Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas

This year, like every year on the 25th of December, most of the world celebrates Christmas with their families. This song is probably one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time. It was written by Bob Geldof (frontman of The Boomtown Rats) and Midge Ure (of Ultravox and Thin Lizzy fame).

band-aid-1984

They wrote the song for Band Aid (a charity supergroup featuring British and Irish musicians and recording artists which was also founded by Geldof and Ure) to raise money for famine relief for victims of the famine in Ethiopia (In Africa) in 1984-85. Do They Know It’s Christmas became the fastest selling single of all time in the United Kingdom. The single sold a million in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for 5 weeks in the UK and ultimately sold more than 3 million copies. The song was revamped and released by Band Aid II in 1989 and again by Band Aid 20 in 2004.

Here’s a list of the original artists that were part of Band Aid in 1984:

  • Adam Clayton (U2)
  • Freddie Mercury (Queen)
  • Phil Collins (Genesis)
  • Bob Geldof (The Boomtown Rats, subsequently USA for Africa)
  • Steve Norman (Spandau Ballet)
  • Chris Cross (Ultravox)
  • John Taylor (Duran Duran)
  • Paul Young
  • Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet)
  • Glenn Gregory (Heaven 17)
  • Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran)
  • Simon Crowe (The Boomtown Rats)
  • Marilyn
  • Keren Woodward (Bananarama)
  • Martin Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
  • Jody Watley (Shalamar)
  • Bono (U2)
  • Paul Weller (The Style Council, and previously The Jam)
  • James “J.T.” Taylor (Kool & The Gang)
  • George Michael (Wham!)
  • Midge Ure (Ultravox)
  • Martyn Ware (Heaven 17)
  • John Keeble (Spandau Ballet)
  • Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet)
  • Roger Taylor (Duran Duran)
  • Sara Dallin (Bananarama)
  • Siobhan Fahey (Bananarama)
  • Sting (The Police)
  • Pete Briquette (The Boomtown Rats)
  • Francis Rossi (Status Quo)
  • Robert ‘Kool’ Bell (Kool & the Gang)
  • Dennis Thomas (Kool & the Gang)
  • Andy Taylor (Duran Duran)
  • Jon Moss (Culture Club, former member of Adam and the Ants)
  • Rick Parfitt (Status Quo)
  • Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran)
  • Johnny Fingers (The Boomtown Rats)
  • David Bowie (who contributed via a recording that was mailed to Geldof and then dubbed onto the single)
  • Boy George (Culture Club)
  • Holly Johnson (Frankie Goes to Hollywood)
  • Sonny Garner (The Lamplighters)
  • Paul McCartney (who contributed via a recording that was mailed to Geldof and then dubbed onto the single)
  • Stuart Adamson (Big Country)
  • Bruce Watson (Big Country)
  • Tony Butler (Big Country)
  • Mark Brzezicki (Big Country)
  • Jools Holland (Squeeze)

This is the video for Do They Know It’s Christmas followed by the lyrics:

(Paul Young)
It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid
At christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade

(Boy George)
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy!
Throw your arms around the world at Christmas time

(Phil Collins on the drums)

(George Michael)
But say a prayer – pray for the other ones
At Christmas time

(Simon Le Bon)
It’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window

(Sting and Simon Le Bon)
And it’s a world of dreaded fear
Where the only water flowing is a bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom

(Bono)
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?

Here’s to you
Raise your glass for everyone
Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time and
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time and
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time and
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time and
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time and
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmas time
I hope you like this song even though its not Christmas!

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Henno Kruger
Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant and co-founder of SA Music Zone
Henno Kruger

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