We Were the World

I must have been in fourth grade when it came out. It was the year it was still okay to be friends with both boys and girls and not have it mean anything more. It was the year I had perfect attendance. It was the year I came into my own, becoming the wise-ass snarky bitch hopefully-tempered-with-kindness-and-occasional-compassion that I am today. It was, no matter what else was going on in the world, a happy time, and Michael Jackson was putting together all the top singing stars to save the world (well, ALMOST all… ahem – a certain Queen was in absentia.)

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one.
There are people dying, it’s time to lend a hand
To life, the greatest gift of all.
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone somewhere will soon make a change.
We are all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need.

‘We Are the World’. Out of the greedy frenzy of the 80’s came this incongruous plea for aid to Africa. It looks so raw now, so dated, but it seemed so fresh and amazing then. Funniest appearances? I think it’s a toss-up between Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper. I love them both, but this is them at their caricature-ish best/worst. And what the hell is Dan Ackroyd doing here?

Yet as hilarious as this might look to you (and it does to me), there is still something incredibly moving about it, in the way that I’m always moved by groups of people singing at/to me, especially in the name of doing something good. No matter how small or fruitless, the act of trying to help never fails to touch my heart.

PS – You know that Dionne Warwick and Willie Nelson were totally taking tokes before, after, and during this.

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