Band Aid 30’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” Is Here: Watch The Video, Starring Sam Smith, One Direction, Rita Ora & Others

Robbie Daw | November 16, 2014 2:19 pm
Adele A No-Show For Band Aid 30
The singer won't take part in “Do They Know It's Christmas."

The video clip for Band Aid 30‘s rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” premiered Sunday evening (November 16) during the UK telecast of The X Factor, and even without Adele taking part, the new version is quite the star-studded affair. Here on the lyrically-revised 2014 installment of the song — the fourth time it’s been recorded for charity over the past 30 years — One Direction take the first line, followed by Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Sam Smith, Paloma Faith and a slew of others (including Bono, a veteran of the very first version, and Chris Martin, who took part 10 years ago in Band Aid 20‘s take on the classic holiday track).

Speaking to Mad World author Lori Majewski for Rolling Stone, Sir Bob Geldof‘s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” co-writer Midge Ure explained the following just this past Friday, the day before the new version of the song was recorded in London:

“It was the hideous synchronicity of the ebola crisis and the way it’s escalated, and the fact that we had this 30th anniversary coming up that everybody was asking us about. A month ago, this wasn’t in the cards. Then Bob got a call from the U.N. saying, ‘Can you do it again?’

“We talked about who we would have on board and how we could change it, because the song is very geared toward hunger and there are references to the burning sun and no water – ‘no rain or rivers flow’ – which isn’t true. Africa’s changed a lot over the last 30 years.”

Band Aid 30’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” which is, in this listener’s opinion, a vast improvement, musically, over 2004’s ultra-bland version (though still pales in comparison to the untouchable original), goes on sale at midnight tonight on iTunes. The song is available now for pre-order.

Watch the video above and let us know your thoughts on the brand new version of the holiday charity tune below. Also, catch which artists sing which lyrics:

“Do They Know It’s Christmas,” Band Aid 30

It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid (One Direction)
At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade (Ed Sheeran)
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy (Rita Ora)
Throw your arms around the world, at Christmas time (Sam Smith)

But say a prayer; Pray for the other ones (Paloma Faith)
At Christmas time it’s hard, but when you’re having fun (Emeli Sande)
There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear (Guy Garvey from Elbow)
Where a kiss of love can kill you (Dan Smith from Bastille)
And there’s death in every tear (Angélique Kidjo)
And the Christmas bells that ring there, are the clanging chimes of doom (Chris Martin from Coldplay)
Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you (Bono from U2)

No peace and joy this Christmas in West Africa (Seal)
A song of hope, when there’s no hope tonight (Ellie Goulding)
Why is to comfort to be feared, why is to touch to be scared (Sinead O’Connor)
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all? (Bono from U2)

Here’s to you (All)
Raise a glass for everyone (Olly Murs)
And Here’s to them (All)
And all their years to come (Sam Smith)
Can they know it’s Christmas time at all? (Rita Ora)

Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again (All)
Feel the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again (All)
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again (All)

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