Lisetning to Christmas music en route to work and elsewhere, those songs that hit the airways in the ’80s, the ’90s and in the years before the kiddos existed surface.
The song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by British rockers and pop stars — among them Bob Geldof, Duran Duran, Paul Young and Phil Collins — reminds all of us ’80s babies of the need to “feed the world” and “let them know it’s Christmas time.” Our children hear it, but do they know the story behind the song?
I love the ’80s and love the music from that decade. I remember how Bob Geldof spearheaded the effort to help the people of Africa with its famine problems. Band Aid sprung into action and subsequently influenced efforts like “We are the World” done by USA for Africa, “Tears are Not Enough” by Northern Lights (Canadian stars like Bryan Adams) and Hear n’ Aid’s “We’re Stars” featuring several heavy metal artists, including the guys of Quiet Riot.
OK, I got off track here. Back to “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” In addition to that song, myriad versions of Christmas songs have graced the airwaves since radio came into existence. Some sound great, others you wonder, “What were they thinking?”
Some still stand the test of time. Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and version of “Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas)” are timeless. So, too, is Crosby’s duet with David Bowie, “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.” The latter song spawned a conversation the other day with my daughter, whose school choir will be singing the song for its annual holiday choral concert. A show choir member, she will sing Bowie’s part with the group. The two of us sang some of the words together. Sweet!
We all hold memories of certain Christmas songs and remember the versions that we grew up with. Share those versions and stories with your children, and make new memories with them. The latest bands and singers might lend their voices to Christmas carols and songs, but don’t forget the ones that have entertained us all for many years.