♫ Do They Know It’s Christmas? ♫

In May of 2020 when I played We Are the World, dear friend David suggested another song that is about bringing people together, about helping people, about feeding the world.  The title, of course, is Do They Know It’s Christmas, but it’s a song that is apropos any time of the year, and I first played it in June 2020, about as far from Christmas as you can get!  This is one of those, like “Christmas 1914”, that has become an annual tradition on Filosofa’s Word.

This is a charity single organized by Bob Geldof, who was the lead singer of The Boomtown Rats. He got the idea after watching a BBC documentary on famine in Ethiopia. Geldof wrote the lyrics and Midge Ure from the band Ultravox wrote the music and produced the track, which was no easy task since so many voices were involved.

In the UK, and much of the Northern Hemisphere, snow and numerous displays leave no doubt that Christmas is near. In most of Africa, however, it’s quite warm on December 25, since it’s summer there. This song asks us to think of those who are living in poverty and hunger in Africa during the Christmas season, reminding us that they might not even know it’s Christmas.

Most of this song was recorded and mixed over a 24-hour period on Sunday, November 25, 1984. Sting and Simon LeBon had recorded their parts ahead of time, but everyone else came that day.

None of the vocalists heard the song before they arrived, so they learned their parts by listening to a guide vocal producer Midge Ure created, then recorded them. With such a tight schedule, there was no time to quibble.  The artists were not all friends, but they set aside their differences and were at least cordial to each other during the recording – with one exception. In the book I Want My MTV, George Michael said: “The only person who didn’t succumb to the charitable nature of the day was Paul Weller, who decided to have a go at me in front of everybody. I said, ‘Don’t be a wanker all your life. Have a day off.'”

The single raised $14 million for famine relief in Africa. Geldof is Irish, so he cannot be knighted, but he did receive a KBE, which is equivalent and is popularly known as Sir or Saint Bob.

Boy George was nearly a no-show, asleep in New York the day of recording. His band Culture Club was huge at the time and Bob Geldof was counting on him for a key vocal, so Geldof called him, woke him up, and told him to get on a Concorde. George flew to London, got behind the microphone and delivered the vocal they were looking for.

Trevor Horn, who was a member of the Buggles and Yes, donated the use of his studio (Sarm Studios in London) to record the song. He also pieced together the B-side of the single, which is an instrumental version with the artists delivering messages over the music. It is called “Feed The World” on the single.

Phil Collins arrived with his entire drum kit to record a live drum track on top of the already programmed drum machine. He set up the kit and then waited patiently until early evening until after all the vocals had been recorded. Ure was content with the first take that Collins performed, but the perfectionist Collins was unhappy with it and asked for a second take to be recorded, which he was satisfied with.

Released on December 3rd 1984 in the UK, the song quickly hit #1 on the charts and stayed there for 5 weeks.  The song became the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK until it was overtaken in 1997 by Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.  In the U.S., the song reached only #13 due to a lack of airplay.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Band Aid

It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade

And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone

Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It’s Christmas? lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

I have reduxed this one every year since I first played it in … I think 2018.  It carries a message that we all need to hear from time to time.  Right now, all over the world, troubles abound.  Thinking of Ukraine and Ukrainians at the moment, with their struggles to save their country from an evil wanna-be emperor. 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 are grieving for the lives lost over the past month in multiple mass shootings, especially the lives of 19 children lost in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  Our politicians are playing the already massive divide, further dividing us and some are attempting to subjugate the people of the U.S. to a dictatorial leader.  People all over the globe are suffering in one way or another, and 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.  

One of the times I played this, 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

♫ Do They Know It’s Christmas? ♫

In May of last year, when I played We Are the World, our friend David suggested another song that is about bringing people together, about helping people, about feeding the world.  The title, of course, is Do They Know It’s Christmas, but it’s a song that is apropos any time of the year, and I first played it in June 2020, about as far from Christmas as you can get!  This is one of those, like “Christmas 1914”, that should become an annual tradition on Filosofa’s Word, though admittedly I had forgotten about it until Ellen reminded me last evening!

This is a charity single organized by Bob Geldof, who was the lead singer of The Boomtown Rats. He got the idea after watching a BBC documentary on famine in Ethiopia. Geldof wrote the lyrics and Midge Ure from the band Ultravox wrote the music and produced the track, which was no easy task since so many voices were involved.

In the UK, and much of the Northern Hemisphere, snow and numerous displays leave no doubt that Christmas is near. In most of Africa, however, it’s quite warm on December 25, since it’s summer there. This song asks us to think of those who are living in poverty and hunger in Africa during the Christmas season, reminding us that they might not even know it’s Christmas.

