I really don’t like Christmas songs. No one will like Christmas music if the topic was anything else. Imagine the same tune but another topic. Would you buy or listen to Boney M if they didn’t play Christmas music?

But there is one specific song that really gets to me. Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?

I know they mean well. And their heart is in the right place. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions – well, that’s what my mother used to say.

There is one specific line that sticks out and gets to me. ‘And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas‘. Uh-duh. It is summer in most of Africa at Christmas time. Of course there won’t be any snow in Africa this Christmas. Or the next. No matter how many times you sing the song – there will be no snow in (most of) Africa at ANY Christmas.

It used to baffle me at Christmas time when people used to send us cards with snow scenery – snowmen, Father Christmas on his sleigh, snowflakes falling etc. What’s that all about? We never got snow – Christmas or any other time. It never really got cold enough in winter for snow – never mind at Christmas time during the summer. It was a completely foreign concept. So when they started singing about it during Christmas it bugged me even more. Never got it. I was 30 before I saw it snow for the first time – in Europe.

But maybe it isn’t the song or my childhood memories driving my dislike of Christmas songs – especially Do They Know It’s Christmas? Maybe what gets to me is that more than 20 years later we still have all this shit going on in Africa. People suffering at a time when the world is indulging. Things are a little better than 20 years ago, but for the majority of Africans it is still marginal. So many of them work hours we can’t imagine and under conditions we will never survive. And they don’t bitch and moan. They just live their lives and carry on. They DO know it’s Christmas time, but just don’t see the point. It’s not much better than in 1984. Except it is now Sir Bob.

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