Do They Know It's Christmas? (3:41)

Cover of Do They Know It's Christmas?

From Do They Know It's Christmas? and 81 other releases

“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is a song written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in 1984 to raise money for relief of 1984–1985 famine in Ethiopia. The original version was produced by Midge Ure and released by Band Aid on 29 November 1984.

In late 1984, a BBC report by Michael Buerk was aired highlighting the famine that had hit the people of Ethiopia. Irish singer Bob Geldof saw the report and wanted to raise money. He called Midge Ure from Ultravox and together they quickly co-wrote the song, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.

Geldof kept a November appointment with BBC Radio 1 DJ Richard Skinner to appear on his show, but instead of discussing his new album (the original reason for his booking), he used his airtime to publicise the idea for the charity single, so by the time the musicians were recruited there was intense media interest in the subject.

Geldof put together a group called Band Aid, consisting of leading Irish and British musicians who were among the most popular of the era. The 1984 original became the biggest selling single in UK singles chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone. It stayed at Number 1 for five weeks, becoming Christmas number one, and ultimately sold more than 3.5 million copies domestically. It remained the highest selling single in UK chart history until 1997, when Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind 1997” was released in tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, which sold almost 5 million copies in Britain.

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  • aino_island

    i like

    17 Feb 11:23am Reply
  • swift933

    Everyone around the world Merry Christmas☆ Nostalgic.

    25 Dec 2014 Reply
  • white_lemur

    I love it <3

    22 Dec 2014 Reply
  • ASummerKiss

    ★★░M░E░R░R░Y░--░C░H░R░I░S░T░M░A░S░ ░AND░ A░ ░H░A░P░P░Y░--░N░E░W░Y░E░A░R░ ★★

    19 Dec 2014 Reply
  • Roxy1971

    This is the best version EVER the 2014 version is SHIT

    16 Dec 2014 Reply
  • tommb1

    this is the best vertion of this song ever

    15 Dec 2014 Reply
  • thetrogg

    @j33433: i gave this a lot of thought because I read that the song was judged as condescending. But the lyrics are not condescending or patronising. The song is based on a Dickensian imagery - allegory. The rich and the poor. Critizing the rich for not looking out the window- is not condescending - not towards Africa at least. You do have a point that the song generalises its theme- but its a very small point -and kind of misses the point of the song = raising money for relief. Could they have done this by every celebrity just grabbing their wallets - well that just wouldn't have happened. It was a good idea and a decent song.

    13 Dec 2014 Reply
  • mrv1111

    My version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi8rJP_X68k

    20 Nov 2014 Reply
  • loc_wnl

    @bicknor they are singing about Africa, people in South Africa are Christians, but even if they are not, I think the point is that Christians in developed countries get the message and at least during Christmas time help those in need

    13 Nov 2014 Reply
  • midliferickman

    Ahhhhh....the good old days.....before Bono starting thinking he is GOD.

    25 Oct 2014 Reply
  • userabc123

    Merry Christmas & A happy New year!

    25 Dec 2013 Reply
  • j33433

    Most condescending song ever. "Those poor people don't participate in my traditions and the entire continent of Africa is starving."

    23 Dec 2013 Reply
  • CidaDuarteF

    Linda música referente ao Natal. Thanks Jürgen!

    23 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Whelanmk

    almost a million...

    21 Dec 2013 Reply
  • sdbersey

    eww

    21 Dec 2013 Reply
  • bicknor

    Answer - no , they dont. Majority of people in the world are not Christian, are probably unaware of Christianity and, of course dont worship it.

    20 Dec 2013 Reply
  • toto47

    One of the best Christmas Songs ever.

    13 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Fabio001

    Essential and forgotten Christmas songs. http://lifethroughearphones.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/essential-and-forgotten-christmas-songs/

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Z77

    The synths in this are mesmerizing and I love it. Glee's cover cannot top this at all.

    7 Dec 2013 Reply
  • MsMSippi

    I love this, at Christmastime and in August!

    8 Aug 2013 Reply
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