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  • Writer's pictureRobbie - The 80s Rewind Show Podcast

"We Are the World" or "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

Updated: Mar 3, 2023


U.S.A. For Africa

"We Are the World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?" are iconic songs created in the 1980s to raise awareness and funds for famine relief in Africa. While both pieces share a similar goal and message, there are some critical differences between the two.

  1. Origin: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. "We Are the World" was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie in 1985 to raise funds for famine relief in Africa.

  2. Artists Involved: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" featured British and Irish musicians, including Bono, Sting, and Phil Collins. "We Are the World" brought together a group of American musicians, including Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, and Stevie Wonder.

  3. Music style: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a more traditional Christmas song with a slower tempo and a more sombre tone. "We Are the World" is an upbeat pop song with a faster beat and a more optimistic tone.

  4. Message: Both songs aim to raise awareness and funds for famine relief in Africa, but the messages are conveyed differently. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" highlights the dire situation of famine in Ethiopia and urges listeners to help those in need. "We Are the World" emphasizes the power of unity and collaboration in addressing global problems and encourages people to come together to make a difference.

  5. Fundraising success: "Do They Know It's Christmas?" was a massive commercial success, becoming the best-selling single in UK chart history at its release. "We Are the World" was also a commercial success, raising over $60 million for famine relief in Africa and winning multiple awards.

In summary, while both "We Are the World" and "Do They Know It's Christmas?" share a similar goal of raising awareness and funds for famine relief in Africa, they differ in terms of their origin, the artists involved, music style, message, and fundraising success.




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