‘DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?’ CHARITY SINGLE

So unless you live under a rock, you’re familiar with the current Ebola crisis in Western Africa.  I’m not going to go into detail about it; this post is about the latest charity ‘supergroup’ attempt to raise money for the cause. Organised by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the song is a cover of the Christmas classic “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The lyrics have been tweaked to reflect the Ebola crisis and all proceeds are going towards the fight against the disease.

For those of you who haven’t heard the song, here you go…

The song, which shot to number 1 in this week’s charts, has become the fastest selling single of 2014 so far. It was recorded by some of the biggest-selling British pop acts from the likes of Bono (U2), to YouTube sensation Zoella!

BBC

Now I’m not here to debate about the vocals, as it is a pretty decent song, albeit a bit depressing but hey it has to be, doesn’t it? The criticism surrounding the single is more to do with the fact that the combined net worth of singers is something ridiculous in excess of one billion dollars and they could probably fund the cause themselves as apposed to guilt-tripping us into buying a song that we don’t really like when there are other ways to donate money. If the stars actually went to West Africa, the camera crews would follow them and probably give us a much better insight into what is actually going on down there. Instead people are obsessed with how many celebrities are or aren’t taking part.

Wales Online

Another point that people have raised is that the lyrics have been changed and show a rather patronizing, stereotypical view of Africa. Fuse ODG, Emeli Sande and Lily Allen cited this as their reason for not participating. On top of that, if even an ounce of research had gone into making this song, the producers would have realised that the majority of people affected by the Ebola crisis are Muslim and some would argue that a Christmas song is quite insensitive. Yes Bob Geldof, they do know it’s Christmas, they just don’t really care?

With that said, I’m all for any sort of raising awareness of the crisis and any money collected as a result of the single could really go towards helping West Africa so if you haven’t done so already, go and buy the single or donate in any way you can!

Amaara Umerji

Header image: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/nov/17/band-aid-30-new-world-dread-and-fear-deconstruction-lyrics

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