The Corner

Music

Yes, They Know It’s Christmas

In response to The Very Worst Christmas Song

There’s a reason Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is played so frequently — it’s a great song. But my entry for the worst Christmas song is “Do They Know It’s Christmas?,” recorded by U.K. and Irish singers coming together as Band Aid to raise money to alleviate famine in Ethiopia. While the sentiment was noble, the tune is awful. The worst thing about it, though, is the condescension. “Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?” Ethiopia converted to Christianity in the year of our Lord 330, half a century before the Roman Empire, when the Britannic and Hibernian ancestors of the singers were running around naked covered in blue paint — so, yeah, they’re fully aware it’s Christmas time. What’s more, the Ethiopian Church celebrates Christmas according to the Julian calendar, on January 7, meaning the twelve days of Christmas in the West are over before Christmas time even begins in Ethiopia. And the Ethiopian famine of the early 1980s wasn’t a matter of “Where nothing ever grows / No rain nor rivers flow” — it was caused, like most famines of the past 100 years, but Communist tyranny.

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