Most of this song was recorded and mixed over a 24-hour period on Sunday, November 25, 1984. Sting and Simon LeBon had recorded their parts ahead of time, but everyone else came that day.

None of the vocalists heard the song before they arrived, so they learned their parts by listening to a guide vocal producer Midge Ure created, then recorded them. With such a tight schedule, there was no time to quibble.  The artists were not all friends, but they set aside their differences and were at least cordial to each other during the recording – with one exception. In the book I Want My MTV, George Michael said: “The only person who didn’t succumb to the charitable nature of the day was Paul Weller, who decided to have a go at me in front of everybody. I said, ‘Don’t be a wanker all your life. Have a day off.'”

The single raised $14 million for famine relief in Africa. Geldof is Irish, so he cannot be knighted, but he did receive a KBE, which is equivalent and is popularly known as Sir or Saint Bob.

Boy George was nearly a no-show, asleep in New York the day of recording. His band Culture Club was huge at the time and Bob Geldof was counting on him for a key vocal, so Geldof called him, woke him up, and told him to get on a Concorde. George flew to London, got behind the microphone and delivered the vocal they were looking for.

Trevor Horn, who was a member of the Buggles and Yes, donated the use of his studio (Sarm Studios in London) to record the song. He also pieced together the B-side of the single, which is an instrumental version with the artists delivering messages over the music. It is called “Feed The World” on the single.

Phil Collins arrived with his entire drum kit to record a live drum track on top of the already programmed drum machine. He set up the kit and then waited patiently until early evening until after all the vocals had been recorded. Ure was content with the first take that Collins performed, but the perfectionist Collins was unhappy with it and asked for a second take to be recorded, which he was satisfied with.

Released on December 3rd 1984 in the UK, the song quickly hit #1 on the charts and stayed there for 5 weeks.  The song became the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK until it was overtaken in 1997 by Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.  In the U.S., the song reached only #13 due to a lack of airplay.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Band Aid

It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade

And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone

Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It’s Christmas? lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Hey Jude ♫

I played Hey Jude back in June 2019, but tonight in my musical quest for just the right song, I came across an interesting version that, of course stars Paul McCartney, but also some other non-Beatles talent, such as Elton John, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Sting, and more.  I loved it, and thought maybe it was a good enough reason to play this song again tonight!  I’m also including the original Beatles’ version for any purists out there who don’t like the compilation!  Two things stood out for me in this joint effort by Paul and the others … first, the camaraderie between them all … they just really all seemed happy to be there, happy to be a part of it all.  And second … I had a crush on Paul McCartney as a teenager, but I have to say that like a fine wine, he only got better with age!  His persona is so much more relaxed, so much more … personable now than in the early years.  But, that’s just my opinion, and as we’ve all agreed, music tastes are very much individual and personal, so I’m eager to hear what you all think!

Released in 1968, Paul McCartney wrote this as “Hey Jules,” a song meant to comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian as his parents were getting a divorce. The change to “Jude” was inspired by the character “Jud” in the musical Oklahoma!

Says Paul McCartney …

“John and his wife Cynthia had divorced, and I felt a bit sorry for their son, who was now a child of a divorce. I was driving out to see the son and Cynthia one day and I was thinking about the boy whose name was Julian – Julian Lennon, and I started this idea, ‘Hey Jules, don’t make it bad, it’s gonna be OK.’ It was like a reassurance song.

So that was the idea that I got driving out to see them. I saw them and then I came back and worked on the song some more. But I like that name, Jude.”

And according to the all-grown-up Julian Lennon …

“Paul told me he’d been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through and what I’d have to go through. Paul and I used to hang out quite a bit – more than Dad and I did… There seem to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing at that age than me and Dad. I’ve never really wanted to know the truth of how Dad was and how he was with me. There was some very negative stuff – like when he said that I’d come out of a whisky bottle on a Saturday night. That’s tough to deal with. You think, where’s the love in that? It surprises me whenever I hear the song. It’s strange to think someone has written a song about you. It still touches me.”

At the time of its release, it was the longest song ever released as a single.  Hey Jude was a number-one hit in many countries around the world and became the top-selling single of 1968 in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada.

The only complaint I have about this song is that never-ending “na-na-na-na-na …” at the end.

Hey Jude
The Beatles

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain
Hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool
Who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na

Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her (let it out and let it in)
Remember to let her into your heart (hey Jude)
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in
Hey Jude, begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you
Hey Jude, you’ll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder
Na-na-na, na, na
Na-na-na, na, yeah

Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you’ll begin to make it better
Better better better better better, ah!

Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude Jude, Judy Judy Judy Judy, ow wow!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (my, my, my)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah, you know you can make it, Jude, Jude, you’re not gonna break it)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (don’t make it bad, Jude, take a sad song and make it better)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (oh Jude, Jude, hey Jude, wa!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (oh Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (hey, hey, hey, hey)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (hey, hey)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (now, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude, Jude)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (Jude, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, make it, Jude)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude (yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na, na, na, na-na-na na (yeah, yeah yeah, yeah! Yeah! Yeah!)
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude
Na, na, na, na-na-na na
Na-na-na na, hey Jude

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Hey Jude lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ 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

♫ Against All Odds ♫

I have a few “go-to” artists when I am in need of a pick-me-up, as I am tonight.  I’ve been under the weather all day and just needed a voice to soothe me.  Among those favourites are of course Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, and Phil Collins.  So, searching back through the archives, I’ve played this one only once and it’s been two years, so … I shan’t apologize but only hope that you enjoy Phil Collins as much as I do!


Released in 1984 this was the first of seven US solo #1 hits for Collins, all of which charted in the ’80s. He was still charting hits with Genesis during this time as well, including the #1 Invisible Touch in 1986.  Collins had originally written the song for his album Face Value, but then decided against its inclusion.  The song likely would have gone unnoticed had not film director Taylor Hackford asked Collins to write a song for the film Against All Odds.

“Against All Odds was written in the same misery that the rest of Face Value came from, but I wasn’t drawn to it initially. I didn’t like it as much as ‘You Know What I Mean,’ and I thought there was only room for one of those on the album. I don’t know what would have happened to it if Taylor Hackford hadn’t got in touch.”

And in a 2007 interview, Collins recalled …

“That song was written during my first divorce. My first wife and the kids had gone and I was left there. The song was written out of experience as opposed to a ‘what if’ song. If that personal stuff had not happened to me at the time, I probably would never have made an album, and if I was to have made an album eventually, it probably would have been a jazz/rock thing. Without that stuff I wouldn’t have felt the stuff I felt sitting at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.”

This won Collins the 1984 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance. It was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, but lost to Stevie Wonder’s I Just Called To Say I Love You.

Against All Odds
Phil Collins

How can I just let you walk away,
Just let you leave without a trace?
When I stand here taking every breath with you, ooh ooh
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

How can you just walk away from me
When all I can do is watch you leave?
‘Cause we’ve shared the laughter and the pain
And even shared the tears
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face
Ooh, Take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And you coming back to me is against the odds
And that’s what I’ve got to face,

I wish I could just make you turn around
Turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you
So many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all

So take a look at me now
Well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothing left here to remind me
Just the memory of your face

Now Take a look at me now
‘Cause that’s just an empty space
But to wait for you is all I can do
And that’s what I’ve got to face

Take a good look at me now
‘Cause I’ll still be standing here
And you coming back to me is against all odds
It’s the chance I’ve got to take
Take a look at me now

Writer/s: Phillip David Charles Collins
Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, CONCORD MUSIC PUBLISHING LLC

♫ One More Night ♫ (Redux)

Philip David Charles Collins, aka Phil Collins, was playing around with his drum machine (a Roland TR-808) when he started singing the chorus of the song. He later recalled that the writing of the song was completed “very quickly.”  The song’s music video, directed by Jim Yukich, features Collins playing the piano in a downtown bar. It was filmed at a pub owned by Richard Branson in London.

Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times originally disliked the song One More Night, but later praised it, saying that “Collins’ soulful but polite vocal style is also capable of capturing the pain of going through yet one more night without her”.  Isaac Guzman of the New York Daily News said that the song brought about “snuggle-inspiring tenderness”.  “Snuggle-inspiring tenderness” …  I like that!

The song did well in both the U.S. (#1) and the UK (#4).  And now, a bit of Phil …

One More Night
Phil Collins

One more night
One more night
I’ve been trying ooh so long to let you know
Let you know how I feel
And if I stumble if I fall, just help me back
So I can make you see

Please give me one more night
Give me one more night
One more night ’cause I can’t wait forever
Give me just one more night, oh just one more night
Oh one more night ’cause I can’t wait forever

I’ve been sitting here so long
Wasting time, just staring at the phone
And I was wondering should I call you
Then I thought, maybe you’re not alone

Please give me one more night, give me just one more night
Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever
Please give me one more night, oh just one more night
Oh just one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever
Give me one more night, give me just one more night
Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever

Like a river to the sea
I will always be with you
And if you sail away
I will follow you

Give me one more night, give me just one more night
Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever
I know there’ll never be a time you’ll ever feel the same
And I know it’s only words
But if you change your mind you know that I’ll be here
And maybe we both can learn

Give me just one more night, give me just one more night
Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever
Give me just one more night, give me just one more night
Oh one more night, ’cause I can’t wait forever

Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh

Songwriters: Phil Collins
One More Night lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Concord Music Publishing LLC

♫ That’s All ♫

Once again, I owe a debt of gratitude to blogging friend Michael Seidel for planting this long-forgotten song in my mind earlier this evening.  Thanks, Michael … I am forever in your debt!

One of my all-time favourite singers is Phil Collins, who got his start with British rock band Genesis.

Genesis keyboard player Tony Banks was one of the first to use an Emulator, which was one of the first digital samplers (it was introduced in 1981). Banks would record his bandmate Mike Rutherford as he noodled around on his instruments, then play around with those samples to craft a track, which is how this song developed.  Says Banks …

“We were just improvising in the studio and Mike was playing a bit on guitar.  With the Emulator, I was able to sample bits and pieces as we were going along. I sampled this bit of Mike’s, which didn’t sound very good, so I actually slowed it down to about half or quarter speed, and it sort of played a suggestion of the riff that became ‘That’s All.’ It wasn’t quite the same, but it had a suggestion of it.

I played it on the piano like that, and I thought, this is really good. Phil went at it with a sort of ‘Rocky Raccoon’ style drumming on it, which made it something it hadn’t really been at all in the first place. Then I just wanted to keep it simple, chord-wise, and let it go where it would, rather than trying to combine it with another bit, which is sometimes what we used to do. We really let the song develop in itself, and I was pleased with that. That’s a simpler Genesis song, but one that really works.”

That’s All was Genesis’ first Top 10 hit in the U.S., setting the stage for their tremendous success the rest of the decade as they adapted their sound from obtuse progressive rock to tighter pop songs.

Until tonight, I did not realize that the Mike Rutherford of Genesis is also the Mike in Mike and the Mechanics!  See, I’m not too old to learn new things!

That’s All
Genesis

Just as I thought it was going alright
I find out I’m wrong, when I thought I was right
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all
I could say day, you’d say night
Tell me it’s black when I know that it’s white
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all

I could leave but I won’t go
Though my heart might tell me so
I can’t feel a thing from my head down to my toes
So why does it always seem to be
Me looking at you, you looking at me
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all

Turning me on, turning me off
Making me feel like I want too much
Living with you’s just putting me through it all of the time
Running around, staying out all night
Taking it all instead of taking one bite
Living with you’s just putting me through it all of the time

I could leave but I won’t go
It’d be easier I know
I can’t feel a thing from my head down to my toes
But why does it always seem to be
Me looking at you, you looking at me
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all

Truth is I love you
More that I wanted to
There’s no point in trying to pretend
There’s been no-one who
Makes me feel like you do
Say we’ll be together till the end

I could leave but I won’t go
It’d be easier I know
I can’t feel a thing from my head down to my toes
But why does it always seem to be
Me looking at you, you looking at me
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all

Just as I thought it was going alright
I find out I’m wrong, when I thought I was right
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all
I could say day, you’d say night
Tell me it’s black when I know that it’s white
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all – that’s all

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tony Banks / Phil Collins / Michael Rutherford
That’s All lyrics © Concord Music Publishing LLC

♫ In The Air Tonight ♫ (Redux)

Tonight, I more or less spun the wheel, said “Eenie, Meenie, Minie, Moe” and let the chips fall where they may.  I liked where they fell … can never go wrong with Phil Collins … and so here we are … In the Air Tonight!


I could have sworn that I had played this one here before, for it is among my favourites by Phil Collins, but a thorough search did not find it, so apparently I dreamed I played it!  It happens … some days I wake up thinking that I’ve already cooked supper, or taken a shower, when in fact all I’ve done is sleep!

Collins wrote this song about the anger he felt after divorcing his first wife, Andrea Bertorelli, in 1980 – he was so devastated that he left Genesis for a short time. All of the original songs on the Face Value album, including the follow-up hit I Missed Again, were at one time intended to be “messages” to his first wife in an attempt to lure her back to him.

The lingering tension caused by the divorce led Collins to the title, as these negative feelings were In The Air, and affecting not just the couple getting divorced, but the entire family.

