Bah Humbug: Bob Geldof Can't Stand His 'Do They Know It's Christmas'
By Spinner Editors Posted Nov 30th 2010 11:15AM
Most of us have mixed feelings toward deathless charity anthem 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' -- on one hand, it has raised millions for good causes and become something of a yuletide institution, on the other, it features groan-worthy lyrics like "There won't be snow in Africa" and Bono's anguished yelp of "Tonight, thank God it's them, instead of you." But spare a thought for Bob Geldof. He, after all, has to live with having written it.
"I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history," the one-time Boomtown Rats singer told the Daily Mail recently. "One is 'Do They Know it's Christmas?' and the other one is 'We Are the World.'" The latter tune came out a few months after Band Aid's 1984 No. 1 and was directly inspired by the Geldof and Midge Ure-penned hit, using the same multi-artist charity singalong format but led by American stars like Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
"Any day soon, I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing," says Gandolf. "Every F-----g Christmas."
'Do They Know It's Christmas?' itself was first released in November 1984 in response to news reports about the devastating famine in Ethiopia. The track featured performers like U2, Paul Weller, Bananarama and Phil Collins and boasted cover art by Peter Blake; it topped the charts for five weeks and remained the UK's best-selling single ever until 1997's Diana-inspired 'Candle in the Wind' re-make.
New versions of the tune were released in 1989 and 2004, but it is the original that remains ubiquitous, much to Geldof's annoyance. "Any day soon, I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing," he said. "Every f---ing Christmas."
The singer added that he even hears carol singers perform renditions of the tune."Sometimes I think that's wild because I wrote it," he explained. "Or else I am thinking how much I want them to stop because they are doing it really badly." Read More on Spinner
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