Finally, Africans speak out against Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” with “Yes, We Know Its Christmas” (not yet available on YouTube as far as I can tell).
I’ve been thinking about the Band Aid song a lot lately, because if you listen to a Pandora Chrismas mix, they seem to play it about every third song.
Here are a few of the things that bug me about the song:
1. The whole premise of “do they know it’s Christmas.” An estimated 48% of Africans are Christian. That means more than half of Africans are not Christian. Based on that, a better question would be “do they care it’s Christmas?”
2. The line “tonight be glad it’s them, instead of you.” Holy sh%$. Could there be a more selfish, uncaring line in all of songdom? I would rather wish nobody was suffering in the world rather than just being glad I’m sitting by my fire sipping a hot buttered rum while other people are starving.
3. The impression it gives that everyone in Africa was in the midst of a terrible famine at the time the song was written. Africa is HUGE. Nearly every environmental condition you can imagine exists there at the same time, from bare sandy desert to lush rainforests to year-round glaciers. It is just the typical country-fication of Africa, where we all see it as a single place full of starving children and big animals..
4. The hairdos
Yes, Band Aid raised a lot of money to help famine victims in Ethiopia during a severe crisis. That’s great. But it could have raised the same amount with a less degrading song.
Mark D. Jordahl