Follow the Melody #2: That Other 80s Song about Africa (or The Kony 2012 of 1984)

in music •  last month

To the extent that “the past is a foreign country”, the 1980s is a region known for the strangeness of its local customs. A prime example of this is the time (1984-1985) that a great many people decided that the best way to get food to Ethiopian famine victims was by singing a song about it.

Over time, this musical crusade has come to be viewed with cynicism. It has become a case study in the unintended consequences of charitable actions. Aside from this, I find it fascinating to examine the original good intentions, as presented in this promotional documentary:

The following year, a cadre of American musicians made a similar piece that is more well remembered (at least, here in the USA):

What is much less known is that the trend extended outside of the Anglosphere, with imitators in The Federal Republic of (i.e. “West”) Germany (hitting the emotional point with characteristic German efficiency)...

Austria (incorporating a pronounced African musical motif)...

and Yugoslavia (I really don't know what to say about this one).

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https://steemit.com/music/@thebigwhitevan/follow-the-melody-1-how-much-cider-will-we-drink-for-7-days

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It appears that this escaped my notice because they did not coordinate with Bob Geldof's Band Aid/Live Aid umbrella group. This leads me to suspect that the money it generated may have gone mostly to real food relief.

I couldn't find much information on this project in English, but the Spanish wikipedia has a fairly thorough rundown of the song itself:
https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantar%C3%A9,_cantar%C3%A1s

As a side note, the pull-back from the TV monitor (using a fairly obvious travelling matte effect) to reveal Ricardo Montalbán really solidifies the 1980s visual style of this piece.

This is probably WAAAAAY off the focus of your post but I have to ask- has anyone seen Weezer do "Africa" by Toto? It's just such a great collaborated song and to see them master the cover was too good not to share!

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Obviously, this (which I have heard called "The Internet's Favorite Song" on more than one occasion) is the song to which I alluded in the post title; so, it's not particularly off topic. I suspect that, going forward, the Weezer/Yankovic cover will be considered the second most definitive version after Toto's original recording.

My personal favorite cover is a toss-up between this one by a Harvard University percussion club

and this one by Irish secondary school students.
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These two choices are excellent. Thanks for highlighting them.

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Weird Al is the GOAT 🤣

80s metal threw their hat (loaded with hair) in the ring with this...

Not sure how these proceeds were spent.

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On the first watch-through, I was convinced that I had mistaken two "real" rock musicians for members of Spinal Tap (the fictional band from the comedy movie "This is Spinal Tap"). I consulted wikipedia and found that I was mistaken in thinking I was mistaken:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hear_%27n_Aid

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Hear 'n Aid
Hear 'n Aid was a one-time collaboration of various individual hard rock and heavy metal artists in 1985 to raise money for famine relief in Africa. According to Ronnie James Dio's MySpace profile, the project raised $1 million within a year.

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But this amp goes to 11. I remember thinking that was cool when the video was first released.

I grew up in the 80's and genuinely value that we weren't entirely caught up in the Social Media Tide to a Phone generation we live in now. We had some great music back in the day. Thanks for putting this together.

YES, IT IS TRUE BUT UNFORTUNATELY, WE HAVE NOT SEEN MORE ACTION FOR THE CONTEMPORARY PERIOD WHILE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND CHILDREN SUFFER FROM FAMINE LIKE YEMEN, SIRYA, MYANMAR, GHAZA PALESTINE ...
IT WAS LIKE IF WE SEND THIS MESSAGE "WE DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU"
ONLY SAOUDIE ARABIA AND THE UAE CAN EASILY NOURISH MILLIONS OF CHILDREN INSTEAD OF SIGNING A CONTRACT OF MORE THAN 300 BILLION DOLLARS OF ARMY WITH USA !!!!!

seriya.jpg
YEMEN.jpg
topelement.jpg
RTX3F5EI.jpg
ob_ae7e88_b2cfa03e8b657ec594112a464bc6f2d5.jpg

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Pray for this people!

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GOD SEE ALL THING

Very interesting information, I remember hearing the album by George Harrison (former member of "The Beatles") called "The Concert for Bangladesh", it is considered the first charity concert that many famous artists joined: Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ravy Shankar, many others. That concert was held to help the people of an Asian country (Pakistan) immersed in a "Liberation War in Bangladesh".
It was celebrated in 1971 at Madison Square Garden and had two functions.

I decided to write in English I am from Bolivia, so I apologize if I have some grammatical errors.

Receive a great greeting !!

Dear @thebigwhitevan

Very interesting music review.

It brought back good memories of my childhood listening to these songs. I have always been a lover of music, and certainly some melodies placed in this article I had not heard.

It is interesting the good intention that the creators of several of these pieces had, although some objectives were distorted and did not fully fulfill their purpose. Typical of our human race falling into selfishness and egocentrism.

Something similar happens when concerts are organized in favor of certain causes. In my country, Venezuela, due to the great crisis in which it is plunged, a concert has been organized in favor of the humanitarian aid that will be carried out in the city of Cúcuta, in our sister republic of Colombia. Hopefully the goal can be achieved.

Best regards!

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Wow
There is a wonderfull videos
Keep it up

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music is an important part of culture, each country has its own culture, its folklore and its favorite performers, the topics discussed by the performers are different, the music of the 80s -90s was the best

80s songs still rock up to this date.

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The best period =)

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Heard about Kony!! Greetings from Uganda

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