4 comments on “I don’t know; do they know it’s Christmas?

  1. Hi Derek,

    Just a quick hello and thanks for your invite to your church service on Christmas Eve. We do have a tradition in Karen’s family of spending the Eve at her folks’ home with a simple gift exchange before heading to Second Church for that service, where Karen sings, of course. So we’ll get together over egg nog or something before we head out of town over New Years to Denver to see the new grandchild.

    Also, a note about Bono’s lyrics… I think he is using the line you mentioned to point out that we may, in our darkest, most selfish moments, be grateful for what we have, not to thank God it’s them not us suffering. He’s not suggesting or advocating we dismiss the lesser privileged among us but to perhaps say “there but for the grace of God go I” and to pray for relief for those struggling. I do agree with you that those particular lyrics might have been ill conceived at the time, but they do tend to give the sensitive among us pause and a bit of a guilt trip. The song was a call to action for the 80’s and unfortunately, those same parts of the world still need our assistance and prayers, as you pointed out.

    I’m reminded of an allegory in another classic rock tune “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” My Mom and I used to go ’round and ’round about this. She didn’t get the message and took everything literally. Well, of course the idea of buying one’s way into heaven is certainly ludicrous, but the concept of having it all and being able to control everything around us is an old dream and still impossible task.

    Let’s hope in time that bringing resources and aid to the more challenged areas of our fair planet will be easier with a better focus and appropriate technology and tools.

    Love your posts and keep them coming! Keep warm and see you soon.

      Warm Regards, Thomas J. Urbom





    • Hi Tom:) Yea I know – and I know that when Bob Geldof wrote the song with Midge Ure he was hell bent on helping the starving people he had seen. Equally, I know about not taking words literally: when I see a sign on an escalator saying “dogs must be carried”, I don’t hurriedly look around for a dog to carry, just because otherwise I cant comply with the order.

      But. This statement is an imperative – we are told to thank God it’s them and not us. I accept the sentiments behind the whole Band Aid thing as wholly looking to help people, and it’s not like I’m trying to start a campaign or anything – as I said I know I’m in a minority of one! But this is just how the song hits me everytime I hear it.


  2. I am 100% with you. This song makes me incredibly angry. The inaccuracies including the idea that nothing grows in the whole of Africa and that there are no rivers are so weird. This is the kind of thing that creates an “us” and “them” mentality between the developed and developing world.


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