I love Christmas songs. Like, LOVE them. I bop around to The Lite on my way to work, and sing along with everything, even Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey. The Little Drummer Boy makes me cry every time; listening to White Christmas makes me long for one even though in Chicago that pristine snowfall turns gray and ugly pretty darn quickly. There is one song, though, that I love above all others--one Christmas song I have to hear every year. If you read my title you might have guessed, but I'll give you the pleasure anyway. It has to be, um, watched as well as heard.
My best girlfriend (Jean--still is!) got this Christmas 1984, called me over, and we played it again and again on her turntable (yep), and, because of the beautiful size of albums, poured over the photos on the cover. When MTV started airing the video (yes, MTV once played music--imagine that!) we sat glued to the television, and I fervently wished we could pause the video just as it framed Sting, Bono, and Simon Le Bon, a triumvirate greater than the three wise men, in my book.
So, some observations all these many years later? Other than the utter ridiculousness of asking if a group of people know it's Christmas when they most likely aren't even Christian? And of a line, like, There won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime? Well, there's a sweetness to this, a let's get the gang together and put on a show kind of attitude, something glaringly missing from the US version, We Are the World. This is for charity, and the Brits know it. Could you imagine today's rock stars doing this without an army of stylists? I mean, look at Bono's jeans! I love my Irish boys, but he looks like a Sears ad for Wrangler's. John Taylor and Paul Young apparently rolled out of bed, threw on sweats and ran out to the studio. And check out Bananarama! Even I looked better than that in the 80s. Boy George managed to slap some makeup on, but his outfit is nowhere near worthy of him. But, who cares, right? Fashion isn't the point. Charity is. And FEED THE WORLD is a great message. It's just too bad it's still relevant 25 years later, you know?