♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

Concentrating on my ‘good people’ post this evening, I hadn’t even given a thought to my music post.  But, after finishing the ‘good people’, and turning to comments from yesterday’s posts, I came across one from friend John Howell that led me to this song.  I’ve posted it before, and will do so again, for it carries a message that we need to be reminded of over and over.  John provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


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

25 thoughts on “♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

  1. So many reflections splash over my awareness listening, and remembering. The assembled talent, representing different political opinions, sexes, and races, but coming together (and the difficulty that must have been overcome to bring them together). The spectrum of ages, the joy they seem to experience.

    And then the sting of tears as I recognize the deceased, and ponder those faces and think of their age now.

    And another sigh, for a time we knew, when it seemed like we were coming together in greater and more powerful ways. Yet we find ourselves mired in political differences, hatred, and deliberate lies that accentuate the differences.

    Finally, though, if we reached such a golden moment before, surely we can again. Surely, we will again.

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

    • Like you, every time I hear this I remember with sadness those who are no longer here making music, and this year we add Kenny Rogers to that list. And at the same time as I bask in the obvious joy they had in making music and sending a message, i despair that the message seems to have gotten lost. Where did it go???

      Yes, at times we thought we were coming together, standing for what’s right in this world. But then, we never quite stand together before something comes along to pull us apart again. I wish I shared your optimism, but today … we are divided more than ever before in the history of this nation, with neither side willing to give an inch, and I despair that the human species is, in the words of Bob Dylan, “on the eve of destruction”.

      Cheers, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great song choice, Jill 🙂 I agree when you say that “this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago.” I can’t believe that it has been 34 years since its release. How little our world has changed!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m so glad you liked it! I think this one, like Lennon’s “Imagine” and Wonder/McCartney’s “Ebony and Ivory”, should be played at least once a year. Yes, our world has changed very little, and not for the better, it seems. Sigh. In the words of Peter, Paul & Mary’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” … “When will they ever learn?” I keep asking the question, but I don’t like the answer. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The full quote you referenced, for those who may have missed it, is : “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin. Sadly I find that many days here of late the best that I can do is hum and at times not even that…but I always listen, even if it is simply instrumental music. There is another quote that I recently came across in my reading that seems quite fitting to our present times, in more ways than one, and is attributed to Voltaire. “Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” I loved it! As is my habit, I researched to find if this had actually come from Voltaire. I discovered that it is only partially accurate and is from a letter to a niece in which he wrote : “Life is a shipwreck, save what you can.” Therefore the first version of the quote must be attributed as “unknown”. I like it so much that I wish I could claim it as my own, but somewhere someone is deserving of the credit! If memory serves me correctly, I went on at great length in my comment when this song was previously posted. So, I will only say that this is a song that never grows old and can never be played too often. Thank-you!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I know what you mean when you say that some days it is all you can do to hum. A few years back, I made a discovery … well, actually it was the girls who made the connection. When I am content, I sing, but when I am agitated, angry, or depressed, I whistle. Chris pointed it out one day, and after that I began paying attention … by golly, she was right! There is always a song somewhere in my heart, but how it comes out defines how I am feeling at any given time! And, I only sing in two places … the shower and the kitchen. As soon as I cross the threshold into the kitchen, the music begins coming out either by singing or whistling. These days, I seem to whistle a LOT! Hugs, dear Ellen!

      Like

  4. I’ve come across this one half a dozen times recently and to give myself a lift keep playing it. I love Do they know it’s Christmas.( Feed the World) too, so if you’d like to slip it in there one of these days we can all have a laugh seeing if we know who;s on there., as well as taking in the serious reason behind the record.
    cwtch

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Thank you for sharing!!.. no need for a heavy heart, dear lady… you are part of that world, part of that song and thought it may not seem like it at times, you are making a difference…. just keep following your heart, you will not go wrong!.. 🙂

    “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do…” Pope John XXIII

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Hey, Jill,
    Every time you play this song, I am reminded of Eric Burdon and War’s eloquent “They Can’t Take Away Our Music”, a song that never got the airplay and popularity it deserved. Recorded in 1970, released as a single in 1971 (I think), the world wasn’t ready for it. Maybe if it had been recorded by a large group of talented singers it may have had a happier existence, I cannot say. Maybe you have even played it for me, I can’t remember. But I would love it if you could give it to the world one more time. To steal a line from Donovan, this would be “A Gift from a Flower to a Garden.” Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Love, love, love!!!<3 ❤ Giant hugs to you my friend! I know the recent news has got me down too,but yes like our dear Ellen said, we have to keep singing! I had actually just said that this morning!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh, that was such a wonderful number. Thanks for bringing back the memories. 
Do read my path-breaking articles with over 360000 views across 200 countries and counting. They are very relevant to our present situation:
https://insightful.co.in/2020/04/19/world-war-iii-has-begun-and-we-are-unaware/
https://insightful.co.in/2020/04/28/beware-the-war-is-getting-uglier/
Warm regards.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you liked this one … it breaks through barriers of language, race, gender, and posits a message that never grows old. I did check out your posts … you do good work, and while I might not completely agree with all you say, you make some excellent points! Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

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