Turns out Bob Geldof—who cowrote the song with Midge Ure—absolutely hates it now.
From the Daily Telegraph:
"I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history," [Geldof] said.I have to say, I liked "Do They Know It's Christmas" when it first came out, and not just because most other Christmas music sucked by comparison. The song was catchy, had a satisfying build-up, and was chock full of protesty goodness. What wasn't to like?
"The other one is We Are The World. Any day soon, I will go to the supermarket, head to the meat counter and it will be playing. Every f ... ing Christmas."
Then I started listening more closely to the lyrics. In particular:
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmas timeEven at the tender age of 15, this struck me as odd. Yes, there was much evil afoot in Ethiopia. Hundreds of thousands starving due to scarcity, indifference, bad government. But ... snow? A great injustice was being perpetrated on the Ethiopian people because there wouldn't be snow in Africa?
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
Still catchy and all, but that pretty much did it for my ability to take the song seriously.