USA FOR AFRICA
There was this terrible famine in Africa, you see, and Midge Ure and Bob Geldof didn't like the idea of people starving in Africa while people were getting fat in England. So they wrote a nice Christmas song and they called up their friends to help them record it, and the money they made went to African famine relief. Thing was, they didn't invite the Americans to help, which is odd because we Americans are notoriously fatter than the English.
Not to be outdone, a bunch of American singers got together and recorded their own African famine relief tune. They called themselves USA for Africa - the USA officially stood for United Support of Artists, but after being excluded by the Brits we all new exactly what the USA really stood for. Back off, Brits, the colonists are singing! To make a short story even longer, the song - which was not even almost as good as Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" - was a really big hit and sold a lot of copies.
The combined success of both tracks was so impressive that a big concert was held, simultaneously here in the States and in London. All the big names showed up, Bowie and Jagger made a cheap video, people phoned in contributions, advertisers ponied up for commercial spots, and a mountain of money was made.
are the World Lyrics
There comes a time when we need 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 all We can't go on pretending day by day That someone, somehow will soon make a change We're all a part of God's great big family And the truth - you know love is all we need ( CHORUS ) We are the world, we are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving There's a choice we're making We're saving our own lives It's true we'll make a better day Just you and me Well, send'em you your heart So they know that someone cares And their lives will be stronger and free As God has shown us By turning stone to bread And so we all must lend a helping hand ( REPEAT CHORUS ) When you're down and out There seems no hope at all But if you just believe There's no way we can fall Well, well, well, let's realize That one change can only come When we stand together as one ( REPEAT CHORUS AND FADE )
Statement on the Occasion of the Live8 Concerts
The board and staff of USA for Africa salute the organizers of the Live8 concerts and the citizens around the world who believe that what happens in Africa should matter to all of us.
Twenty years ago artists in the United States joined forces to produce "We Are the World" to help support the millions of African men, women and children whose lives were shattered by a devastating famine. The recording - featuring a host of renowned Artists and produced by Quincy Jones - went on to sell over 7 million copies, raising over $62 million, between 1985 and 1992. USA for Africa went on to invest those funds in Africa's future - supporting critical emergency relief operations, long term recovery programs and, most importantly, the development of initiatives aimed at building the capacity of Africa's people and institutions.
Today, USA for Africa is still in operation, and later this summer will award over $100,000 to African programs that will also include funding for Africa's Tsunami victims.
Twenty years ago, the American people and the world mobilized to help Africa. Today, the world is once again mobilizing but this time we are being asked to pledge our commitment to help secure Africa's future, through our actions and voices
Our challenge is even greater today than it was in 1985. Africa has achieved great gains in 20 years - there are more democracies, vibrant economies, and more educated and empowered people than there were in 1985. But there are still millions of Africans living in poverty; millions of children who have no schools to attend; millions who are affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
If we want to see meaningful, sustainable change, we must invest in Africa's future. This means working with Africans to create more effective and expanded development assistance; this means not only canceling debt, but also helping African countries avoid future debt traps; this means doing more to ensure that trade brings benefits to the lives of all.
Today, as some of America's finest performers gather in Philadelphia and in other cities around the world, we are reminded that we are defined by our culture. Let ours be a culture of active solidarity, of generosity, and of fundamental and enduring commitment to ending poverty not only in Africa but globally.
You can reach USA for Africa by phone, fax, mail, email.
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