In Defense of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” | National Review

The Three Percent Non-Solution | National Review


Maybe this is my Gen X pride talking, but I must defend the Band-Aid Ethiopian famine song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” from Jack and Mark. Sure, its politics are terrible, its geography is sketchy, its grasp of world religion is deficient, and its tone is condescending, but then, John Lennon’s “Happy XMas (War Is Over)” – which has its own cringey lines about the “yellow and red ones” – called for surrendering the people of South Vietnam to Communist tyranny and massacre. But I will forgive some mushy-headed remember-the-less-fortunate do-goodism in my Christmas playlists if the songs are strong. And both of those songs are strong, musically. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” is a textbook 80s pop anthem, powered forward by Phil Collins on drums. And frankly, it’s worth the price of admission just to hear Bono barge in like an Old Testament prophet in the buildup to the first chorus howling “well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of YOUUUUUU…”





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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.