'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

All other music. New and well established bands/artists.
Post Reply
User avatar
Northern Guy
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:40 am

'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Northern Guy » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:14 pm

Here's the hard-to-forget video for "Do They Know It's Christmas" back in 1984:

https://vimeo.com/34152172

Has there ever been a more offensively dumb song in support of an apparently worthy cause? Before I even get to the stars and hairstyles, the lyrics of the song are just offensive:

"Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time"


(sounds like colonialism to me)

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


Yes, because there's no water flowing in West Africa except that which is tears.

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


I'm sure the millions of Christians in Africa appreciate being told by UK pop stars that any Christmas bells ringing are bringing doom to them.

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


Yes, let's thank God it's them who are starving!

"And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"

Actually, there is snow in Africa every Christmas.

"Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow"


Yep, no flora whatsoever in Africa. No trees, no lakes, no rivers.

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Way to not objectify the diverse people in area the size of Eurasia as "they". More to the point, do the majority who are not Christians care that it's Christmas?

"Here's to them
Underneath that burning sun"


Of course, in Ethiopia it's actually not very hot at any time of year, but never let facts get in the way of some armchair colonial pity!


Then, there's the pop tarts in the video. I remember Bono said once that it looked like a hair-dryers' convention was in town (not that his mullet is up to much). They could have fed Ethiopia for a month if the pop stars in the video had stopped buying hair products for a season. (By the way, who is the constipated-looking blond guy at 1:56--1:59 between George Michael and Paul Young? And speaking of Paul Young, why did he get so much screen time in this??) I like how the guy(s?) from Spandau Ballet are mugging like they're hot shit, when they had about 7 seconds of celebrity left after this. Paul Weller c.1984, of course, looks like he just stepped out of a gay-French fashion magazine. To round it all off, we've got Phil Collins on drums (at least he couldn't grow a mullet).

I expect most people involved with this were quite sincere and of course they contributed their time for free, so good on them I guess, but Good Lord that's a hokey and offensively dumb lyric!

Ya feel me??

Just like honey
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:32 am

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Just like honey » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:30 am

Northern Guy wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:14 pm



By the way, who is the constipated-looking blond guy at 1:56--1:59 between George Michael and Paul Young?


Thomas Dolby.

Regan 2.0
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:11 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Regan 2.0 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:28 pm

Northern Guy wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:14 pm
Here's the hard-to-forget video for "Do They Know It's Christmas" back in 1984:

https://vimeo.com/34152172

Has there ever been a more offensively dumb song in support of an apparently worthy cause? Before I even get to the stars and hairstyles, the lyrics of the song are just offensive:

"Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time"


(sounds like colonialism to me)

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


Yes, because there's no water flowing in West Africa except that which is tears.

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


I'm sure the millions of Christians in Africa appreciate being told by UK pop stars that any Christmas bells ringing are bringing doom to them.

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


Yes, let's thank God it's them who are starving!

"And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"

Actually, there is snow in Africa every Christmas.

"Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow"


Yep, no flora whatsoever in Africa. No trees, no lakes, no rivers.

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Way to not objectify the diverse people in area the size of Eurasia as "they". More to the point, do the majority who are not Christians care that it's Christmas?

"Here's to them
Underneath that burning sun"


Of course, in Ethiopia it's actually not very hot at any time of year, but never let facts get in the way of some armchair colonial pity!


Then, there's the pop tarts in the video. I remember Bono said once that it looked like a hair-dryers' convention was in town (not that his mullet is up to much). They could have fed Ethiopia for a month if the pop stars in the video had stopped buying hair products for a season. (By the way, who is the constipated-looking blond guy at 1:56--1:59 between George Michael and Paul Young? And speaking of Paul Young, why did he get so much screen time in this??) I like how the guy(s?) from Spandau Ballet are mugging like they're hot shit, when they had about 7 seconds of celebrity left after this. Paul Weller c.1984, of course, looks like he just stepped out of a gay-French fashion magazine. To round it all off, we've got Phil Collins on drums (at least he couldn't grow a mullet).

