Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dissecting A Christmas Song

I know I've written about this before.  In fact, it was this particular Christmas song that I wrote about and because I'm writing about it 10 years later can only mean that it bothered me enough to put the effort in for a second round of bitching about a song that many love.

"Do They Know It's Christmas Time"

Today is December 11th and this is the time when we get to hear Christmas songs.  There are a handful of ones that make me change the station on the radio faster than others.  Most are from Mariah Carey, one is from Madonna, and the worst....Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas Time".  But because I work in radio...I listen.  And because I remembered hating that song so much, I listened even closer.

Here is the original version:

Paul Young
"It's Christmas time
There's no need to be afraid   (Except of my bank account)
At Christmas time
We let in light and we banish shade"

Boy George
"And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
How your arms around the world
At Christmas time"

George Michael
"But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it's hard"

(See it get's a little confusing because one minute we're praying for the other ones and that Christmas tine is hard.  But right after that, we're having fun (see below).

Simon LeBon (Duran Duran)
"But when you're having fun
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear"

(I'm not trying to seem cold hearted because I'm a pretty empathetic person, but when I listen to Christmas music and I want to get in the spirit of things, "dread and fear" are not words I associate with.

"Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears"

(Are you sure, Sting?  Are you sure that's the only water?  Have you looked at the map of Africa?)

Bono & Sting
"And the Christmas bells that ring there
Are the clanging chimes of doom"

(What does that sound like?  Chimes of doom.  Hmm.  Chimes. Of. Doom.  No idea - but I think I don't like that).

"Well tonight thank God it's them
Instead of you!"

(You know, Bono - I love U2 but this both shocked me but also cracked me up.  You nailed it.  Thank god it's them instead of you...well, yeah.  But don't you think this is an aggressively shitty and self serving thing to say?  I can answer that.  Yes.)

Boy George & Others
"And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time." (There is a ski resort in Drakensberg called the Tiffendel Resort.  Whoops!  It also snows in the Atlas Mountains.  * see picture below)

"The greatest gift they'll get this year is life - Ooooh". (Honestly, if you think about it - that's everyone's greatest gift...I'll take it.)
"Where nothing ever grows."   (Nothing ever grows.  How is there ANY life there on the continent?  I mean, the whole song is about Africa, not a particular country in Africa, right?  No?  Oh.)

"No rain or rivers flow"  (Central parts of Africa have accumulations of rain that can exceed that of parts of Scotland, you know, because of their rain forests. So...things RAIN FORESTS.  
No rivers flow - The Nile located in Egypt which is conveniently located in AFRICA.  The Nile is just the longest flowing river in the world.  But who's checking?  Not these writers.  I am.)

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"
(It's one day out of the year.  Seriously..."We Are the World" had a better impact and made more sense.  Do they care it's Christmas?  What about a few days after?  That day probably matters, too.  I don't know...just throwing it out there.

Marilyn & Glenn Gregory
Here's to you.      (Thank you.)

Paul Young
Raise a glass for everyone.  (Okay.)

Marilyn & Glenn Gregory
Here's to them           (Yes.)

Paul Young, Marilyn, & Glenn Gregory
Underneath the burning sun  (What?)

Do they know it's Christmas time at all

(Do the writers know if they're all Christians??  I'm going to take a wild guess that they don't know...because less than 50% actually are.  Still talking about the entire continent of Africa.  But just in case you were curious about just Ethiopia...43% are Christians).

Chorus:  All

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmas time again

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmas time again 

They're singing about a continent.  You know that Africa isn't a country, right?  Surprise!  It isn't.  The time the song was written, it was about the starvation that was going on in Ethiopia.  But who needs to know specifics?  Growing up, I assumed all of Africa was Ethiopia.  At the time, something needed to be done to help, but the song was not the answer.  Sorry, folks.
Also...the chorus finishes with "Feed the world"...well?  Ethiopia, Africa, or the world?  I'm confused.  

Again, I don't want to seem like I'm heartless or whatever, but I know I'm not the only one that has noticed the incorrectness of this song.  In fact, I was looking up the song and found that there is a newer version (where Bono doesn't make us all feel like shit for being thankful it's the people in Ethiopia starving instead of us - making it less traumatizing).  So there it is.

Merry Christmas and God Bless Us, Everyone.

No comments: