♫ We Are The World ♫

Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

130 thoughts on “♫ We Are The World ♫

  1. There are songs, and then there is this song! Allow me to first say that your choice of this song is both timely and perfect! Please, do not consider this next part as a criticism of this marvelously researched and written post…it most assuredly is not! That said, also allow me to take you back to a previous post of yours from July 14, 2018 that was a re-blog from July 13, 2018 by Dr. Rex on her blog “It Is What It Is”. The post featured the Broadway United version of “We Are The World” that had been published on June 27, 2018. I was positively blown away by their version! Allow me to go beyond that and be so bold as to quote Dr. Rex’s introduction to that post, admittedly sans permission : “I can’t fathom or wrap my head around the level of inhumanity, greed, vileness, evil, violence, crime, injustice and so much more that inhabits this world. Music helps me. Here’s an example. HortyRex.” That was little more than a year ago and her words are no less true today, perhaps even more so! What is also true is Music Helps. A disclaimer must be added here…this is not taken from memory, I saved that post. I should be able to rely on my memory, as I have read and listened to it over and over again. One last thing! Lest some think that I am a thief of quotes, I am merely a borrower. Therefore, it seems necessary that proper credit be given for the entire splendid quote : “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin. I could not give better advice! Thank-you Jill and Dr. Rex!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! I did not take it as criticism at all … in fact, I did remember re-blogging Horty’s post last year, though not the date, but decided that this is one of those songs, like Lennon’s Imagine, or McCartney/Wonder doing Ebony and Ivory, that can be played over and over and still not become passe. I did, for a few moments, think that you had a photographic and never-ending memory, though! And thanks for adding the proper quote … I couldn’t remember it all and was too exhausted last night to go back to find the email to properly attribute. 🙂

      Like

  2. Very well written as only you can write it, my friend, thank you for sharing!.. yes, the song is appropriate and one would be amazed as to what one can accomplish working together.. 🙂

    “The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” Frederick Buechner

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sometimes there are songs that come out that you know are special. You make them much more special by choosing someone to direct those who sing and select who sings. I can say it may have been better if they’d kept to the original idea of just black musicians then maybe white stars would have made another one that raised some millions.Still, maybe that would have been too divisive. Quincey Jones did a fantastic job even though I might have dropped some of the ‘Stars; Yes Bruce Springsteen I mean you. It lifted hearts and it raised money to relieve some lives. Lets make another one suggesting we give up our weapons budgets. We could feed the whole world from that saving annually.Or maybe it’s just time to life hearts and raise money again.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Quincy definitely did it right on this one. I get your point, but I think I like the fact that there were artists from multiple ethnicities participating … more open, speaks to the fact that we can all love each other, regardless of race or skin colour, religion or gender. I like your idea of making one for giving up our weapons, for learning to live together without killing those who are different. If music has the ability to bring people together, why not use it for just that?
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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