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Band Aid – with commentaries  

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Do They Know It’s Christmas? 

It’s Christmas time
There’s no need to be afraid

Don’t worry, be happy.

At Christmas time
We let in light and we banish shade

Several African countries are pretty close to the equator. People look for shade. They want shade. They got plenty of sunlight, they do not need you to find light.

Are you referring to the dark and cold North? Support Norway

And in our world of plenty
We can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

Grab your neighbour and dance. Or that is not what you mean?

But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it’s hard

Inequality is rising. More people than ever before are in prison. The elected president is unqualified. Christmas is pretty hard for Americans.

But when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where? There are a lot of sad places. Have you ever been to New Jersey or Lolland? Or Disneyland after dark?

Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears

Jokes aside, if we accept the premise, that this is about the CONTINENT of Africa, then there are numerous rivers and lakes in Africa. The longest river in the world, the River Nile, is in Africa. We also have the Congo River, Uele River, Kazinga River, Niger River, and the Hawash River. The last one is found in Ethiopia. And many, many, many more rivers and lakes.

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

No, the chimes are from churches filled with people singing Christmas songs. Not doom.

Well tonight thank God it’s them
Instead of you

What? How about you focus on your own family. Your uncle will likely drink too much.

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time

That is plain wrong. Before global warming really took off, there were plenty of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. Today, the snow left on Mt Kenya is melting at a dangerous rate. Snow is still common on Mt Kilimanjaro. Snow is also found on the Grand Atlas Mountains in Morocco. In the southern part of Africa, the tiny country Lesotho has a ski resort. How much more snow do you want?

It would also be horrible if snow fell in the parts of Africa where snow is uncommon. The buildings are not constructed to withstand cold. Why is it even bad, that there won’t be snow at Christmas? I am from Denmark, and we hardly have snow at Christmas either. You don’t see people making songs about our snowless Christmas.

The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life (oooh)

Is life not a great gift? But how about being with friends and family. Receiving presents. Enjoying a good meal. Going to the cinema. Going dancing. Looking into the eyes belonging to the love of your life. What do you think people in Africa do?

Oh, I get it, you want to give them better gifts? Africans are just passive recipients, that can’t do anything themselves. Give me a break. Open a f—king book

Where nothing ever grows

Africa has rain forests. And where do you think your tea, coffee, chocolate, flowers, and several of your fruits in your local shop come from? That is right, Africa.

No rain or rivers flow

I have been in Ghana, it rains! And to repeat, there are several rivers in Africa. Africa is not all the Sahara desert, just as the USA is more than the Nevada Desert or California.

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Are you bloody kidding me? More than half of all Africans are Christians, meaning +500 million people in Africa are Christians. When we are at the subject, Christians were found on the African continent shortly after the death of Jesus, where it soon spread to the Horn of Africa. Christianity has existed in present Ethiopia since the 1st century CE. So yeah, they know it is Christmas.

However, not all Christians celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25. In Denmark, it is celebrated on the evening on Dec. 24. In the Coptic Orthodox Church in Ethiopia, Christmas is celebrated on Jan. 7. Did you know that? Or you thought that the USA was the world? That was a rhetorical question.

Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone

You feel so good about this song, that you have to intoxicate yourself to believe in these lyrics. That…actually makes sense. Cheers!

Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun

So first you bemoan that there is no light, and now you bemoan the burning sun. Make up your mind.

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Yes, they do! Do not repeat your own ignorant nonsense

Feed the world

Great, donate money to your local trusted charity foundation. Purchase made in Africa products to improve local business in Africa. How about open your own window. Do you see a poor person? Invite that person over. How about supporting the increase of the minimum wages in your country, so workers can have a decent Christmas. Or raise taxes to provide a helping hand for people not having a job. You know, improve your welfare system. It is easier to help your neighbour than the world. I mean, the world starts at your front door. Take one step at a time.

Feed the world

I get it. You think repeating this chant makes you a better person, and you are making a difference. You are not.

Feed the world

Shut up.

Let them know it’s Christmas time again – feed the world

They do know! Do have to repeat myself?

Let them know it’s Christmas time again

You’re drunk. Go to bed.

PS: The cash revenues generated from this song in 1984 exacerbated the hunger catastrophe in Ethiopia. The local regime used the food as a weapon to mass deport people into camps. The conservative estimate is that 100.000 people died during the “resettlement programme”. Sometimes doing nothing is worse than doing something when you do not know what you are doing. Just like surgery. Doing something because it feels good, does not make it good.

img_1822Picture: Accra Mall, Dec. 2015. Mathias Søgaard

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