Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Canadian-Baked Halloween Weirdness

According to the Wikipedia page, this collaborative song and video was created for the benefit of UNICEF in 2005. This isn’t the first time those evil United Nations people have tried to hijack our festivities. Remember “Trick or Treat for UNICEF!” I feel sorry for the kids who gave up candy for that.

To be fair, a few top-shelf (as of 2005) musicians are the ones trying to get us to give up the gold, and it’s a decent trade. However:

According to the official press release, the song “stems from a frustration with other benefit songs’ misguided, somewhat patronizing, and Western-centric worldview.”

I suppose this explains how the African nation of Chad gets name-checked early on. I’m sure the Peruvians appreciated their shoutout. 

Anyway, it helps if you are familiar with the treacly “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” from 1984, as that’s what the song riffs from. Despite all the big names on this, most prominently Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Beck (in splendid spooky voice), Arcade Fire, and comedian David Cross, you probably haven’t heard of this, as it was a Canadian production for a primarily Canadian market. (It did get promoted over the Internet, which is how I got hold of it back in the day.) For all the top-shelf talent you’d think they could have made a better video, but it has its moments, and my children and I have enjoyed watching it over the years. (Yes, it’s safe for the family.) Hard to believe this was eight years ago already.

So, without further ado, the North American Halloween Prevention Initiative (NAHPI) wants to know: “Do They Know It’s Halloween?”