I expect most people involved with this were quite sincere and of course they contributed their time for free, so good on them I guess, but Good Lord that's a hokey and offensively dumb lyric!

Ya feel me??
The lyrics are truly awful. Full of cliches and GCSE rhymes.

Not as bad as half of the lyrics on Second Coming though.

rangers
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:22 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by rangers » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:15 pm

Northern Guy wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:14 pm
Here's the hard-to-forget video for "Do They Know It's Christmas" back in 1984:

https://vimeo.com/34152172

Has there ever been a more offensively dumb song in support of an apparently worthy cause? Before I even get to the stars and hairstyles, the lyrics of the song are just offensive:

"Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time"


(sounds like colonialism to me)

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


Yes, because there's no water flowing in West Africa except that which is tears.

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


I'm sure the millions of Christians in Africa appreciate being told by UK pop stars that any Christmas bells ringing are bringing doom to them.

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


Yes, let's thank God it's them who are starving!

"And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time"

Actually, there is snow in Africa every Christmas.

"Where nothing ever grows
No rain or rivers flow"


Yep, no flora whatsoever in Africa. No trees, no lakes, no rivers.

"Do they know it's Christmas time at all?"

Way to not objectify the diverse people in area the size of Eurasia as "they". More to the point, do the majority who are not Christians care that it's Christmas?

"Here's to them
Underneath that burning sun"


Of course, in Ethiopia it's actually not very hot at any time of year, but never let facts get in the way of some armchair colonial pity!


Then, there's the pop tarts in the video. I remember Bono said once that it looked like a hair-dryers' convention was in town (not that his mullet is up to much). They could have fed Ethiopia for a month if the pop stars in the video had stopped buying hair products for a season. (By the way, who is the constipated-looking blond guy at 1:56--1:59 between George Michael and Paul Young? And speaking of Paul Young, why did he get so much screen time in this??) I like how the guy(s?) from Spandau Ballet are mugging like they're hot shit, when they had about 7 seconds of celebrity left after this. Paul Weller c.1984, of course, looks like he just stepped out of a gay-French fashion magazine. To round it all off, we've got Phil Collins on drums (at least he couldn't grow a mullet).

I expect most people involved with this were quite sincere and of course they contributed their time for free, so good on them I guess, but Good Lord that's a hokey and offensively dumb lyric!

Ya feel me??

On a positive note it is a wee bit Christmassy.

User avatar
candy_floss_girl
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 11:37 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by candy_floss_girl » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:02 am

I like this spoof (which while mocking these kind of records raised money for UNICEF) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgux6aGzb3k :mrgreen:

User avatar
made of scone
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 3:14 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by made of scone » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:59 am

That's pretty cool, don't think I recall ever hearing about that.

Scott 4
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Scott 4 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:27 pm

The title was daft anyway. 'Do They Know It's Christmas' when most African countries don't celebrate Christmas. :roll:

Awful song and all. A bad version of the Z-Cars theme and it catapulted that plank, Geldof, into fame and riches. I remember all those TV adverts he did straight after the Band Aid thing (milk commercials and suchlike). So, while not cashing in directly from Band Aid funds, he did cash in on his raised profile and renewed celebrity/saint status, which absolutely stank. :evil:

Scott 4
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Scott 4 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:29 pm

Only good bit of the original 1984 single is on the B-Side.
David Bowie saying 'This is David Bowie' in his best David Bowie voice.

Scott 4
Posts: 189
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:47 pm

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Scott 4 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:59 pm

Ah, Spandau Ballet...

'She used to be a diplomat. But now she's down the laundromat'.

They were total arse. :lol:

Merlina Knight
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun May 21, 2017 7:38 am

Re: 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' (1984) in retrospect

Post by Merlina Knight » Mon Dec 18, 2017 4:51 pm

And the behind the scenes of it was even more hysterical! :lol:

https://youtu.be/ilAlAxVmNEs

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests