Category Archives: Bob Dylan

Radio 56, side B, track 6: “We Are The World” by USA for Africa, #1 on The Top 90 of the ’80s

USA For AfricaOh, USA for Africa, well played, my friends.  Well played.  I won’t say that I was ecstatic about this song being the #1 song of the decade, but I also wasn’t horribly disappointed like I was at the #1 song from the previous year’s countdown.  It was a deft move by the DJs making this the #1 song, because who’s going to argue against a song about trying to save dying children in Africa?  My hat’s off to such a clever gambit.  Because by making this song the #1 song of the decade, you can give a shout-out to a bunch of artists who were glaringly missing from the rest of the countdown.  Like Bruce Springsteen (really?  Nothing by the Boss cracked the top 100?).  Or Stevie Wonder (“I Just Called To Say I Love You” HAD to be a top song of the decade).  Or even Paul Simon (“Graceland” was a big-ass hit).  So no one can really complain about those missing artists, because here they are, singing a song about trying to make the world a better place.

That’s of course the cynic in me talking.  When I actually recorded this one, I’m sure I was a little disappointed, because at the end of the day, NO song would have lived up to all the anticipation I had for the top spot on the countdown.  But I remember also feeling really emotional and happy about this song being the #1 song, too.  I’m sure part of it was the culmination of a day of taping music off the radio and not eating any food, but part of it was also that I was foolish little optimist, and how wonderful was it to kick off a brand new decade with a song asking us to listen to our better natures sung by a cavalcade of pop stars?

Listening to it now, through the ears of a much older, crankier version of myself, it’s hard for me not to roll my eyes at how trite and sentimental this is.  Which is really sad, I know, USA For Africa.  But my cynicism aside, this is an amazing song just because of the sheer star power that’s in this thing.  It’s not even the actual song itself I’m impressed with.  It’s the fact that it happened at all.  Having sat through my share of meetings with people of varying personalities trying to make a decision about something that we actually all pretty much agree on, and still have it turn into a horrible, nightmarish cluster, I can only imagine what it was like having this many artists all congregated in one place recording a song together.  Actually, the thought of it fills me with a dread that only someone who’s had to facilitate a train wreck of a meeting could understand.  So yeah, USA For Africa, super glad you did a good thing for Africa, but it’s the fact that you were able to get this many egos and diverse personalities together to make a great song that REALLY gives me hope for the future.

“We Are The World”

<awesome USA For Africa>

There comes a time

When we heed a certain call

When the world
Must come together as one

There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand
To life

The greatest gift of aaaall

We can’t go on

Pretending day by day

That someone
Somewhere will soon make a chaaange

We’re all a part of
God’s great big family
And the truth
Ya know love is all we neeeeeeeed
We are the world

We are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start givin’

There’s a choice we’re makiiin’
We’re savin’ our own lives
It’s true, we make a better day
Just you and meeee

Weeell, send them ya heart

So they know that someone cares

And their lives
Will be
Stronger and freeee

As God has shown us

By turnin’ stone to bread

And so we all
Must lend
A helping haaaand
We are the world
We are the children

We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start givin’

Whoa, there’s a choice we’re makin’

We’re savin’ our own liiives
It’s true, we make a better day
Just you’n meeee

When ya down and out
And there seems no hope at all

But if you just believe
There’s no way we can faaaaall
Well, well, well, weeeell, let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come

When we

Stand together as oooone, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We are the woooorld

We are the childreeeen

We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giviiiin’

There’s a choice we’re makiiin’

We’re savin’ our own lives

It’s true, we’ll make a better day
Just you and meeee

We are the woooorld
We are the childreeeen

We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giviiiin’

There’s a choice we’re makin’

We saving our own lives

It’s true, we make a better day
Just you’n me

We are the woooorld (are the world)
We are the childreeeen (are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giviiiin’ (let’s start givin’)
There’s a choice we’re makiiin’

We’re savin’ our own lives

It’s true, we make a better day
Just you’n me

All right, let me hear ya

We are the woooorld (we are the world)
We are the childreeeen (said we are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giviiiin’ (leeet’s start givin’)

There’s a choice we makin’
We’re savin’ our own lives
It’s true we make a brighter day, just you and meeeee

Come on, now, let me hear ya

We are the woooorld (we are the world)
We are the childreeeen (we are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter daay, so let’s start giviiiin’ (so let’s start givin’)

There’s a choice we’re makiiin’

We’re savin’ our own lives

It’s true, we make a better day
Just you and meeee, yeeeah yeah

We are the woooorld (we are the world)
We are the childreeeen (we are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start givin’ (so let’s start givin’)

There’s a choice we’re makin’

Yeah, we’re savin’ our own lives

It’s true, we’ll make a better day
Just you and meeee (woah woah woah)

We are the woooorld
We are the childreeeen (are the children)
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So let’s start giviiiin’ (so let’s start givin’)
There’s a choice we’re makiiin’

We’re savin’ our own lives

It’s true, we’ll make a better day
Just you and meeee

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