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“Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is the title of a song that Bob Geldof and Midge Ure wrote in 1984 in order to raise money to fight famine in Ethiopia. On 25 November 1984 it was recorded by Band Aid, a group of popular and successful musicians, in the United Kingdom, where it became a fast-selling hit just in a few weeks. Later it was also released outside the UK and reached the tops in thirteen more countries around the world.

The song raised much more money than Geldof himself had hoped, around 8 million pounds, in just 12 months. What’s more, this UK idea led to other charity musical projects and events such as the song “We are the World” by USA for Africa, charity Comic Relief and the Live Aid concert; but above all, it served to make people be aware and financially help alleviate famine in Africa.

“Do they know it’s Christmas?” has been recorded again three more times, in 1989, 2004 and 2014, to provide funds either for famine relief or for the Ebola crisis in west Africa. However, this song hasn’t been the first to be considered as a charity record.

Back in the early seventies, ex-Beatle George Harrison recorded the single “Bangla Desh” to raise money for the 1970 Bhola cyclone and the Bangladesh Liberation War. On 1 August 1971 Harrison and Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar organized The Concert for Bangladesh in New York. That event, which gathered a supergroup of performers, was probably the first benefit concert ever. No only did it raise awareness and big money but it also inspired subsequent charity events and records, such as “Do they know it’s Christmas?”.

Lyrics

It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmas time, we let in light and banish shade
And in our world of plenty, we can spread a smile of joy

Throw your arms around the world
At Christmas time

But say a prayer and pray for the other ones
At Christmas time, it’s hard but while you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear
Where a kiss of love can kill you, and there’s death in every tear
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom

Well tonight we’re reaching out and touching you

Bring peace and joy this Christmas to West Africa
A song of hope they’ll have is being alive
Why is comfort deadly fear
Why is to touch to be scared
How can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Here’s to you
Raise a glass to everyone
Here’s to them
And all their years to come

Can they know it’s Christmas time at all

Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world, let them know it’s Christmas time again
Heal the world

Read more: Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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December 18, 2016 Posted by | MUSIC, VIDEOS | , , , | Leave a comment

An adaptation of Man from the South

Here you can watch a television adaptation of Man from the South, a short story written by Roald Dahl in the late forties. This is the first episode of the British TV series Tales from the Unexpected, which were broadcast between 1979 and 1988. However, Dahl’s story has been adapted on other occasions for film, for example as an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents American television anthology series in 1960 and in his second adaptation in 1985, and also as a  segment from 1995’s Four Rooms by Tarantino.

 

 

January 16, 2016 Posted by | Listening, VIDEOS | , , | Leave a comment

“Remember, remember, the fifth of November,…”

Last week people all over Britain celebrated ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ attending public fireworks displays and gathering around huge bonfires. In the past many families used to buy their own fireworks and lit them in their back yards but this has become less and less common nowadays and although it is fun to see sky rockets and throw crackers or hold sparklers, tough health and safety regulations have made private fireworks displays more and more scarse.

Guy Fawkes

fireworks

‘Guy Fawkes Day’ also known as ‘Bonfire Night’ or ‘Fireworks Night’ celebrates the failure of a plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament by Guy Fawkes and his fellow Catholic conspirators on November 5, 1605. They attempted to kill Protestant King James I and the Members of Parliament. However, the so-called ‘Gunpowder plot’ failed when the authorities were warned, and Fawkes, the man responsible for getting barrels of gunpowder into the basement of the Houses of Parliament, was captured, tortured and executed.

Although originally English, this festival is also celebrated in former British colonies. Here you can watch a video about this celebration.

November 10, 2015 Posted by | 1st INT, 2nd INT, VIDEOS | , , | Leave a comment

Movie scenes that ‘will go on and on…’ in my memory

This is one of those movie scenes that will be etched(fixed) on my memory forever: it is the famous “I’m flying!” scene from Titanic, the drama-romance directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Which is/are yours?

