With Thanksgiving just ended we are in the full fledge countdown to Christmas. With this comes lights, tree trimming, Egg Nog, cooler weather and of course those Christmas carols. I have always looked forward to the carols. They are absolutely my favorite part of the season. I’ve even been guilty of listening to my Christmas Pandora stations, in the spring and summer months.
Traditional, contemporary, secular and religious, it doesn’t matter; I love Christmas carols. That is, all but one. This particular song was written in the 1980’s, and every year I have to endure hearing it, I get this feeling of rage in the depths of my soul. It literally has the opposite effect on me than intended. The dreadful song? “Do They Know Its Christmas?” The song is downright offensive. It strikes nearer to me than most because I am African and the song comes off as propaganda rather than a cause. The following lines in particular are what hock me off the most:
♬ 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,
Where nothing ever grows, no rain or rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?♬
My understanding is that this idiotic song was written during a 2 year famine in Ethiopia. The hope was to bring awareness & raise money for the cause. Sounds honorable enough, right? First rule to being honorable: be as sensitive to the people as you are the cause, otherwise, it’s a gimmick.
1. The bit about thanking God it’s them instead of you? While I can understand where they might have been trying to say with this line, at the end of the day it’s what you write that matters. And this? Insensitive.
2. Snow is NOT an indication that Christmas is here. Hello? LA.
3. Ethiopia is a country, Africa a continent. A famine in one part of a continent does not stop growth and running rivers in another. Does a drought in Kentucky stop trees from growing in Canada? Been to Africa, trust me, shit’s growing beautifully.
4. I believe the greatest gift anyone ever gets is their life. Next?
I mean the use of “logic” in this song is ridiculous. There actually is none. But to answer the question “Band Aid”, yes, those that celebrate do in fact know its Christmas time.
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