♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

I play this one about once a year, for it carries a message that we all need to hear from time to time.  Right now, all over the world, troubles abound.  In Haiti, Cuba, South Africa, protests are rocking the nations.  In much of the world, the new variants of the coronavirus pandemic are causing renewed surges, people are dying and there aren’t enough vaccines in many countries, economies are in trouble, climate change is bringing disastrous effects to people around the globe, to food and water supplies, and the list goes on.  Here in the U.S., we have such a political divide that families are being torn apart and white supremacy is threatening us all.  So tonight I play this one for everyone, to remind us that … we all share this planet, that we must come together, find ways to mend our fences, to overcome our differences.  

When I played this just over a year ago, our friend John Howell provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of at the time …

“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

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

  1. Pingback: Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  2. One other story came out of the recording session. Michael supposedly announced that anyone who could not check their ego at the door would be offered a free ride home. “Of course, they should be aware,” he added, “Stevie Wonder would be their driver.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A worthy effort for a worthy cause and, as you say, it’s so sad that nothing seems to have changed. As songs, though, I preferred Band Aid and the original idea but, being British, I would, wouldn’t I! I’d imagine that Geldof put his unique negotiating skills to good effect with many of those he joined for that day, as the beginnings of 1985’s Live Aid concerts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If every person who bought the record stuck to those principals and had taught it to their children, there would not have been an odious fraud in the Whitehouse and MAGA would be just another minority comic group of extremists.
    In these days a poignant song.
    Still, we must keep the candle burning.

    Like

  5. Jill, yeah, what a GREAT song that was – and those now young faces (and those now dead singers)…. a long way down on memory lane! Thanks for sharing, also to your ‘providers’ – so appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What strikes me as sad that there are billionaires in the world right now who would rather spend their money stroking their vanity than working to solve real problems. We shouldn’t need “cause” songs like this any more to get us through the seemingly ever-present hard times (especially this song, ’cause I am definitely not a fan of it…sorry…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I absolutely agree … especially after reading tonight about how little those billionaires contribute in the form of taxes!!! And, seeing Bezos heading to space … spending how many millions of dollars when people are putting their children to bed hungry tonight … grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s relevance hasn’t left us unfortunately. Maybe it’s time for a rerun with some stars of today perhaps with the emphasis on raising money for vaccines in the poorest countries with Lionel Richie as an ambassador to persuade then drug companies to be generous even though it must pay them to have the virus around for a long time with all the new variants springing up. One day they won’t be able to defeat this monster because they put profits first and because Governments were slow at giving way the excess vaccine they promised that perhaps goes out of date stored in some warehouse. The time for action is now and as usual it may have to be led by the people.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if there will ever dome a day when we can look back on this song and not feel its relevance? I suspect not. I like your idea of modernizing it with a view toward helping the poorest countries with life-saving vaccines. In this country, given that about 1/3 of the people are too stubborn to even get the vaccine, I would love to see all leftover doses sent to Ghana or Nigeria … places where people would appreciate having their lives saved.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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