Here you can read the script lines for this scene:

Rose: Hello Jack. I changed my mind. They said you might be out here.
Jack: Shhh. Gimme your hand. Now close your eyes, go on. Now step up. Now hold on to the railing. Keep your eyes closed, don’t peek.
Rose: I’m not.
Jack: Step up on the railing. Hold on, hold on. Keep your eyes closed. Do you trust me?
Rose: I trust you.
[Jack opens Rose’s arms]
Jack: All right. Open your eyes.
Rose: [gasp] I’m flying, Jack!
[Jack starts singing]
Jack: Come, Josephine, in my flying machine, going up, she goes up, up she goes.
[they kiss]

April 10, 2015 Posted by | VIDEOS | , , , , | 8 Comments

Transport and travel in London

This is a very good selection of activities about transport and travel taken from the British Council Learn English. Get around London with Stephen, Alice and Jazz and enjoy the trip!

London Big Ben

 

 

 

January 21, 2015 Posted by | 1st INT, 2nd INT, GRAMMAR, Listening, VIDEOS | , , | Leave a comment

1,000 miles in the name of love

Liu Peiwen walked 1,000 miles to prove his girlfriend he was devotedly in love with her. She had accepted his marriage proposal but had joked that only on condition that he walked all the way from his home in Henan Province, 1,000 miles away, to her door. When Ling Hsueh realized he had taken that seriously , he was already trekking the enormous distance, as in the song by the Scottish group The Proclaimers (1988):

“But I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked a thousand miles, to fall down at your door”

The song 500 miles became popular

January 19, 2015 Posted by | MUSIC, VIDEOS | , , | Leave a comment

Time for a story!

This is a beautiful story about a lion who loved going to the library. If you like children’s stories ,  you can hear more on storylineonline.net

January 17, 2015 Posted by | Listening, RESOURCES, VIDEOS | , | Leave a comment

Learning English with videos

Do you use videos to learn English? Do you prefer watching them with subtitles? Is it a good idea? The following video can help you to consider what’s best for you.

These are several sites where you can find videos with subtitles:

 

November 12, 2014 Posted by | Listening, Reading, RESOURCES, VIDEOS | , , , | 2 Comments

25 years without the Berlin Wall

Where was this photo taken? What was the woman doing? Yes, you’ve guessed it. The place was in Berlin; that was the wall that divided the city for 28 years (1961-1989) and kept Berliners apart. People could not cross the border between the East and the West parts to meet their families and friends. The woman in the picture, a Berliner, was probably trying to communicate with somebody on the other side of the wall, maybe family, o perhaps a lover. Who knows? It’s a sad image: she looks tiny compared to the the mass of concrete, iron and wire in front of her. Such a short distance between her and her beloved one but so far away from each other!

Berliners talking

Fortunately, 25 years ago the border was opened and families, friends and neighbours could cross it and reunite. Many others climbed up the hated wall and jumped to the other side to meet. That was the beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a momentous time in history.

wallw

There have been lots of important moments in history, and hopefully there will be many more to come, but if you had to choose just one now, which would it be?

November 11, 2014 Posted by | 1st INT, 2nd INT, Reading, VIDEOS | , , , | 30 Comments

Guess the mystery character!

 

mistery character

Our mystery character is a middle-aged British man with a funny appearance  He has brown hair and brown eyes. He has a large nose and big ears. He usually wears a brown suit with a red tie.

He rarely speaks but he is very good at solving the problems he usually causes himself in an unusual and comic way.

By the way, he’s is not real; he is a fictional character!

If you think you know his name, send a comment. I also encourage you to write your own descriptions for the rest of us to guess.

Yes, you guessed right: he is Mr Bean. Here you can see him in one of his funniest episodes

Finally, if  you want to learn more about descriptions, click here.

October 22, 2014 Posted by | 1st INT, VIDEOS, Writing | 3 Comments