One of the most iconic Christmas songs of the modern era, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984. The song was recorded by the supergroup Band Aid and released as a single to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The song has since become a global phenomenon, and is now one of the most recognizable Christmas songs of all time.
The Origins of "Do They Know It’s Christmas?"
The idea for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was born out of a desire to do something to help the millions of people suffering from famine in Ethiopia in 1984. Bob Geldof, a member of the Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats, was particularly moved by the suffering he saw on a news report. He contacted Midge Ure, of the British new wave band Ultravox, and together they wrote the song. Geldof then contacted a variety of British and Irish pop stars, asking them to record the song as a charity single.
Band Aid: A Musical Legacy
The result was Band Aid, a supergroup of some of the biggest names in pop music at the time. The single was released on December 3, 1984 and was an immediate success, topping the British charts for five weeks and staying in the Top 20 until April 1985. It also topped the charts in a number of other countries, and was eventually certified platinum in the UK. The song was re-recorded and re-released in 1989 and 2004, with the proceeds from each version going to famine relief charities.
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is an enduring classic that has come to symbolize the spirit of Christmas. It not only raised much-needed funds for famine relief, but it also raised awareness of the plight of those suffering in Ethiopia. The song has had a lasting impact on popular culture, and will remain a Christmas classic for years to come.