By the time the album was released, Collins had moved on and was dating Jill Tavelman, who became his second wife. His split with Jill would inspire the songs on Collins’ 1993 album Both Sides.

The meaning of this song became a pervasive urban myth. The story, which is not true, is that Collins watched as a man who raped his wife drowned. Another version has Collins writing this about about a man who watched another drown, and singing it to him at a concert. Yet another variation claims that when Collins was a young boy, he witnessed a man drowning someone but was too far away to help. Later, he hired a private detective to find the man, sent him a free ticket to his concert, and premiered the song that night with the spotlight on the man the whole time. We repeat, these stories are not true.
This was Collins’ first single as a solo artist; he claims that he offered it up as a Genesis song, but that his bandmates rejected it, saying it was “too simple.” Tony Banks of Genesis insists that Collins never played them the song.

There are shorter versions of this song, but I like this one for its dramatic presentation …

In the Air Tonight
Phil Collins

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well if you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand
I’ve seen your face before my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am
Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you’ve been
It’s all been a pack of lies

And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well I remember, I remember, don’t worry, how could I ever forget
It’s the first time, the last time we ever met
But I know the reason why you keep your silence up, oh no you don’t fool me
Well the hurt doesn’t show, but the pain still grows
It’s no stranger to you and me

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
Well been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord
And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord

Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord
I can feel it in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord
Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord

Songwriters: Phil Collins
In the Air Tonight lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Concord Music Publishing LLC

♫ Do They Know It’s Christmas? ♫

No no no … it isn’t really Christmas … don’t go dragging out the decorations and making your lists just yet!  We are, though, nearly halfway back ’round to Christmas, so perhaps starting a list or two isn’t such a bad idea.  Last month when I played We Are the World, David suggested another song that is about bringing people together, about helping people, about feeding the world.  The title, of course, is Do They Know It’s Christmas, but it’s a song that is apropos any time of the year, and I can’t think of a better time than now.

This is a charity single organized by Bob Geldof, who was the lead singer of The Boomtown Rats. He got the idea after watching a BBC documentary on famine in Ethiopia. Geldof wrote the lyrics and Midge Ure from the band Ultravox wrote the music and produced the track, which was no easy task since so many voices were involved.

In the UK, and much of the Northern Hemisphere, snow and numerous displays leave no doubt that Christmas is near. In most of Africa, however, it’s quite warm on December 25, since it’s summer there. This song asks us to think of those who are living in poverty and hunger in Africa during the Christmas season, reminding us that they might not even know it’s Christmas.

Most of this song was recorded and mixed over a 24-hour period on Sunday, November 25, 1984. Sting and Simon LeBon had recorded their parts ahead of time, but everyone else came that day.

None of the vocalists heard the song before they arrived, so they learned their parts by listening to a guide vocal producer Midge Ure created, then recorded them. With such a tight schedule, there was no time to quibble.  The artists were not all friends, but they set aside their differences and were at least cordial to each other during the recording – with one exception. In the book I Want My MTV, George Michael said: “The only person who didn’t succumb to the charitable nature of the day was Paul Weller, who decided to have a go at me in front of everybody. I said, ‘Don’t be a wanker all your life. Have a day off.'”

The single raised $14 million for famine relief in Africa. Geldof is Irish, so he cannot be knighted, but he did receive a KBE, which is equivalent and is popularly known as Sir or Saint Bob.

Boy George was nearly a no-show, asleep in New York the day of recording. His band Culture Club was huge at the time and Bob Geldof was counting on him for a key vocal, so Geldof called him, woke him up, and told him to get on a Concorde. George flew to London, got behind the microphone and delivered the vocal they were looking for.

Trevor Horn, who was a member of the Buggles and Yes, donated the use of his studio (Sarm Studios in London) to record the song. He also pieced together the B-side of the single, which is an instrumental version with the artists delivering messages over the music. It is called “Feed The World” on the single.

Phil Collins arrived with his entire drum kit to record a live drum track on top of the already programmed drum machine. He set up the kit and then waited patiently until early evening until after all the vocals had been recorded. Ure was content with the first take that Collins performed, but the perfectionist Collins was unhappy with it and asked for a second take to be recorded, which he was satisfied with.

Released on December 3rd 1984 in the UK, the song quickly hit #1 on the charts and stayed there for 5 weeks.  The song became the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK until it was overtaken in 1997 by Elton John’s Candle in the Wind.  In the U.S., the song reached only #13 due to a lack of airplay.

Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Band Aid

It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade

And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime

But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard, but when you’re having fun

There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear

Where the only water flowing
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you

And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone

Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?

Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It’s Christmas? lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc