So this is Christmas and I’ve listened to my fair share of Christmas music for the past month (yes I started in November) and this year, especially following the election results, I have been thinking a lot more about how those less fortunate will spend their holidays.
With so much austerity, poverty and inequality still in the world, Christmas can really highlight this for a lot of people. In the movies and advertisements Christmas is shown to be abundant with food, family and warmth which not everyone experiences.
So here are my two favourite protest Christmas songs that touch of some of these issues that cannot be forgotten at this time of year.
- Jona Lewie- Stop the Cavalry
This song was originally meant to be an anti-war anthem, which Lewie revealed himself in an interview on Channel 4. The music video is set in the trenches of World War 1 and the song touches on the issues of the time it was released with the tensions between the Soviet Union and western bloc and American’s nuclear settlements in the UK. However, the brass arrangement, the use of bells, and the line “wish I was a home for Christmas” it became a Christmas hit, reaching number three in the UK singles’ chart in December 1980.
2. Band Aid- “Do they know it’s Christmas?”
The Christmas number one of ’84 written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, was BandAid’s reaction to the televised famine in Ethiopia. People all over the UK watched the BBC’s reports on the famine which was named the “closest thing to hell on Earth” and were shocked by the documentary. Both Ure and Geldof decided they needed to create a charity record. And to write their own Christmas song instead of a cover as they would have to pay royalties which would take away from the amount going to charity. They went on to recruit musicians such as Sting and George Michael and the song was born and released December 3rd.
Aside from these traditional Christmas songs, Extinction Rebellion are hoping to reach Christmas no.1 this year with their new release called ‘Time for change.’ They teamed up with the rock band ‘The Jade Assembly’ to create this song all about climate change, which urges people to make a change “before we’re dead.”