Earlier in December, Band Aid 30 released their 2014 version of the song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. This charitable recording features a star studded international cast of artists, with all donations and other proceeds going toward efforts to fight the spread of the deadly Ebola outbreak and care for the victims.
This recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” comes thirty years after the, now iconic, song was written by Sir Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for the victims of the Ethiopian famine in 1984, according to Band Aid 30’s official donation website.
So, who are some of the artists featured on this recording?
Well, the list we courtesy of Pitchfork reads like a who’s who of rock, pop, and indie music royalty. On vocals and instrumentation, you can expect to hear: Robert Plant, Bono, Chris Martin of Cold Play, Bastille, Ed Sheeran, One Direction, Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, Queen drummer Roger Taylor, Ellie Goulding, Emile Sandé, Angélique Kidjo, Sinéad O’Connor, Elbow, Rita Ora, Paloma Faith, Clean Bandit, Olly Murs, Seal, Jimmy Napes, and Fuse ODG. Additionally, the track’s co-writer Ure appears on this special 30th anniversary recording. And, Underword remixed the song, according to the BBC.
Earlier in the coverage about this new recording, it had been reported by media outlets and was noted in press materials by Band Aid 30 that Disclosure would remix the track; however, a spokesperson for the group has since came forward to deny their involvement, and Band Aid 30 has since pulled Disclosure’s name from their online list of artists participating this year, according to Pitchfork.
The BBC also reported that several lines had been changed for the 2014 edition. They note that the original line “Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears”, has become “Where a kiss of love can kill you and there’s death in every tear”. And, Bono – who has appeared multiple times on Band Aid projects – had his famous line “Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you” changed to “Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you”.
Take a look at the lyrics to the song, and check out the in the studio performance video, below. A slight advisory for the squeamish, the beginning of the video does use a brief news style clip of victims of the Ebola epidemic, but then the focus shifts to the artists arriving to record, beginning at the 0:20 second mark.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – Band Aid 30
It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmas time, it’s hard but while you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there’s death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you
No peace and joy this Christmas in West Africa
The only hope they’ll have is being alive
Where to comfort is to fear
Where to touch is to be scared
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all
Here’s to you
Raise a glass to everyone
And here’s to them
And all their years to come
Let them know it’s Christmas time after all
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feel the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
The cover art for the album was provided by Tracey Emin, and “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is available, now. And, if you’re going to share this story on social media, please consider using the hashtag #BandAid30.