exact song. 80’s mega hit “Do they Know It’s Christmas?” suffocates you with the love of the voices of dozens of new wave pop stars. Once they are done you ascend to what I can only call the equivalent to a musical nirvana. Now a lot of people are going to point fingers at the glaring problems with this song’s existence. How it does come off as a bit condescending, and misguided in its attempt to help those in need. However let’s not forget that's what the 80’s was all about. People understanding they need to do good, but not having the exact idea on how to get it done properly. Even more they did actually do some good with the tune raising over £8 million within twelve months of release. I guess what I am trying to say is, don’t bash these fellas too hard, because without their contribution heaps of people would be a lot worse off. Also the song is kinda kitsch now, so put it on at a party and it might go over well.
As someone who works with an 80’s singer on a daily basis...I think it’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of 80’s synth haha. But you know what, I can’t resist a cheesy Christmas song...no matter how it’s constructed. It’s like binge watching Flavor of Love or wearing matching outfits with my family...it’s cringey but you can’t help but smile the whole time.
This one is just such a classic. It brings back all good memories of my childhood at Christmas time. Of our family home that is always stuffed to the brim with nutcrackers, snowmen, pine needles, and the smell of fresh baked sugar cookies that we will decorate and fill in giant bins.
As a kid I never really paid attention to the lyrics and everything of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, but upon revisiting it, goddamn is this some pretentious stuff. That stanza about Africa being “where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow” just like, what the hell? The song gives off this vibe of like “Africa is so desolate and poor so us kind and pure people are going to use our wealth and good fortune to help them” bruh Africa is an entire continent and it’s countries have flourishing cities. A lot of the problems some African countries do have at the moment are actually the lasting effects of imperialism from the countries that most of the singers are from. The whole thing is just creepy and patronizing. “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” as if these guys are gonna perpetuate the “white savior” trope and bring the Joy of Christmas to the misfortunate and uncivilized. I get that the song raised a lot of money and that’s awesome, but the song itself just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
4/7 for the music,
1/7 for the lyrics and just overall self-congratulatory mood.
Oh Bob Geldof. Not only did he raise an insane amount of money to help fight hunger in Africa, but he initiated the phenomenon of celebrity ensembles singing for charity. He also gave us one of the cheesiest Christmas songs to date. Impressive work all around. And what is Christmas without corny songs about helping others and spreading good cheer? Everyone knows this song, and if you don’t know this version, then you’ve seen at least one of the many iterations featuring whatever pop star du jour. This is the original, preserved in all its new wave goodness. Nothing spreads holiday cheer like Boy George and synths. And yes, it is rather problematic in that it not so subtly pushes western-Christian ideals in the name of charity...but hey ho, it was done in earnest and it was the 80s; a lot of people’s minds were clouded by hair gel and Neo-Liberalism.
All in all, this is a bona fide tune. It’s annoying, catchy, sweet, and concerning. I dare you not to sing along with the spiky haired, mullet-ed chorus of George Michael and Bono.
This is a song I’ve heard like subliminally so many times throughout my existence but had no idea what it as, who it was or why it was. So dramatic, so 80s, but hey good music, great vocals, harmonies. There’s even a message, they’re trying to make people aware. It’s iconic the song, even though it is so 80s it works forever. It's kind of funny, but it’s also pure and good.
When Bob Geldof came up with this concept, it was a pretty novel idea, helping strangers who were in desperate need of aid. Today fortunately we are all more socially conscious and better people for it. However, back in the 80’s most artists were self-indulging individuals grabbing what they could for themselves and their fans were pretty much the same. So the thought of doing a song to raising money for people starving in Ethiopia would never have occurred to them or most ordinary people for that matter. This project was a game changer not only did this endeavor raise awareness, but it also raised over $150 Million for famine relief. Furthermore, many of the artists went on to fund their own projects helping even more people. This song is a step in the right direction and taught people that it feels good to do the right thing, and the music is quite good. I believe that this little holiday tune inspires people to see the world as one family. They discovered that helping our brothers and sisters in need, makes them feel good. In my mind that is the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you Patty for suggesting this song. You are a truly a giving person and you have inspire me to be a better human. Except when it concerns Death Medal.