Sunday, December 24, 2006

80s Music Video Sunday #3

Growing up Jewish in the US, come holiday season, it is hard to miss all of the pre-Christmas festivities. As a child, I sat on Santa's lap quite a few times. I've watched the Christmas specials (including the Christmas episodes of all my favorite shows) attended Christmas parties, helped friends decorated their Christmas trees, and even attended Christmas Midnight Mass once with nrg, just to see what it was like (very nice!), though I did stop short "drinking the wine and chewing the wafer", fearing repercussions of godly proportions. And of course, who could escape the veritable plethora of Christmas songs, given that they were played anywhere and everywhere. Like any other American kid, I knew the words to "Rudolph", "Jingle Bells" ("Jingle Bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg..."), and "Mama Got Run Over by a Reindeer".

I'm not sure why, but for some reason, now that I live in a country where Christmas isn't a national holiday (and this is, of course, despite the fact that Israel is where it all started), I feel rather nostalgic for all that pre-holiday excitement. Not so much the piped-in muzak at the malls, but more the Christmassy feeling in the air, the all-encompassing Christmas spirit. It happens every year - I blogged about it last year as well. To remind myself that other parts of the world are currently in the throes of the holiday season, I keep a selection of Christmas songs on my computer, songs ranging from the Bing Crosby and David Bowie duet of "Little Drummer Boy – Peace on Earth", to "Snoopy's Christmas" by the Royal Guardsmen, to The Pogues singing "Fairytale of New York", and many more. My non-Jewish friends are very impressed, while a number of my Israeli friends think it's actually a bit strange (but I am used to that...).

When it come to it, though, I'm still an 80s girl at heart, and if you were to ask me what my all-time favorite Christmas song is, I'd have to say Band-Aid's "Do they Know it's Christmas". I remember when it came out, the heavy airtime it received on my top 40s radio station, the video, which simply showed the song being recorded by such 80s greats as Bono, George Michael, Boy George, Banarama, and so on. Those voices. I love those voices and I love that song. I bought the single, of course, and I believe I even have it with me here in Israel. The song was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in order to raise money (and world awareness, of course) for Ethiopian famine victims.

Before we get to the business of the video and the lyrics, I just want to take a moment to wish a Merry Christmas to all of my readers who celebrate, and to those of you who don't but still live in countries where it's just another day off from work (unlike Israel, where it's just another regular work day), have a great day, and watch out for those Chinese restaurants that use MSG...

Do they Know it's Christmas Time

Performed by Band Aid
Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure (1984)

It's Christmastime
There's no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, 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 Christmastime

But say a prayer

Pray for the other ones
At Christmastime 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 Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
(Oooh) Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

(Here's to you) raise a glass for everyone
(Here's to them) underneath that burning sun
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world

Feed the world

Let them know it's Christmastime again

Feed the world
Let them know it's Christmastime again


tafka PP said...

Fabulous! The first version is the most fun- I wasn't overly enthralled with the 2004 version and the 2nd one was an embarrassment...

I think we're all in the same mood- Happy Commercial-mas!

RR said...

Oh yeah, great song! I, too, prefer the original.

nrg said...

My Christmas Pizza (not a pizza at all, a dessert with layers of walnuts and raisins with sugar, cinnamon, cloves...yummy!!) is in the oven, the tree was cut down, decorated and is making my living room look festive. Christmas is here! The Robert Shaw Corale is on the cd player filling me with a peace I rarely feel during the craziness of the rest of the year! Only real downside is that it's 6 degrees here (Celcius) which means not a stich of snow. Doesn't feel like Christmas and my little viking girl is sad...
But, Christmas Eve is here... Santa is ready to do his thing. Baby Jesus is being mentioned to remind the kids that it isn't commercial-mas, but actually christmas...

And I've realized that although we always had a dradle, dradel...(spelling, anyone?) hanging on our tree when I was growing up, I don't have one on mine... Liza...can you please assist?? And one that says "a miracle happened here" instead of "there" would be oh so cool!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night...

Life Out East said...

Yep, the best of the band-aid offerings. One of those things they should never have tried repeating; it was for that moment, it worked and that should have been that.
I agree with what you're saying about the feeling of Christmas. I'm not Christian but I'm from the UK and have always celebrated Christmas (feel a bit of a fraud), it's a great time for kids too. Here in Thailand it just doesn't feel the same. Lots of the dreaded muzak, decorations everywhere and every shop trying to capitalise on it, but something missing. Just isn't quite the same feeling as back home.
Best of the season to you all!!

lisoosh said...

OK, I have the single too.
I'm not that big on Christmas, I never missed it in Israel, but I am a huge fan of over the top house decorations here in the States. Twinkly lights will do it for me every time.

Didn't know there was a new version of this song and glad I didn't.

James said...

I love that song.

Anonymous said...

Oh my, I can't believe you found this! It's played so often over here that I have to run and hide form it every now and then!!

Freudian Slip said...

I love it! Yes, the original is certainly king :)