Christmas 1984 saw the movement and release of Do They Know it’s Christmas? By British supergroup Band Aid. Founded by Midge Ure and Bob Geldof, the aim of Band Aid was to raise money for anti-poverty in Ethiopia.
Fast forward to today, 2014. It’s Band Aid’s 30th anniversary and we are facing a new crisis. Earlier this year, the world watched as it witnessed Africa suffer the devastating outbreak that is Ebola. According to the World Health Organisation, the outbreak has reached over 5,000 in the death toll.
“I got a call from the UN saying they required at least a 20% increase across the board in systems of material and personnel,” said Sir Bob Geldof in a press interview. “They can’t put a number on it but they’re very concerned that the situation in West Africa will either spiral beyond those borders sometime around the beginning or mid December or it will be contained.”
Geldof talked about how it triggered him about the bravery of the health services and the volunteers of doctors and nurses flying out to try and help those suffering with the deadly virus. And thus, Band Aid 30 was born.
Music Giants such as One Direction, Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran and many more along with three British YouTube stars- Zoe and Joe Sugg and Alfie deyes- came together to record the new version of the popular Band Aid single we hear every Christmas. As the cause has changed from famine in Africa to fighting Ebola, the lyrics from the original track had been amended to fit the new project that Band Aid 30 are tackling.
What’s been sparking conversation throughout social media is the debate on which version is better- Band Aid 30 or the original charity single by Band Aid back in 1984 (apparently nobody had any concern for Band Aid 20 recorded back in 2004.) With some people throwing comments of insult toward the artists in the new single and hardcore fans fighting the corner of the likes of One Direction and Sam Smith, I can’t help but think that people are missing the whole point behind the single.
People are refusing to buy the charity track because “the new generation have ruined a classic” but that isn’t what the song has been recorded for. Ebola is a disgustingly fatal disease. Listen to the lyrics of the new Band Aid.
Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear.
Victims who are suffering horrendously can’t be with their loved ones. A husband cannot hold his wife’s hand. A mother cannot cradle her baby. They are left to die. Alone.
The single isn’t about the best artists or the best version. This generation may prefer Band Aid 30. Their parents may prefer the original. It doesn’t matter. Because you know what does matter? That you buy that track. CD form, digital, whatever. Buy that song. Buy it regardless of whether you listen to it for the rest of Christmas or whether you delete it after. Because 100% of the proceeds will go to the cause. The cause which desperately needs funding for materials to care for the patients who are cursed, to help put this vicious virus in a grave of its own and stop taking innocent people down.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re the biggest Ed Sheeran fan or absolutely hate his guts. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Directioner or wish their career would end. What matters is that you buy that song, regardless of what your use of it is. Buy the song or donate or even better- do both.
Imagine your child or loved one or parent- anyone you care about- had Ebola. You would probably make out with Olly Murs if it meant you could save them. But it’s much simpler than that. One simple purchase and/or donation and that’s it.
It’s absolutely ridiculous that society are choosing whether or not to give to a very worthy cause just because of the people who are singing the song. I wouldn’t care if it was your best friend’s neighbour’s tone deaf solicitor who sang the damn song – if it meant I was helping save lives, I would buy it. I’m not saying you need to give your entire savings or pension to the charity, but as the so called corny saying goes- every penny counts and that is the utmost truth. So don’t be some big headed egotistical idiot who lets the participants of this charity single determine whether or not you should buy the song – just do it. You will make that amount of money a million times over in your lifetime- these poor souls have their lives on the line. Are you really going to begrudge less than £5 to save a life?
It’s not to get to the Christmas number one that’s important – it’s the money it raises. If you hate the song that much, quit complaining and donate online at bandaid30.com or text AID to 70060 to donate £5. It’s really that simple.
For once in your lives- put the musical differences behind you. It’s for an important cause.