This weekend saw the debut of Band Aid 30’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” the updated holiday song you’ll be hearing hundreds of times this season into the new year.
This is normally where we’d put a link to the video, but the clip, which premiered on “X Factor” on Sunday night in the U.K., was taken off YouTube shortly after it arrived. This is also why we can’t exactly analyze this thing in great depth right here.
While it’s hard to know how our feelings will change over the inevitable hundreds of listens, upon first experiencing the classic song in its new format — now including lyrics about Ebola, and featuring more current stars than the ones who were involved in the first go ’round — it feels, well, weird.
And the fact they’re singing about Ebola changes the game up a little bit too. But in the end, it’s still the same thing; a bunch of European pop stars, raising money for a good cause, but coming across a little bit culturally insensitive. At least this time, Bono doesn’t sing that frequently misinterpreted “tonight thank God it’s them” line.
The first eight lines of the song are the same, so it’s especially jarring when Bastille’s Dan Smith sings “where a kiss of love can kill you,” where you’d normally hear Sting sing about the only water flowing being the bitter sting of tears. (I always thought that was weird that he sang his name on that part.)
Bono, the only singer to return 30 years later, keeps his same part, but instead he sings, “Well, tonight we’re reaching out and touching you!” It still feels weird. Like “hey, you have Ebola, a disease that can kill you if you kiss the wrong person and transfer bodily fluids, but us Europeans are still reaching out and touching you … with money! And with our way of saying ‘Happy Christmas’!”
But hey, this may change as the song inevitably grows on us and enchants us or sickens us.
For now though, here’s a comparative look at the lyrics…
UPDATE: THE VIDEO IS BACK!
This time it’s on Daily Motion. So now that it’s back up, are you wondering who these people are? Click here for the answer key!