According to Google News this morning, a bunch of famous musicians are planning to record a new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Now, I’m as big a fan of raising money for hunger relief as the next girl–I think it’s a great idea and I laud all those who might be doing this for free (??) to help people get food to eat. That is good. But the song itself (lyrics here) has always creeped me out with its funky colonialist overtones. Let’s not only feed the starving children of Africa, let’s make sure they practice our religion! A lot of people in Africa don’t know that it’s Christmas, but they know that it’s Ramadan, for starters. And there may even be some folks left who still know when it’s the holidays in their ancestral traditions. I’m giving Bob Geldof the benefit of the doubt and assuming he was just being naive about how this whole universalism thing works, but really. Nobody seemed to notice to object last time, and I’m sure they won’t this time either.

Somebody want to send these guys a couple of Chinua Achebe novels?

Share This