Monday, December 19, 2011

Music: Do They Know It's Christmas

This song still makes me cry.  I'm sure it's partly because of the plight of the people they're singing about.  But I know that it's partly because I'm very moved that this group of singers came together to make this record for such a good cause.


It's Christmastime, there's no need to be afraid.
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade.    
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy!
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime!  
But say a prayer - pray for the other ones.
At Christmastime, it's hard, but when you're having fun,
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dreaded fear,
Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears.
And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom.  
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you!
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime.
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life.  
Where nothing ever grows;
No rain or rivers flow.  
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Here's to you -- raise your glass for everyone.
Here's to them -- underneath that burning sun.  
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime and
Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime and...

From Wikipedia

Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984.

In October 1984, a BBC report by Michael Buerk was aired in the UK, which highlighted the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. Irish singer Bob Geldof saw the report and wanted to raise money. He called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, "Do They Know It's Christmas?".

Geldof kept a November appointment with BBC Radio 1 DJ Richard Skinner to appear on his show, but instead of discussing his new album (the original reason for his booking), he used his airtime to publicise the idea for the charity single, so by the time the musicians were recruited there was intense media interest in the subject. Geldof put together a group called Band Aid, consisting of leading British and Irish musicians who were among the most popular of the era. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released four days later.

The 1984 original became the biggest selling single in UK Singles Chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and sold more than 3.5 million copies domestically. It remained the highest selling single in UK chart history until 1997, when Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997" was released in tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, which sold almost 5 million copies in Britain.

Following the release of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in December 1984 and record sales in aid of famine relief, Geldof then set his sights on staging a huge concert, 1985's Live Aid, to raise further funds.

The original Band Aid ensemble consisted of (in sleeve order):

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