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  • Do they know it's Christmas?

       December 19, 2010

    ESPN's Bill Simmons is mystified by this song:

    My all-time favorite Christmas song. For some reason, I hadn't seen the video in ages and forgot the lineup of singers other than Bono (who has the headscratching, "Well, tonight thank God it's them, instead of you!" line that I've never been able to figure out). In the video, that line works even better because it follows the duet with Simon LeBon and Sting, and suddenly there's a young Bono standing behind them and wearing Uncle Jessie's haircut from "Full House" ... and the three of them share one mike as Bono belts his weird line out. Even stranger, Sting never gets his own line -- he's just singing background for everyone else, which was insane because he was the biggest star there.

    Here's what kills me about this video (other than George Michael's haircut): Not only does Paul Young bat leadoff, they go back to him for another solo in the middle! Paul Young! They had the lead singer of the hottest band at the time (Duran Duran's LeBon), the best singer of the entire decade (Sting) and a budding superstar (Bono) ... and they kicked things off with Paul Young? Who was in charge of Band Aid, Bob Geldof or Jimy Williams? I was trying to think of a sports equivalent of this -- like John Starks getting named to the '92 Dream Team, then starting over MJ and Drexler -- but it's impossible. It's too ludicrous. You can't come up with the sports equivalent of Paul Young getting the nod over Bono, Sting and Simon LeBon. I watched this clip 10 times in two weeks and still couldn't figure it out. And you wonder what I do all day.

    He wrote that a few years ago but mentioned it again in a more recent column. First, Paul Young is awesome. I still remember his brilliant performance at Live Aid the following year:

    Second, Bono's line is what makes the song. It's what makes it rise above the trite "sunshine, rainbows, kittens, children" triteness of the typical charity song (see "We Are The World"). There's power in that line. Isn't that the whole point, that it's just a lucky accident of birth that you're not starving in Africa? That you didn't do anything to deserve the life you have and so you should give what you can to those who weren't so fortunate?

    I mean really, do Vikings fan even know it's Christmas time at all?

    Posted by kris at December 19, 2010 12:12 PM

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    #  December 19th, 2010 12:13 PM      kris

    OMG - there's just too much going on in this video:

    • Why does Bono have printed lyrics? Does he really not remember the song?
    • George Michael is so awesome in his bright yellow top and tight jeans
    • Andrew Ridgeley!
    • Rodger Daltrey has no idea what he's doing, does he
    • No one wanted to give Freddie Mercury the mic because they knew he'd blow them all away
    • Along those same lines, there's a point where the second row is Paul Weller, Paul McCartney, Freddie Mercury and Elton John. The second row!
    • The lead singer of Big Country just looks so young and adorable. It's heart breaking to know now that he'll end up hanging himself in 2001.
    • So Bono has the lyrics, yet he makes up some bs "springtime is coming" line? WTF? This was in July, springtime isn't coming. Whatever Bono, nice mullet

    #  December 19th, 2010 12:24 PM      kris
    Watching the Live Aid videos is a blast. Here's a great performance by Paul "I'm the magic that makes any song better" Weller's Style Council:

    #  December 19th, 2010 12:31 PM      kris
    Simple Minds - they sound amazing live, but is Jim Kerr wearing no-show socks on stage?

    Also, Charlie Burchill (!!!) gets a shout out!  



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