November 29, 2004
Just don't redo "We Are the World"

I noticed that today the charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" has been re-recorded 20 years later in order to raise money for blighted Sudan. The only person on the original song to come back is our man Bono, who, probably not coincidentally, is also the only person from the first record who's even bigger now than he was then. (Odd note I just thought of: the one line Bono sang by himself was the only line that mentioned God. Coincidence?)

I remember the first single. I was 13 years old, and rock stars were still unspeakably glamorous to me. Unfortunately I missed Live Aid the following summer, because my family was on vacation in England and my parents were in charge of the itinerary. Someday before I die, I'd like to see it. I'm sure there has to be a recording of it somewhere.

On a related note, Beth has a charming excerpt today in which Bono looks back at his younger self:

I saw this photograph recently. Anton Corbijn had an exhibition in Holland, and he made me go into this room full of Bonos -- a horrifying thought. And I noticed a shot of me at 21, and the look in the eye was so much clearer. Part of me must have thought our critics were right, and that beautiful naivete -- that I now see in my own children's faces -- I went about killing off. I thought it was something that you had to get rid of, and it's not true. Innocence is much more powerful than experience, especially when it has that teenage fearlessness beside it. That's really something.

When I was 13, Bono did not seem innocent to me at all. I was a kid and he was a grownup, and he sang things like "Sunday Bloody Sunday." But I can see now that the empathetic pain in a song like that is its own sort of innocence -- certainly more innocence than cynicism. It sort of reminds me of World Vision's line: "Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God." When your heart stops breaking is when you know you're in trouble.

Posted by Camassia at November 29, 2004 06:07 PM | TrackBack

And please, please, please, nobody ever suggest remaking the Canadian debacle "Tears Are Not Enough"...

That was perhaps the ugliest collection of musicians ever assembled in one room...

Posted by: dave paisley on November 29, 2004 08:29 PM

Take this city
A city should be shining on a hill
Take this city
If it be your will
What no man can own, no man can take
Take this heart
Take this heart
Take this heart
And make it break


Posted by: Jennifer on November 30, 2004 01:22 PM
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