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Do They Know Its Christmas
Song

Do They Know Its Christmas

Band Aid
Album:

Song Meaning and Background of Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid


A group of musicians known as Band Aid recorded their charity single, Do They Know It's Christmas?


It's a song that is sung every year, included in Christmas compilations and generally considered a traditional Christmas song. It's also a very good song. The problem is that it's about a situation that doesn't have much to do with Christmas.


When the famine broke out in Ethiopia in 1984, Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats) and Midge Ure (Ultravox) got the idea to record an all-star version of a popular holiday song as a way to raise money to help. They recruited artists such as Sting, George Michael and Duran Duran to form a group called Band Aid.


The list of musicians reads like a who's who of the British and Irish music scene at the time. It includes Paul Young, Boy George, Gary Glitter, Culture Club, The Police, Spandau Ballet, Bananarama and members of Big Country, Status Quo and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.


While the song was a hit, critics criticized it for having a simplistic musical structure and condescending lyrics. For example, the line "Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you" rather than expressing empathy with their plight. Geldof and Ure subsequently altered the lyrics to more accurately reflect the situation.


Lyrics of Do They Know It's Christmas? by Band Aid


It's Christmas time

There's no need to be afraid

At Christmas time

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 Christmas time

 

But say a prayer

Pray for the other ones

At Christmas time

It's hard, but when you're having fun

 

There's a world outside your window

And it's a world of dread and 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 Christmas time

The greatest gift they'll get this year is life (oh)

Where nothing ever grows, no rain nor rivers flow

Do they know it's Christmas time at all? (oh)

 

(Here's to you) Raise a glass for everyone

(Here's to them) Underneath that burning sun

Do they know it's Christmas time at 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

Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmas time again

 

Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmas time again

Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmas time again

Release Date

1984

Songwriter/s

Bob Geldof, Midge Ure

Producer/s

Midge Ure, Trevor Horn

Label/s

Phonogram (UK), Columbia (US)

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