Let’s just get this over with. A new version of the classic “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” hit the airwaves over the weekend, featuring – sigh – One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding… do I have to go on? Olly Muirs. Bastille. Bono. Again. Groan. The lyrics are “Heal the woooooooooorld” this time, instead of “Feed the wooooooorld” because it’s 2014 and we’re fighting Ebola now.
Funds from sale of the song, available on iTunes, will go toward the effort to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa, where the bulk of the 5,000 people who have died from the disease during the current outbreak have lived.
The first Band Aid charity supergroup of musicians originally recorded the song in 1984 to fight famine in Ethiopia, raising over 8 million pounds, BBC reports. The challenge in 2014 is to get people to purchase the song, and not share or stream it. To encourage purchase, the song will not be available on Spotify until January, according to BBC News
Blah blah blah.
Not to be a cynic, but 0ne vaguely gets the idea that Sir Bob has been waiting around 30 years for another crisis to hit Africa, so he could bust out the old song again. And the lineup. A dreary bunch, indeed. What made the first one so exciting was that in 1984 we were just coming off the second greatest British invasion the music industry had ever witnessed. Seeing Boy George, Bananarama, and Spandau Ballet in the same room, singing together, was genuinely thrilling. And while I’m still nominally a 1D fan ( Harry’s hair is, frankly, the high point of the video for me), and Ed Sheeran has a bit of star power, these others are second-stringers AT BEST. I don’t care that Seal and Ellie Goulding were in the same room togerther. Also, the song itself feels listless and warmed-over. Not to mention the fact that it is STILL patronizing and culturally ignorant. All in all, it’s just a sad spectacle. I hope it does well, and I hope the money is allocated properly this time, and it goes without saying that I hope that we eradicate Ebola in 2015, but this… this is just wrong.