“It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid….”

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Recognise anyone? Thought not. . .

There probably are plenty of reasons to be afraid at the moment, I don’t think I need to explain that.

However, at this time of year I’m most afraid when I hear Band Aid’s “Do they know it’s Christmas?”. Mostly because I’m an annoying particularly picky person. And it because those lyrics tell fibs.

Firstly, some context. A famine had been present in Ethiopia for many months, the cause of human actions and a terrible drought. Around 1.2 million people were to die over the course of the next year or so. A horrible situation to say the least, something had to be done.

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UK popstars responded by making a song, written by Midge Ure and Bob Geldof. They roped in all the big names at the time, and it was HUGE. I mean really really huge. They had 24 hours to record it and there was no social media obviously and only 4 channels on the TV, and yet it was everywhere. It sold 2 million copies and made £24 million to fight the famine. BUT…

There were a lot of things wrong with the words, if not the sentiment. I don’t want to be that annoying friend that corrects you all the time, but I have to be that annoying friend that corrects you all the time. Taking the fun out of everything, that’s me.

Firstly “Africa” was used to describe one situation in one part of the enormous continent. Think of Morocco, then South Africa, then Egypt, then Nigeria, then Ethiopia. The people, the landscape, the business and politics are so different in these places, how can you view them as one?

Let’s start with the title, “Do they know it’s Christmas time?” assuming this was meant to mean that there are not Christians in Africa. There are 631 million Christians in Africa.

“Where nothing ever grows, no rain, no rivers flow”. Hmmmm, just tea, coffee, corn, wheat, rice, yams, plantain, potatoes, sweet potatoes. And as for fruit…bananas, pineapples, dates, figs, olives, lemons, oranges to say the least. And errrr, the River Nile, the Okovango delta etc..etc..

As for the “Tonight thank god it’s them instead of you” line, well they say that you lot are the “me generation”, but that’s a pretty horrible sentiment.

Anyway, I’ll stop being that annoying mate for a bit.

Decide for yourself…

What’s your favourite Christmas song? Do you even have one?

This is 57 years old, even older than me. Darlene Love and a wall of sound.

This one is only 27 years old!

Ok, the most recent and it’s still 21 years old!!!!

And if you got this far, you deserve something. How about this, my team beating your team. Again. 8 times out of the last 10 at Ashton Gate, and I did move here 10 years ago, which surely isn’t a coincidence.

Have a happy week,

Simon

Written by

Food Club support worker and Lead Youth Worker at Bedminster Youth Club.

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