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A Tender, Unitarian Christmas

Yankees Touching Harps of Gold

Appropriately, it was 1984. The Reagan-Bush ticket had won reelection. The U.S. Olympic team had destroyed everyone else at the Summer Games in Los Angeles. The HIV virus had been identified, and a cure for AIDS would surely follow. Hezbollah terrorists had bombed the U.S. embassy northeast of Beruit, and the CIA was busy training terrorists to carry out covert operations in Lebanon to stamp out terrorism. All was right with the world.

Except in Africa, where people were starving, while American yuppies sat at home in the lap of luxury. Fortunately, a collective of British pop stars decided to do something about it. Christmas was approaching, and American consumers were hitting the malls. Why not harness the horsepower of the American mallrat by letting him fill his stockings with cassette recordings of a new rock 'n' roll Christmas anthem and then send all of the profits to Africa to feed the hungry? Boy George, George Michael, Bono, and Simon le Bon—Christmas emissaries, one and all—joined hands, hearts, and voices under the name “Band-Aid” to produce “Do They Know It's Christmas?” in which they chanted:

there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas time

The greatest gift they'll get this year is life

Where nothing ever grows

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