From the Department of Why God Why comes the news that Bob Geldof has rounded up a plethora of British people to sing at Africa yet again. This time, though, he’s not going to sing at them about famine. It’s time for Geldof and company to tackle Ebola, apparently.
If you are of a certain age, you likely have complex nostalgia feels about Geldof’s original “pop star ensemble burbles at Africa” endeavor, Band Aid. The mega-hit “Do They Know It’s Christmas” featured a veritable slew of your favorite mid-80s singers like an oddly clean-shaven George Michael and an over-emoting Bono.
As you got older, however, you realized that the song was actually awful, both for its casual white man’s burden flavor of racism and for being one of those Christmas songs that gets played at Christmas as if it is a happy song when really it is not a happy Christmas song at all. (See also John Lennon’s “War is Over.”) Oh, and also for the REALLY terrible record cover you see above.
If you were lucky, you managed to ignore the fact that Geldof has summoned a pop star cavalcade on two subsequent occasions, first in 1989 with a really generically awful disco-lite version:
…and then again in 2004 with a version that STILL had an over-emoting Bono, because over-emoting Bono is forever.
Now, 30 years out from the original Band-Aid recording, Geldof seems to have decided that Africa yet again needs him as a savior, but this time, it’s about Ebola, natch.
Geldof said that changes to the lyrics include “burning suns”, due to the fertile landscape of West Africa compared to drought-stricken Ethiopia of 1984.The money raised will go towards the fight against Ebola in numerous West African countries, which Geldof called a “filthy little virus” which renders its victims “untouchable”.
It is, of course, laudable to raise money to fight Ebola, but did we really need an Ebola-themed version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas”? Although, come to think of it, “do they know it’s Ebola at all” scans exactly the same as the original lyrics. so maybe Geldof is onto something.
Nah, just kidding, this thing is going to be awful.